The plan for the EU’s next research Framework programme will be presented at the end of May, according to the European Commission’s incoming R&D chief Jean-Eric Paquet.
In his first interview following his appointment as head of the Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation last month, Paquet revealed that “most of the work” on the Commission’s Framework 9 proposal had already been done. He will take up the role on 1 April following the departure of Robert-Jan Smits, who held the post for eight years.
Speaking to reporters on 27 March, Paquet said that the overall structure of the programme was “clearly emerging” and would be based largely on a report published last year by a group of advisers led by former World Trade Organization director-general Pascal Lamy. Framework 9 will follow on from Horizon 2020 as an “evolution, not a revolution”, he said.
One change will be an increase in “strategic programming”, meaning more topdown control, albeit informed by greater citizen involvement. This will mainly affect the societal challenges part of the programme, with the excellent science and industry sections remaining largely driven by participants, Paquet said.