A controversial plan to use research funds to pay for economic stimulusbecame more concrete this week, as European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled proposed legislation to implement the shift. The new investment fund would take €2.7 billion over 5.5 years fromHorizon 2020, the commission’s main funding stream for research that will invest about €80 billion between 2014 and 2020. Draft legislation, released on 13 January, lays out the framework for the stimulus.
The single largest share of the Horizon 2020 cuts—€350 million—would be directed at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) in Budapest. With a staff of about 50, it funds collaborations between universities and industry to work on issues such as climate change adaptation and sustainable energy. The cut would amount to 13% of its budget. Another victim is the basic research portfolio of the European Research Council (ERC), which would lose €221 million, mostly in 2016 and 2017.
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