Industry Associations AENEAS, EPoSS, and INSIDE contribute to initial debate on the 10th EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

04 Jul 2024

In view of the preparations for the 10th EU Framework Programme (FP10) for Research and Innovation (R&I), which will succeed Horizon Europe as of 2028, the industry associations AENEAS, EPoSS and INSIDE, constituting the private members of the Chips Joint Undertaking, would like to put forward some considerations and recommendations, primarily from an industrial perspective. Our main inputs can be summarised as follows:

I. Strengthen industry involvement
The innovation gap between the EU and global leaders appears to be mainly due to lagging R&D investments by the EU business sector. Therefore, in particular industries with high R&D intensities, such as Electronic Components and Systems (ECS), should be supported to grow. General framework conditions should be enhanced to encourage higher private R&D investments and attract more high-tech industry. FP10 and the Union’s industrial policy must be mutually reinforcing, both contributing to the new European Competitiveness Deal. According to our analysis, large enterprises performed half of all R&D in the EU but received only 7.5% of all Horizon Europe funding in 2021-2023; this discrepancy should be addressed in FP10. More generally, FP10 should better reflect the important role of industry in transforming science into innovations with impact on the economy and society.

II. Join forces
For our fragmented continent, joining forces is the only viable approach. Within FP10, collaborative R&I projects should remain the main modality. Researcher exchanges between science and industry should enhance knowledge transfer and address skill shortages. Within the Union, national R&I efforts should be aligned better with the common European interests pursued by FP10. International cooperation with like-minded countries outside the Union should be intensified to ensure economic security. Public-private partnerships should be continued, with industry contributing mainly in-kind rather than cash to safeguard effective collaboration. The Chips Joint Undertaking should be prolonged and reinforced in view of its strategic importance for European competitiveness and economic security.

III. Make FP10 ambitious, attractive, balanced, effective and efficient
Increasing the budget for FP10 to €200 billion is necessary to fund high-quality proposals and bridge the R&D gap with Europe’s international partners and main competitors. FP10 should maintain its current three-pillar structure, balancing fundamental research, applied research and innovation, while reducing red tape to attract more industry participation. As Widening Member States relatively receive almost twice as much funding from Horizon Europe as the other Member States, FP10 should primarily promote quality and impact, not cohesion.