The University of Helsinki will have a say in the Horizon Europe research programme of the European Union

In November, the University of Helsinki is organising two invitational events in Brussels to directly influence decision-making in the European Union. These sessions are part of a broader series of events in which Finnish universities and their representatives present their visions for the future and proposals for Horizon Europe, the research and innovation funding programme of the EU.

“Our goal is to discuss with EU decision-makers our vision for the next Horizon Europe research funding programme. The University of Helsinki and other Finnish universities can offer solutions to global challenges based on top-level research, and their utilisation could play a significant role when developing Europe,” says Rector Jari Niemelä.

The event series is based on a joint position paper by universities and Universities Finland UNIFI.

Climate, Food and Natural Resources on 19 November

On 19 November, the University of Helsinki will hold an event named Climate, Food and Natural Resources at the European Parliament. On behalf of the University, the event will be opened by Paula Eerola, the vice-rector in charge of research, while Professor Tuukka Petäjä will give an address titled “Environmental Grand Challenges and Comprehensive Monitoring of Interactions Between the Planet’s Surface and Atmosphere”.

“Stopping climate change, ensuring food security for the growing global population, using natural resources sustainably and preserving biodiversity are increasingly challenging problems that require research and international collaboration. Our goal is nothing less than steering Earth’s future development into a more favourable direction,” notes Vice-Rector Eerola.

In the Climate, Food and Natural Resources session, the focuses will be on research and solutions related to climate change, sustainable energy sources and food chains, bio-based innovations and the ability of society to adapt to climate change. The priority given to these issues on the EU level is evidenced, among other things, by the fact that no less than 35% of the nearly €100 billion overall budget of the Horizon Europe programme has been provisionally allocated to the prevention of climate change, whereas the food and natural resources cluster will be allocated some €10 billion from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy appropriations. These contributions are aimed at supporting the reform of European agricultural policies through strengthening research and innovation activities in the field.

Increasing Healthy Life Years on 22 November

Together with the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Helsinki will also organise the Increasing Healthy Life Years event on 22 November at the Permanent Representation of Finland to the European Union.

The event, related to research on health and wellbeing, will focus on the potential of research carried out at Finnish universities to solve Europe-wide challenges in the development of healthcare. Themes related to healthy life years, brain research, as well as the production of health information and management of health data will be highlighted in the discussion. The University of Helsinki will be represented at the event by the host, Rector Jari Niemelä, and Mark Daly, director of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM, with his address ”Finnish Medical and Population Data: Powering Predictive Medicine and Disease Prevention”.

The objectives, structure and operational goals of the Horizon Europe framework programme, as well as the main features of activities to be funded in the programme, are currently being discussed by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. Soon, the European Commission will begin its strategic planning for the programme, during which the content and strategic objectives of Horizon Europe will be specified further. In other words, now is the best time for lobbying in Brussels. The events organised by the University of Helsinki are among a number of ways in which the University uses its influence to articulate in Brussels its goals for the EU’s new research and innovation framework programme.

Further information:

Moonshots of the 2020s – How to make the most of the missions of Horizon Europe?

Increasing Healthy Life Years on 22 November

Climate, Food and Natural Resources on 19 November

UNIFI release: The preparations for Horizon Europe proceed, Finnish universities organise a series of high-level seminars to share their vision on the missions – “We must unite our forces in turning science and technology for the benefit of people and society”.