The European Innovation Council (EIC) is to receive €50m of an extra €200m expected to be awarded to the EU Horizon 2020 research programme.
The increase was approved by MEPs in Strasbourg, France, on 5 April as part of a review of the bloc’s seven-year budget.
Alongside the EIC, which is expected to adopt a riskier, venture capital-style approach to awarding grants in a pilot that starts in the autumn, the other budget line winners included:
- €50m for the European Research Council (ERC), of which €16.7m was already earmarked for this year’s budget;
- €55m for the ‘spreading excellence and widening participation’ section of Horizon 2020, of which €16.7m has been allocated for 2017; and
- €45m for high performance computing, of which €16.7m has been assigned to 2017.
EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas called the budget boost “a very valuable deal”.
However, the €200m, recognised as part-compensation for the €2.2bn that was taken from the programme in 2015 to finance the European Commission’s Juncker Plan investment fund, is half the amount the executive asked for.
A proposed €200m increase for the Erasmus+ student and academic exchange scheme was also halved to €100m.
Final approval of the package by member states is expected in the coming weeks.