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Research and development

Research and development (R  &  D) and innovation are central to the EU’s Europe 2020 strategy to make the EU into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. One of the strategy’s targets is for 3  % of the EU’s GDP to be invested in R  &  D by 2020.

In 2014, the EU launched the Horizon 2020 programme, its latest 7-year research and innovation programme with a budget of almost €80  billion. This, along with private sector money and national research budgets, should help strengthen the EU scientific and technological base and foster benefits for society, as well as better exploitation of the economic and industrial potential of policies of innovation, research and technological development.

For the purposes of the Horizon 2020 programme, ‘research and innovation activities’ refers to activities of research, technological development, demonstration and innovation, including the promotion of cooperation with non-EU countries and international organisations, the dissemination and optimisation of results and the stimulation of high-quality training and mobility of researchers in the Union.

The EU’s R  &  D policy is based on Articles 179-189 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.