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More Funds, But Actually Less

The European Parliament has increased the Horizon Europe budget by €4 billion, bringing it to €85 billion, Science reports.

In 2018, the European Commission announced it would be seeking nearly €100 billion for the multi-year program, with a portion of funding going toward an effort to address societal challenges, moonshot-style projects, and bringing new technologies to market. However, the proposed budget was subsequently pared back and, in July, the European Union budget included €81 billion for Horizon Europe.

According to Science, €5 billion of the new Horizon Europe budget is now reserved for applied research and to boost small tech firms in the aftermath of the pandemic, leaving a budget that is slightly more than current Horizon 2020 funding levels. But it adds that because of how funds are distributed early in the funding scheme, basic research institutions will have less funding next year than they do currently, which has led some scientists to call for the new funding to instead go toward the European Research Council.