The government of the 27-member European bloc will spend a record amount next year funding research and innovation to spur jobs and competitiveness
Research organisations, universities, and industry will receive a sum of €6.4 billion next year in the European Commission's largest ever allocation for research and innovation.
Research commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said on Monday (19 July) when presenting the plan that around 16,000 participants, including about 3,000 small and medium businesses, will receive funding.
"The investment I am announcing today will create 165,000 jobs over the relatively short term and potentially many, many more over the long term," the commissioner told reporters.
The sum represents a 12 percent increase on the €5.7 billion that will have been handed out in 2010.
Grants will be allocated via calls for applications, some of which are to be issued on Tuesday.
Small and medium-sized enterprises will receive close to €800 million next year. In total, businesses should also receive at least 15 percent of the total funding. The current rate is around 14 percent, the commission said.
Additionally, 35 percent of the total budget is to be ear-marked for certain specific topics including health, biotech, nanotechnology and the environment.
In particular, the commission wants researchers to focus on solutions for climate change, energy and food security, health challenges and an ageing population. Health research will receive over €600 million while information and communication technology research has been allocated €1.2 billion. Space research has been allocated €99 million.
Travel grants for researchers will be worth €772 million.