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EU staff propose partnership changes for next research programme

European Commission officials are looking at ways to simplify and reorganise research partnerships involving industry and foreign countries in the next research programme, according to a draft staff working document seen by Science|Business.

These include plans to “rationalise” several industry-focused competitions found in the current research programme, Horizon 2020, a change in rules on foreign access to EU research, and proposals to sweep away more of the complicated rules and acronyms that bedevil parts of the programme.

The paper, circulating for at least a few weeks, determines a blueprint for Framework Programme 9 and suggests the Commission will propose adopting many of the features of Horizon 2020, but with several substantial modifications. A final version of the paper, a so-called Impact assessment of the new programme, is expected to be published in the first week of June.

Commission officials declined to comment on the paper. But when asked about similar, earlier drafts circulating privately in Brussels, senior Commission officials have cautioned that the final plan in June could be very different – and say they don’t wish to appear to confirm ideas that may not yet have gone through the full, internal Commission approval process. After the publication of this paper in June, the European Council and Parliament will debate the plan for another few years before it takes effect in 2021.

Read more: EU staff propose partnership changes for next research programme | Science|Business

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