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Progress on final EU research funds package

After long and complex negotiations, the European Parliament and Council have today reached an agreement on Horizon 2020, the EU's Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, 2014-2020.

Alyn Smith MEP, substitute member of the Parliament's Research, Energy and Industry Committee which has been involved in these discussions, said:

"First and foremost I am happy that a deal has finally been struck and that we can now move forward with the legislative process. This programme is supposed to begin on 1st January next year and so we are increasingly pushed for time.

"Overall I am quite satisfied with the results from these negotiations though there are some points of disappointment. The agreed budget is much less than the Parliament was pushing for, and even less than the Commission proposed. This is a real missed opportunity - Horizon 2020 is precisely the sort of programme where the EU adds value, providing European funding for research which stimulates the economy, creating jobs and growth and keeps Europe as a world leader in innovation.

"On the positive side, however, I am pleased to see a target of 10% of the total budget set down for SMEs, the continuation of the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme and even an increase in the share of the budget for sustainable energy research and innovation activities.

"All in all, a good result which opens up many opportunities for Scotland's research and innovation sector."