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The European Research Council and the European Round Table of Industrialists sent a joint letter to European leaders, asking them to fully fund the Horizon 2020 initiative, ScienceInsider reports. The seven-year initiative aims to bolster European research and innovation, but its proposed €80 billion budget has been a matter of debate.

"The prosperity of Europe depends on maintaining its competitive edge. Scientific discovery and technological progress will produce new products, processes and services, and new industries will be created in their wake," the letter says, later adding that "any reduction in the funding to support excellent research will result in Europe having limited means to attract outstanding talent in a highly competitive global market. We cannot risk losing a generation of talented scientists, just when we need them most."

ScienceInsider notes European leaders will be meeting later this week to sort out the European Union budget.