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European Commission


Brussels, 21 November 2013

Horizon 2020 'massive boost for European research and entrepreneurs', says Vassiliou

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), funding research fellowships, and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) will get significantly more money under the new EU Horizon 2020 budget for research and innovation, adopted today by the European Parliament. The MSCA and EIT come under the responsibility of Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, who described the vote as "a massive boost for European research and the entrepreneurs of tomorrow".

The MSCA account for 8% of the overall Horizon 2020 budget, with more than €6 billion in funding for 2014-2020.1 This is around 30% more than the current allocation of €4.7 billion under the Marie Curie Actions for 2007-2013. The new budget will support more than 65 000 researchers, of which almost 40% will be PhD candidates. The EIT will receive €2.7 billion for 2014-20202, 3.5% of the overall EU research and innovation budget. This represents a significant increase from the initial EIT start-up budget, which was around €300 million for 2008-2013. The funds will strengthen the EU's research and innovation capacity and contribute to jobs and growth.

"With the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, the EU is significantly increasing its investment in people with the knowledge and talent to innovate and change lives. This is excellent news for the research community and the EIT's entrepreneurs of tomorrow," said Commissioner Vassiliou.

The budget increase underlines the importance attached to the MSCA, which will train the next generation of researchers in Europe. The MSCA will support researchers at all stages of their careers, irrespective of nationality. Researchers working across all disciplines, from life-saving healthcare to 'blue-sky' science, will be eligible for funding. The MSCA will also support industrial doctorates, combining academic research study with work in companies, and other innovative training that enhances employability and career development.

The EIT will play an essential role in bringing dynamic and innovative growth to Europe, by bridging gaps between higher education, research and business, and by supporting entrepreneurial start-ups and specialised post-graduate training. It operates through Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), a pioneering concept of cross-border public-private partnerships. In addition to the three existing KICs on climate, ICT and energy, the EIT will launch five new KICs in 2014-2020 in the fields of healthy living and active ageing (2014), raw materials (2014), food for the future (2016), added value manufacturing (2016) and urban mobility (2018).


EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions support the career development and training of researchers – with a focus on innovation skills – in all scientific disciplines, based on trans-national and cross-sectoral mobility.

The MSCA will become the main EU programme for doctoral training, supporting 25 000 candidates. This includes financing for industrial doctorates, joint doctorates, and other innovative forms of research training that enhance employability. Experienced researchers will be encouraged to spend time outside academia, in enterprises and other organisations, during their fellowships.

The MSCA will also support exchanges of research and innovation staff across Europe within partnerships that include both academia and other organisations, as well as exchanges around the world to strengthen international cooperation in research and innovation. Through the COFUND scheme, the MSCA will also top up regional, national and international programmes for research training with up to 50% of the total funding. This scheme will also be extended to early-stage researchers and boost links with the EU Structural and Investment Funds.

European Institute of Innovation and Technology

The core mission of the EIT, established in 2008, is to promote the competitiveness of Member States by bringing together excellent higher education institutions, research centres and businesses to focus on major societal challenges. The EIT has an administrative headquarters in Budapest while the KICs operate from 17 sites throughout Europe.

There are currently three KICs (Climate KIC, KIC InnoEnergy and EIT ICT Labs) gathering more than 350 partners among top European universities, businesses and research centres. The EIT has already provided entrepreneurship training for more than 1 000 students and contributed to the creation of more than 100 start-ups. Around 90 new products, services or processes have been launched and more than 400 business ideas are currently being incubated within the KICs.

From 2014 onwards, the EIT and its KICs will continue to share their novel approach to innovation through dissemination and outreach activities. In particular, the Regional Innovation Scheme will foster innovation across the Union by allowing partnerships of higher education institutions, research organisations, companies and other innovation stakeholders to closely work with KICs.

For more information

IP/13/1133 Horizon 2020 approval by Parliament a boost for European research and innovation

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

European Institute of Innovation and Technology at a glance

European Commission: Education and training

Androulla Vassiliou's website

Follow Androulla Vassiliou on Twitter @VassiliouEU

Contacts :

Dennis Abbott (+32 2 295 92 58); Twitter: @DennisAbbott

Dina Avraam (+32 2 295 96 67)

1 :

6.16 billion taking account of estimated inflation. This is the equivalent of €5.45 bn in fixed/constant 2011 prices

2 :

€2.4 billion in 2011 prices

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