As an extension of the European Horizon 2020 programme, Horizon Europe is the new research and innovation framework programme for the period 2021-2027, with a budget of €100 billion. The European Union has called for the establishment of a participatory approach to build this programme, which would involve all European actors, be they institutions, experts or citizens, in particular through a new mechanism which they call “missions”. Cross-cutting in nature, missions are part of the “Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness” pillar and correspond to the priority societal challenges for the European Union. Five areas have already been identified:
Within each area, precise, quantifiable, measurable and time-bound objectives still need to be set, and partnerships chosen. The titles of the missions will play a decisive role in determining the overall direction of European research, much like the objectives to be set and the choice of partnerships. However, these missions will be developed by committees as “Mission Boards” open to civil society. While conventional actors, researchers and industry will certainly be represented, it is essential to us that civil society actors also take their rightful place at the table so that R&I can meet real societal needs. The call to apply for these mission boards has just been opened with a very close deadline ending on June 11 at 12pm. The only prerequisites are expertise in the field of the mission, a sufficient command of English and the ability to work independently.
Participation in these committees is on an individual basis and requires an 18-month commitment. In principle, the experts constituting the Mission Boards will work between 15 and 20 days a year and will meet at least four weekends a year, each meeting lasting one and a half days. Participants will be compensated, and transportation and accommodation costs will be reimbursed. The procedure for applying is specified in the call: it involves sending a letter of motivation, a CV and three forms (on the application category, the selection criteria and the declaration of possible conflicts of interest) by e-mail. The Commission will be eager to diversify the profiles within the Mission Boards and will therefore prefer applications from outside of academia or industry.
Despite its complexity and opacity, this research program is more political than technical. This programme is the target of powerful lobbies (that have for example already succeeded in incorporating the innovation principle into it, which jeopardises the precautionary principle and therefore our health and the environment, with the sole aim being the non-application of regulations for certain potentially dangerous products). It is essential that civil society reclaim its place and avoid this programme from being captured by private lobbies to serve their own interests.
You will find all the necessary information in the call available on this link and Deadline is 11 June 2019.
The official call for applications to Horizon Europe mission boards is now open. We would encourage civil society organisations to apply and/or to disseminate in your networks.