Ljubljana – The Education Ministry is holding a two-day online conference to mark the start of the EU’s emerging research and innovation programme Horizon Europe. The European Commission representatives and other foreign speakers will present the three pillars of the framework.
European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel and Zoran Stančič, the head of the European Commission Representation in Slovenia, opened the conference on Monday by addressing the event.
Horizon Europe, which is to replace Horizon 2020 next year, is the biggest research and innovative programme in the history of the EU, said Gabriel.
Its funds will aim to promote goals that will promote economic growth and create new jobs across Europe, she said, pointing to the current open call for the Green Deal.
The ambitious Horizon Europe proposal is a great opportunity for Slovenia, Stančič said, noting that EUR 80 billion for the programme will be allocated from the EU’s multi-year budget and EUR 5 billion from the recovery fund.
Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek and Minister of Education, Science and Sport Simona Kustec addressed the conference as well.
Počivalšek highlighted the importance of research and innovation for Slovenia. Kustec said that the country’s Council of the EU presidency in the second half of 2021 would be a special challenge and an opportunity to strengthen Slovenia’s role and know-how at EU level.
Horizon Europe aims to boost the science and technology sector in Europe and create up to 100,000 new jobs in the 2021-2027 period.
The programme is based on three pillars – Excellent Science, Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness, and Innovative Europe.
When focusing on the first section, the conference will present recent breakthroughs in research infrastructure and the impact of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions and European Research Council measures.
Debates and presentations about the second pillar are to pay special attention to opportunities provided by Horizon Europe partnerships and missions.
The Innovative Europe section of the conference will meanwhile present new features of the programme, particularly in terms of the new European Innovation Council and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.
The event will also focus on horizontal elements of Horizon Europe, titled Widening Participation and Spreading Excellence, which foster exchange of good practice between member states and boost participation of low research performing countries.