The EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Technological
Development (FP8) is scheduled to be renewed for the eighth time
in 2014 since the popular program began in 1984. FP8 (also called
Horizon 2020) is anticipated to run from 2014 through 2020, and
will be funded to $110 billion (i.e., $15.7 billion/yr). This represents a 58% increase over FP7, which ran from 2007 to 2013 and
was funded to $70 billion. FP8 funding will provide $42 billion for
research on climate change, renewable energy, food safety and aging.
$23 billion will be dedicated to industrial leadership in innovation,
including increased access to capital and support for small-to-medi-um enterprises.
A dedicated budget of $34 billion will focus on top-level research
supported by the European Research Council, the EU’s equivalent to the U.S.’s National Research Council. While representing
less than 5% of the EU’s total forecast R&D investment in 2014
of $351 billion, the high-profile research is dedicated to creating
new growth and jobs in Europe. It also emphasizes the translation
from scientific research to commercialization to economic impact
by helping innovative enterprises develop technological assets into
viable products with large commercial potential. This market-driven
approach includes creating partnerships with the private sector and
In their responses to the Battelle/R&D Magazine survey, global researchers anticipate positive changes in European research priorities
over the next 10 years, including (in priority order) focus on energy,
environmental and life science R&D applications. Areas that may
become less emphasized include military and space-based research.
In the aggregate, R&D expenditures in Europe are expected to
increase 0.7% in 2014. Europe’s share of global R&D spending will
drop to 21.7%, while Asia’s rises to 39% in 2014 from 38% in 2013.
Academia’s Important Role
As in the U.S., an important portion of research activity will be
conducted by academia. European universities place second only to
U.S. universities in the latest Times Higher Education World Rankings, with about 71 European universities ranked in the Top 400,
compared to 77 U.S. universities. THE rankings are based on 13
performance indicators in areas involving teaching, research, knowledge transfer and global outlook. The U.K. had the largest number
of European universities in the top 400 list with 29.
In Their Own Words
Comment from the Battelle/R&DMagazine Global Researcher Survey
The most important challenge facing the global research
community is ensuring that populations regard its contributions as positive, responsible and legitimate. R&D policy
is not just about throwing money at scientists and engineers
- it is also about ensuring that their innovations can be
brought into use, which is a quite different challenge.
- Domestic Corporation/U.K.
Expectations for change are similar in
nearly all research domains for U.S. and
European researchers (1-5 scale).
Hong Kong (China)
Europe and the U.S. continue to
dominate the top positions in
WIPO’s Global Innovation Index.
Less Neutral More
Like the United States, Europe
deploys a portion of R&D
investment to Asia.
Spent in Asia
Spent domestically & non-Asia