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Brussels, June 21, 2011
New name for the future EU funding programme for research and innovation
Statement by Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn on the outcome of the competition to name the future EU funding programme for research and innovation
I am very pleased to announce that "Horizon 2020" is the winner of our "You Name it" online vote to name the future EU-funding programme for research and innovation.
Three names were shortlisted. Horizon 2020 received 3 055 votes against 2 785 for Imagine 2020 and 2 478 for Discover 2020. 8 318 votes were received.
The full name that I shall be putting forward towards the end of this year as part of the legislative proposal for the new programme will therefore be: "Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation".
I congratulate the competition winners Marcela Endlova, a teacher from the Czech Republic, and Beata Zyngier, also a teacher, from Poland – who both suggested the name - and look forward to meeting both of them at the European Innovation Convention in December.
I was already very clear publicly in my first few weeks in this job that I was interested in having a new name for the Framework Programme.
I wanted the decision to be made in a democratic rather than a technocratic way.
I am delighted at the response and the interest this exercise has generated. We received over 1 600 suggestions for names. I warmly thank the jury and all those who took part.
The new name marks another step in our endeavour to establish research and innovation where it belongs, at the centre of EU policy making.
To achieve that in a lasting way, we need to connect with a wider public and give our work a higher profile.
So the new name is an important symbol of a new departure and a new adventure.
Horizon 2020 is not just a new name for the same Framework Programme.
It is the name for the new, integrated funding system that will cover all research and innovation funding currently provided through the Framework Programme for Research and Technical Development, the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). These different types of funding will be brought together in a coherent and flexible manner.
This will be a smarter way to support researchers and innovators in Europe – so as to further boost excellence and to help ensure that good ideas reach the market and generate sustainable economic growth and new jobs. Research and innovation funding will focus more clearly on addressing global challenges. Needless red tape will be cut out and participation made simpler.
However, there is also, in the longer title, a certain continuity. We will not lose sight of the fact that the Framework Programmes have been a big success and that there has been much to be proud of. We are not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Europe is currently facing very serious economic challenges. But there are reasons for optimism. High on that list is the enormous and still largely untapped research and innovation capacity that we have in Europe.
So it is fitting that the new programme should have a name with an optimistic ring that evokes vision, new possibilities and an ambitious view of what EU-funded research and innovation can achieve.
Because it is only at an EU level that we can mobilise sufficient resources to tackle societal challenges.
Only through EU funding can we help our researchers and innovators to join forces and work together across national borders.
And only the EU can organise continent-wide competition to stimulate our researchers towards greater excellence.
The "You Name It" competition was launched on 28 March (see IP/11/1371) and was linked to the stakeholder consultation on the Commission's Green Paper on the new research and innovation funding framework for the period post-2013 (see IP/11/138, MEMO/11/76).
The year "2020" was added to the names to show clearly that the future funding system will be designed to support the research and innovation objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The words: "Framework Programme for Research and Innovation" are included to show an element of continuity with the past.
The winners receive a trip to the European Innovation Convention, which will take place in Brussels at the end of this year and will have the opportunity to meet Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and other leading political, scientific and business figures.