Reactions on the EU Mission concept

Reactions on the EU Mission concept

By Ingemar Pongratz


The European Commission has launched the EU Mission. The EU Missions aim to provide solutions to major societal challenges that face the European Union. The EU Missions are part of the Horizon Europe Research and Innovation scheme and aims to provide research-based solutions. The current schemes include the following Missions:

  • Adaptation to Climate Change
  • Cancer Mission
  • Restore Oceans and Waters
  • Climate Neutral Cities
  • A Soil Deal for Europe.

Indeed, the topics represent major challenges for the European Union and the world as a whole. However, the concept is new and there are many stakeholders that express concerns.  Reactions on the EU Mission concept start to appear and there are concerns.

Research stakeholders such as the League for Research Universities and The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities has voiced concern that the Mission do not attract researchers. In addition, these stakeholders are concern that few research project are funded through the EU Missions.

Furthermore, experts are concerned that the EU Missions lead to duplication of efforts and express concern that already scarce funding resources are used to fund administration (Science-Business Jan 2023).

Indeed, the overarching concept during the planning process of Horizon Europe was that there would a focus on consolidation. Horizon Europe would not introduce new concepts, rather focus would be on consolidation of previous schemes.

The EU Missions are still very new, and they are still finding their place in the EU. However, there are concerns. Missions should include actors from different sectors such as industry, local, regional and national authorities, researchers, citizens groups etc. Many of these stakeholders have little experience in Horizon Europe or even research. Their interest to join the EU Missions is low which creates problems for implementation.

Indeed, the EU Missions struggle to involve non-research actors and at the same time fail to attract researchers. There is thus considerable concern that innovation opportunities are not exploited, and possibilities are not taken up by innovation ecosystems across Europe.

It is therefore important that the EU missions find their natural place in the EU policy. All in all, the idea is in my opinion very good. Europe cannot afford to produce research that is not taken up by societal actors, such as innovation ecosystems. Research needs to provide societal benefits and for this to occur research results need to be exploited. Hopefully, the problems will be solved soon, and the EU Missions will support knowledge transfer from research to society.

Ingemar Pongratz is founder of Fenix Scientific AB / Pongratz Consulting. Through Pongratz Consulting, we support organizations and universities to apply for European funding. In addition, Ingemar Pongratz has founded Letavis AB. Letavis AB is a biotech company that develops new safe and efficient solution for the agricultural sector.

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