After reflecting upon the past Horizon 2020 programme and the first two years of Horizon Europe, Aurora Universities Network comes up with eleven recommendations to improve the current R&I programme and develop the next framework programme FP10. The recommendations include:
The full eleven recommendations can be found in the position paper (link below). In addition, any European R&I programme needs sufficient funding to accomplish our tasks as universities and the broader R&I sector to contribute to achieving global and European challenges. The current geopolitical situation and the war have led to increased costs of living. To fulfil our role in science and society, we emphasise that a budget of 200 billion euros for FP10 is needed. Furthermore, we agree with the European Parliament that Horizon Europe funding for research should not be funnelled or repurposed to other, or new, priorities than those initially set.
In addition, we argue against grant mechanisms that ask for co-financing or matching from academic or RTO organisations as this needs to be charged to the structural public financing of our organisations (and hence the permanent staff, infrastructures, and education). In principle, public universities do not have large budgetary envelopes that can be spent freely. In fact, universities are facing budget cuts due to increased prices and/or reduced numbers of students. The risk is that the academic sector will withdraw completely from such grants.