Maximising the impact of EU research and innovation

Europe must step up investment in research and innovation in order to maximise impact, while also further refining the success story that is Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme.

This is one of the key messages from the Communication on the Horizon 2020 interim evaluation that the European Commission presented today. It also calls for a mission-oriented approach, focusing on cracking specific challenges, as a way of boosting the impact of the programme. Other key messages include the need for an increase in effective engagement of citizens and support for breakthrough innovation. Concrete links with other EU funding programmes should be deepened and open science strengthened.

Commissioner Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said:


The evaluation proves that Horizon 2020 is a true European success story with high added value for taxpayers and real impact on our economy and quality of life. But there is always room for improvement. We are strongly committed to achieving greater impact and openness of EU research and innovation funding. In its final years, Horizon 2020 is already taking up some of the improvements, for example through a pilot phase of the European Innovation Council supporting breakthrough innovation.


The Communication develops lessons learned from the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 in areas such as international cooperation, synergies with other EU programmes and policies as well as continued efforts to simplify the EU research and innovation support landscape. The possible improvements and orientations for the future reflect the recommendations of the report by the independent High Level Groupon maximising the impact of EU Research & Innovation programmes chaired by Pascal Lamy.


The Communication summarises key findings of the interim evaluationof Horizon 2020, published by the Commission in May 2017, but also takes into account separate evaluations undertaken on the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, the public-public and public-private partnerships launched under Horizon 2020, and a mid-term review of the nine contractual public-private partnerships carried out by an independent expert group.

Taking into account the lessons learned and indications for the future provided in the Communication, the Commission is expected to come forward with the legal proposals for the post-2020 EU research and innovation programme by mid-2018.

More information

  • Factsheet: Horizon 2020 Interim Evaluation – Maximising the Impact of EU Research and Innovation

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No GA727816.

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