Reactions on the EU Mission concept
By Ingemar Pongratz
The European Commission Mission concept is a new instrument. The EU missions represent a new, key feature of the EU Horizon Europe research and innovation fund. The European Commission (EC) has established 5 Missions. Which aim to provide solutions to pressing societal challenges that the European Union is facing today. The Missions that are operational today include:
- Adaptation to Climate Change
- Restore Oceans and Water
- Climate Neutral and Smart Cities
- A Soil Deal for Europe
The aim of the EU Mission is to provide tangible solutions to major societal challenges. The solutions delivered should be based on scientific research and provide innovation opportunities to the EU society. The Missions should also provide policy support to key EC policy priorities such as the European Green Deal, the EU Beating Cancer plan, the Climate Adaptation Strategy, among other. Moreover, the solutions developed by the Missions should deliver concrete results soon. In fact, the EC has stated that solutions should be in place by 2030 and should also mobilize authorities, citizens, academia, and other stakeholders.
The Mission concept is new and very problem oriented. Reactions on the EU Mission concept are starting to appear. For example, two leading European Research University Networks have provided their first assessment of the Mission concept. The League of European Research Universities (LERU) and the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities (the Guild) are concerned that the scope of the missions is too narrow, and few scientists participate in Mission projects. Both LERU and the Guild call for increased focused on research and highlight that Mission projects lack research focus.
Both LERU and the Guild are concern with the focus on high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) closer to market and argue that low and medium TRL topics should also be included in future calls.
The EC is aware that the topics are closer to implementation compared to for example standard Horizon Europe calls. In many aspects, this is to be expected. The EU missions are expected to provide solution to EU societal problems of today. In addition, the EC expects that the Missions should deliver concrete results by 2030. This expectation would argue that focus of funded project should indeed be close to implementation, with a high TRL. The Reactions on the EU Mission concept that the research component is not present may therefore not be compatible with the Mission overall idea.
Ingemar Pongratz is founder of Fenix Scientific AB / Pongratz Consulting. Fenix Scientific AB provide advice and support to universities and enterprises who wish to apply for public funding. In addition, Ingemar Pongratz created Letavis AB, research intensive Agritech company that has develop a new range of safe and efficient products for the agricultural sector. If you wish to contact us, please use the Online Contact information provide here.