Horizon 2020 would need €62.4B more to fund all research rated as top quality

An article in Science¦Business reports new analysis finding that H2020 is extremely competitive, and more and more good proposals are being rejected.The sucess rate in FP7 was 18.5%, but in H2020 is 11.6%.

According to its own interim evaluation the EC would need to spend an extra €62.4 billion to fund all the research proposals evaluated as high quality.

More than 30,000 proposals are now being submitted to Horizon 2020 per year, up from 20,000 during FP7.

The article highlihted several specific issues from the interim evaluation.

• Universities are the most enthusiastic and successful applicants, having applied on average 28 times since 2014, compared to 2.6 times for large companies and 1.2 times for small businesses.
• The biggest winners continue to those based in the UK, Germany and France.
• People with previous EU research experience, researchers from public bodies, and applicants to the European Research Council (ERC) proof of concept and the staff exchange programme Marie Skłodowska-Curie have the best chances of winning a grant.
• The most attractive parts of the programme are the SME Instrument, followed by the ERC, Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions, ICT-leadership in enabling and industrial technologies and the health societal challenge.
• Not surprisingly, these same sub-programmes have some of the lowest success rates, yet no competition is quite as difficult as Future and Emerging Technologies, where researchers have a less than one-in-ten chance of success.
• Patent applications are low, at 153, and as yet not much Horizon 2020 research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals.

For more information, see the full Science¦Business article and the EC's in-depth interim evaluation document.

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