On 16 May 2018, Dr. Ehler, MEP - EPP Group, hosted a working lunch at the European Parliament with a focus on the road to Horizon Europe after H2020.
The event gathered representatives from the European Commission, represented by Mrs. Lucilla Sioli, European Commission DG CNECT, Jan van den Biesen, representing the three Industry Associations (ARTEMIS-IA, AENEAS and EPoSS) and Ben Ruck, Chair of the Public Authorities Board. The Industry was also represented by Jos Benschop from ASML (The Netherlands) and Ina Sebastian of Infineon (Austria). The ECSEL JU representation consisted of Dr. Sabine Herlitschka, Chair of the ECSEL JU Governing Board and Bert De Colvenaer, Executive Director of the Joint Undertaking.
Dr. Ehler opened the working lunch explaining that we face important financial gaps in R&I at national state level; this gap can be bridged by EU mission-oriented programmes. The ECSEL JU is a clear example of existing (and successful) mission-oriented research. Furthermore, he stressed that SMEs are substantial drivers of innovation in the EU.
Founded on the successes of ECSEL JU, the three Industry Associations are of the opinion that Horizon Europe, including ECSEL2, should continue to provide public funding to large firms, as these will play a pivotal role in creating and maintaining innovation ecosystems, public-private partnerships and global value chains, from which also many smaller firms, and Society more generally, will benefit.
ECS are everywhere and will have a tremendous impact in the future GDP of the EU. It is crucial to pass on this message to policymakers. It is a matter of our future, and how we want to shape it together, and is not just “another request for money”.
To conclude, Dr. Ehler emphasised the importance of using accessible language, to guide policymakers at all levels in understanding the crucial nature of ECS and showing how the related industries have a positive impact on Europe across different levels. We need to translate the stated ambitions of the sector into clear visualisation of the needs and concrete budget figures. A conversation with Member States on this needs to start now.