The Launch Conference of the Horizon Europe Programme, linked to the acts of celebration of the 30th anniversary of Jaume I University has ended the 4 th of March with a session dedicated to the global challenges and European industrial competitiveness, in which more than 570 participants assisted online. The meeting, organised within the framework of the Strategy of the Generalitat Valenciana for national and regional coordination in R&I, aims to increase and improve the participation of all the agents of the Valencian Community in the Horizon Europe Programme.

This event is an initiative of the Jaume I University and the Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (IVACE), together with the Network of Technological Institutes of the Valencian Region (REDIT) and the Enterprise Europe Network for companies in the Valencian Community and the Region of Murcia (EEN-SEIMED). The second session of the Conference was opened by Jordi Sebastià, Director of External Relations of IVACE, and Gonzalo Belenguer, General Director of REDIT.

Sebastià emphasized that “this conference is an example of the commitment of the entities with research and the business community”. The director of external relations of IVACE has highlighted the proactive nature of the territory: “the Valencian network in all its forms -universities, companies, research staff – is innovative, dynamic and seeks the improvements that Horizon Europe can offer”. Belenguer highlighted the opportunities offered by Horizon Europe and the willingness of the technology centres to “continue to support European projects that fit in with their strategic lines”.

This was followed by presentations on Pillar 2 of the Horizon Europe Programme: Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness, by experts from the CDTI and FECYT. Carolina Carrasco, from CDTI, has presented the details of Cluster 1 Health and Nicolás Ojeda, from FECYT, has detailed the topics that correspond to Cluster 2: Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society. From CDTI, Maite Boyero has advanced some key data and dates regarding Cluster 3: Civil Security for Society. Enrique Pelayo, Nieves González, Carlos Toledo and Andrea Pérez-Carro, from CDTI, provided information on the calls for Cluster 4: Digital, Industry and Space. The new features of Cluster 5: Climate, Energy and Mobility.were presented by Cristina Garrido, Julio Dolado and Juan Carlos García, from CDTI, and they also presented the details of Cluster 6: Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment, which will have a budget of €9,000 million.

The presentations were followed by a pitching session for the presentation of 12 ideas or proposals by potential project coordinators from the Valencian Community who are looking for partners for future calls. A total of 12 proposals have been presented, 4 by research groups of the Jaume I University, 2 by PhotonicSENS, 2 by the Polytechnic University of Valencia, as well as ITI, Finnova Foundation, Space Farmers and Ecovending.

The meeting was closed by Jesús Lancis, vice-rector for Research and Transfer of the Jaume I University (UJI), who underlined: “In the Valencian Region we have two great challenges in front of us: to continue with the work of internationalisation and to increase the competitiveness and productivity of our companies, challenges that the Horizon Europe programme addresses and reinforces considerably”.

The Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI); the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT); the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities; and the National Contact Point for Research Infrastructures in Horizon Europe have collaborated in the organisation of this conference, which has been held for two days online on videoconference.

ABOUT THE HORIZON EUROPE PROGRAMME

As part of the European Commission’s budgets for the period 2021-2027, Horizon Europe is the most ambitious Framework Programme for Research and Innovation so far, aiming to keep the European Union at the forefront of global investment and innovation.

With a budget of approximately €100 billion, the main objectives of Horizon Europe are: to strengthen the scientific and technological foundations of the European Union; to stimulate innovation capacity, competitiveness and jobs in Europe; to meet citizens’ priorities; and to support the socio-economic model and values of the European Union. These funds are structured around the three main pillars of the programme, which are Open Science; Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness; and Open Innovation.

Horizon Europe is expected to generate new knowledge and technologies and to have a positive impact on growth, trade and investment, as well as a significant impact on society and the environment. Each euro invested by the programme can generate a return of up to eleven euros of GDP over a twenty-five year period. EU investments in R&I are expected to lead to the direct creation of up to 100,000 new jobs in R&I-related activities during the investment phase 2021-2027.