Despite a chaotic European economy, the European Commission has proposed a budget of 80 billion Euro (US$106 billion) for the years 2014 to 2020, up from 50.5 billion Euro for 2007 to 2013. The funding bump would be part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 funding plan, and is aimed at keeping Europe competitive, both scientifically and economically, commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said when the proposed budget was unveiled this week.
The proposed budget also calls for the European Research Commission to receive a 77 percent rise in research funding, to 13.2 billion Euro ($17.5 billion), and for projects under the “excellent research” plan, which funds emerging technologies and career development for EU researchers, to receive 24.6 billion Euro ($33 billion) total, Nature reported.
The European Institute of Technology in Budapest, which fosters industrial research, would also see big gains in funding if the budget is approved. The extra funding would help the Institute support the launch of 600 startups and train 10,000 doctoral students. And projects that address six key issues facing society, such as the need for green energy and improved health care, are allocated 31.6 billion Euro ($50 billion) under the Horizon 2020 proposal.
Before the ambitious budget can be approved at the end of 2013, the EU’s member states and its parliament will have to approve it, ScienceInsider reported.