This is the first of a series of Horizon 2020 blogs where we look at how the EU’s latest Research and Innovation is developing, how Flexiant will get involved and how other organisations can benefit from Horizon 2020.
‘The Power of Three’
It’s well known that a triangle is the strongest shape; their ability to bear large loads and withstand strong forces makes them ideal as a building block. It’s no surprise then that the EC has decided to underpin Horizon 2020, the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever in such a manner. Flexiant has a long and proven track record of innovation and this is supported by our collaboration with European partners in a variety of research projects. Horizon 2020 promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts through turning great research ideas into realistic, commercial strategies.
Let’s start by taking a look at the Three Pillars that make-up the Horizon 2020 landscape.
1. Industrial leadership
First up, there’s the ‘Industrial leadership and competitive frameworks’ pillar. We are particularly excited about the opportunities in this pillar as it fits closely with our own development philosophy and focus on innovation.
This pillar aims to foster innovation through prototyping, testing, demonstrating, and piloting large-scale product validation and bridging the gap between research and the commercial market. On top of the significant support to demand-side approaches will be another important feature, notably pre-commercial and first-commercial public procurement of innovation. Pre-commercial public procurement is an approach for procuring R&D services. By acting as technologically demanding ﬁrst buyers of new R&D, public procurers can drive innovation from the demand side.
This will be in addition to regulation to foster innovation and standard-setting. There will also be the piloting of new forms and sources of innovation spanning across both public and private sectors and focusing on social innovation. It’s a comprehensive setup and a programme that promises a focus on commercial success, and that ever crucial desire to make research work for the marketplace.
2. Excellent science
This pillar is designed to develop and retain research talent in Europe and give researchers access to the best infrastructure for development. This provides access to cutting edge technologies that can be used in a commercial environment and ultimately provide new services, which aid the lives of the European citizens. Crucially, this area of Horizon 2020 will facilitate the transition from research projects into vital and marketable products and services.
3. Societal challenges
The final pillar requires some specific focus. In the case of ICT this could be related to innovation in energy efficient systems, smart transport systems, access of cheap reliable resources, data protection, health and wellbeing with at-home patient care as well as awareness with the EU efforts on responsible research and innovation.
This Pillar takes a top-down, policy-oriented approach. We see the outcomes of our contribution to the Industrial Leadership and Excellent science pillars naturally feeding into this area of the Horizon 2020 spectrum.
At the heart of Horizon 2020 is the desire to keep ahead of the game, to innovate and see those results become marketplace reality to reduce costs, provide quality employment and ultimately allow service providers to offer new innovative services to the end user.
Here at Flexiant we are ready for the challenges and opportunities that the new Research and Innovation programmes can bring to the right organisations, and in the coming weeks we’ll be taking a deeper dive into what Horizon 2020 and Flexiant can offer.
For more information on Horizon 2020 and Flexiant’s existing research projects please take a look at our research area.