Although we’re not yet half way through Horizon 2020, the European Commission’s 8th framework programme for research and innovation, discussions have already started about the successor programme, Framework Programme 9 (FP9). Although UKRO have said that the Commission does not yet have a “masterplan ” for FP9, it is clear that the Commission is keen on a “co-creation” approach this time and has noted that there were big changes from FP7 to Horizon 2020 and further huge restructures are unlikely to be useful. However, it is likely that there will be small changes and some flexibility in the last few years of Horizon 2020, enabling the creation of a European Innovation Council as proposed by the Research Commissioner, Carlos Moedas, and this will presumably continue into FP9.
Following discussions at an FP9 event in Brussels yesterday, Research Professional reports that as a result of political pressures from member states, defence research and a focus on capacity building for the newer member states will be included in future proposals. There may also be a greater focus on innovation, with a more industry-friendly programmes although there is no detail at this stage of what this may look like.
The Commission has asked a range of experts to consider the societal challenges that should be included in FP9 and this will be followed by a public consultation later this year. The proposal for FP9 is likely to be published in early 2018.
And then there is the question of the UK’s relationship with the EU by the time FP9 starts in 2021…