The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being increasingly reflected in the last calls of Horizon 2020. From what we can tell, they will even more strongly influence the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe. In the coming months, Euresearch Info will highlight what this means for the different thematic areas.
The SDGs, agreed upon by the United Nations in the autumn of 2015, have become the ultimate measuring stick for national and international policymakers. As a result, they have found their way into the remaining Horizon 2020 calls. The “Green Deal” is an obvious case in point but we should not forget that the SDGs cover a much wider range of topics. The 17 goals—intending to end poverty, protect the planet, and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere—affect all areas of life. They will strongly influence the structure and content of Horizon Europe.
It does not come as a surprise then that the 5 planned Horizon Europe missions—“Cancer”, “Climate Change”, “Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters”, “Climate Neutral and Smart Cities” and “Soil Health and Food”—are all based on one or more SDGs. Even on the level of individual call topics, the reference is already often explicit and will continue to be so in the future. The increasing emphasis on the expected impact of Horizon 2020 projects that we have seen in the past few years, will focus more and more often on a project’s concrete, albeit incremental, contribution to attaining the SDGs in the coming years.
Based on the numerous positive reactions we received to Judith Zbinden’s “Focus” on the Green Deal in the February edition of this newsletter and that of Joël Graf on the SDGs and Cybersecurity in June, we have decided to run a loose series of further articles explaining the effect the SDGs will have on the various parts of Horizon Europe. Thus, we hope both to whet your appetite for the new programme as well as to shorten the waiting time.
Watch this space!