MEPs Consult U21 Research Leaders on Horizon Europe

Research Leaders from 10 Universitas 21 (U21) universities took up the invitation to meet MEPs, Director Generals and other stakeholders at the European Parliament on November 26-27th and gave their perspectives and advice on the role of international collaboration in Horizon Europe, an ambitious €100 billion research and innovation programme that will succeed Horizon 2020.   

The group attended round table and bilateral meetings in the European Parliament with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and officials from the European Commission. Delegates from the Universities of Birmingham, California; Davis, Edinburgh, Johannesburg, Melbourne, Nottingham, Zurich, University College Dublin as well as the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and McMaster University (Canada) were represented at the meetings. 

Provost of U21, Professor Bairbre Redmond said, ‘This has been an unprecedented opportunity for U21 university members to work together to influence international policy and the future of world-wide research funding.  The meetings in Brussels reflected the considerable collaborative strength of U21, offering its members opportunities to access and inform EU decision-makers and others in ways that would not otherwise be possible for any single institution.  Our U21 members, all world-class research-intensive universities, have vast experience and wisdom about research funding from a global perspective.  I am delighted that the European Parliament chose to recognise this and  invited U21 members to Brussels, as a group, to learn from their expertise at this very key time in international research funding decision-making'. 

Professor Orla Feely, Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact at University College Dublin said 'The major global research challenges need global solutions. As Horizon Europe takes shape, it is important that the discussions be informed by a global perspective, and so it is very timely for Universitas 21 to have visited Brussels to share the insights of members into global research.'

EU Parliament Trip November 2018
Research Leaders' EU Parliament Trip November 2018

Earlier this year U21 Research Leaders authored an EU Position Paper, reflecting their previous experiences with European Funding Programmes, from a global perspective.  This paper also offered a series of recommendations on how the upcoming Horizon Europe funding programme could be strengthened by the enhanced inclusion of non-EU institutions, such as U21’s network of international, research-intensive university members.  

  • Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever, with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020).  It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market and is aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness.   

  • Horizon Europe is an ambitious proposal to raise EU science spending levels by 50% to approximately €100 billion over the years 2021-2027.