Academy of Finland puts forward mission proposals for Horizon Europe

21 Aug 2018

The Academy of Finland proposes climate neutrality, clean water, and healthy and happy children and young people as key missions for Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation framework programme for 2021–2027.

The European Commission’s proposal on the next framework programme is mission-oriented. The aim is to better engage European citizens in research and innovation through high-impact objectives called missions. The missions are designed to transcend the boundaries between scientific disciplines and sectors, bring together actors from different fields and inspire new, alternative solutions.

The Academy of Finland has prepared three proposals for Horizon Europe missions.

Mitigation of climate change and reduction of greenhouse gas and black carbon emissions will require high-quality research, novel technological solutions, a change in mindsets and policy solutions at local, national, European and global levels. The Academy of Finland’s proposal for a Horizon Europe mission, Climate-Neutral Europe 2045 (PDF), seeks to address these issues.

The safety of society and ecosystems as well as the health of citizens are increasingly under threat from the insufficient availability of clean water. The Academy of Finland proposes Clean Water for All (PDF) as a Horizon Europe mission, highlighting the importance of research-based water ecosystems protection, reduction of contaminants, improved wastewater treatment, new technological solutions, legislative improvements and cross-administrative collaboration in securing future water security.

The future of Europe rests on the health and mental wellbeing of children and young people. The Academy of Finland proposes Playful Europe 2030 (PDF) as a Horizon Europe mission with a view to increasing research and innovation that promotes healthy eating, physical mobility and social interaction among children and young people. The mission could contribute to reducing the societal burden caused by obesity and mental health and social problems.

The Academy of Finland has previously published two position papers on the next framework programme. In the position papers from 29 November 2017 (PDF) and 5 July 2018 (PDF), the Academy considers the mission concept to be a welcome development.

The Academy’s mission proposals were decided by the Academy Board based on suggestions delivered by Academy staff and council members. The European Commission’s proposal includes 6–8 missions for the framework programme. The final missions will be selected during the forthcoming FP negotiations.

€3.5m from Ministry for Foreign Affairs for development research programme

The Board of the Academy of Finland has also decided to reserve 3.5 million euros for the Academy Programme for Development Research. The funds have been allocated to the Academy by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland for the years 2019–2022. The Academy and the Ministry have an agreement on collaboration to provide additional funding for development research.

The Academy Programme for Development Research was launched in March 2018. The projects funded under the programme describe and interpret dimensions of development, help understand obstacles to development and find ways in which those obstacles can be removed. The funded projects are multidisciplinary and problem-driven.

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