The EPP Group pushed hard for Horizon 2020's 70 billion-euro budget to accelerate R&D. That's 10 billion a year through 2020, the third-largest share of the overall EU spending plan. Horizon 2020 cuts red tape and boosts funding for promising research projects in such fields as information technology, nanotech, biotech and outer space. It also aims to encourage R&D in food security, energy and sustainable agriculture. Fast Track to Innovation and other programs encourage younger European researchers to return from abroad.
Another key program in the new EU spending plan is called COSME. It complements Horizon 2020 by helping small and medium-size enterprises take those new ideas from R&D and take them to market, faster. It will now dedicate more than 2 billion Euros from 2014 to 2020 to help entrepreneurs and SMEs across Europe to fund start-ups, expansions and acquisitions. 60% of the funding will go to financing. 20% will help promote SME access to markets, including through the Enterprise Europe Network.
Finally, one of the EU's most popular programs – Erasmus. It's helped many of today's leaders develop the pan-European skills they needed to become successful. Now an effort to expand it, called "Erasmus Plus." The new funding will tackle youth unemployment by improving skills and labour market mobility Between 2014 and 2020, the EU stands ready to commit 14.7 billion euros for Erasmus and other exchange programmes, which will be pooled under a new umbrella called Erasmus Plus. 5 million Europeans will benefit. It includes the Cornelius programme for school education, Leonardo da Vinci for vocational training, Grundtvig for adult learning, and Erasmus Mundus for international higher education.
Available material includes an edited package.