EU embarks on new missions to address climate change, build green cities, clean oceans



The European Commission has opened a call for ideas seeking feedback and suggestions from citizens on how to adapt to climate change, fight cancer, build climate-neutral and smart cities and ensure healthy oceans, soils and food.

According to the Commission, the collected ideas will feed into the design of the new Missions under Horizon Europe, a novelty in the next EU research and innovation framework programme.

“As part of the future Horizon Europe programme, missions will help define clear targets and find solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing our world, in turn increasing the effectiveness of research and innovation funding,” EU Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said. “For this we need citizens to express their views, make proposals and engage in their design and implementation. Together, we will make Europe healthier, greener and more resilient,” she added.

Partly inspired by the Apollo 11 mission to put a man on the moon, European research and innovation missions aim to deliver solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing the world, the Commission said, adding that they thereby contribute to the goals of the European Green Deal and Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.

There are five defined mission areas. Each mission represents a portfolio of actions across disciplines and sectors within a certain timeframe and budget.

The Commission is engaging Europeans in designing and creating missions that will meet their expectations and needs: in June, the Mission Boards, a broad mix of independent experts, presented their first proposals for EU missions and throughout the summer, online events took place around Europe to listen to people’s priorities. The results of the latest call for ideas will be presented at the online European Research & Innovation Days on September 22-24. The selected missions will be announced at the end of 2020 and launched in 2021.



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