Since 1984, the Framework Programmes for research and innovation have been funding breakthroughs across Europe. Horizon looks at the people and events that have helped shape European research policy, taking you behind the scenes during the pivotal moments from the last 30 years of research funding. These articles have been brought together into a special Horizon supplement to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Framework Programmes, which is available here.
Academics and companies have learnt to cooperate across the EU, making Europe more innovative and more efficient, according to Dr Walter Mönig, Chairman of the Board of Governors, the EU’s Joint Research Centre.
The project began with a straightforward goal: to understand the chemical basis of lifestyle-related diabetes. But the results raised the possibility of a solution to a very different medical problem: helping physically disabled people get the benefits of exercise.
Even though women have been well represented in Europe’s laboratories since the start of the Framework Programmes, the number of female professors remains stubbornly low, therefore we need to promote stories of successful women, says Dr Claudie Haignere, a former astronaut and the president of Universcience, a French centre that teaches young people the value of scientific and technological discoveries.
With the formation of the European Research Council (ERC) in 2007, the EU has given a substantial boost to frontier research. Now we just need to allow it time to produce results, says Professor Pierre Papon, a former director-general of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).
Public funding for research is dangerously low in many countries and collective action needs to be taken, according to Professor José Mariano Gago, a physicist and former Portuguese Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education.
European policymakers wanted the EU’s latest funding programme, Horizon 2020, to demonstrate how research and innovation make Europe more competitive and – in doing so – more attractive to its inhabitants, according to Teresa Riera Madurell, a former MEP who represented the European Parliament in the negotiations on Horizon 2020.
Europe’s support for industry has evolved from single technology programmes to large-scale partnerships involving whole sectors and hundreds of researchers, and it’s helping Europe’s industry keep a leading position in sectors such as energy and transport.
Once seen as the Cinderella of EU research programmes in an era dominated by high-tech industries, social sciences and humanities are now essential to extracting value from research, says Professor Luc Soete, Rector Magnificus of Maastricht University, the Netherlands.
Member States’ agreement to boost research funding by 30 % shows just how crucial research and innovation are to Europe, according to Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science 2010-2014.
The increase is partly driven by climate challenges.
Neuroimaging techniques are helping us read the pictures in our heads.
There is unlimited kinetic energy all around us and harnessing it could change the way we interact with the world, says Dr Gonzalo Murillo.