Since 1984 the Research and Innovation Framework Programmes (FPs) have been amongst Europe’s great successes in supporting and fostering research in Europe. The framework programmes are a clear priority for the forest-based sector, especially today, when Horizon 2020 (2014-2020) undergoes a provisional evaluation and while, at the same time, preparations are ongoing for its successor, framework programme 9 (FP9) for the period 2021-2025. Therefore, FTP has been gathering as much information as possible on the applicable range of topics within this process. From what we know today some preliminary and general comparisons can be made between FP9 and Horizon 2020 (H2020).
FP9 will have more of a “mission-oriented” approach. The mission concept is intended to tackle global challenges by focusing on problems that can be solved within a defined timeframe. FP9 will also be, to a larger extent, “bottom-up” with more open Call topics, such as SME instruments for instance. For the moment ongoing discussions about the organization of FP9 are considering three pillars – much like H2020. One pillar should focus on Scientific Excellence and the European Research Council (ERC), a second pillar should address Global Challenges, and a third and final pillar, the European Innovation Council (EIC), would focus on the innovator. Apart from this information, the “mission “concept remains exploratory; both its content and shape within FP9 remain uncertain. Lastly, nearly a third of the EU funding in Horizon 2020 goes to companies, large and small, often operating in Joint Undertakings (JUs) or Public, Private Partnerships (PPPs). So far it has not yet been decided what will happen with these in FP9, both regarding budget as well as regulations.