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Europe Looks Beyond Horizon 2020
The European Commission has opened debate on its ninth research framework program, provisionally called FP9, to replace the €80 billion ($86 billion) Horizon 2020 initiative once its seven-year run is complete. A centerpiece of the negotiations is the launch of a new fleet of flagship projects to continue the Big Science exploration the bloc embarked on decades ago. The new projects, like the Human Brain, Graphene, and Quantum projects launched under Horizon 2020, are intended to be game changing and visionary. They should have the potential to deliver, as the Commission says, “transformational economic or social impact,” and they should bring together research teams across various disciplines. Given the scale of these projects, early indicators of likely candidates can suggest where Europe’s—and much of the world’s—research attention will be focused in the coming decade.

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Volume 60, Issue 4, July-August 2017