Crowd-sourcing ideas for supporting ICT innovation and entrepreneurship in Horizon 2020

guest post by Viorel Peca and Eoghan O’Neill

Back in December 2013 the European Commission launched “Horizon 2020“, a 7 year research and innovation programme for EU, funded with €79 billion of EU tax payers funds (that is not a typo – we are talking billions, not millions). Put simply, this is one of the biggest public funded technology programmes. Ever.

So how are these eye-watering funds going to be distributed? What sort of activities will be funded? How can one apply? When does one apply? Can young entrepreneurs and fresh start-ups apply for funding?

Answers to those questions can be found in the “Work Programmes” of Horizon 2020. Each focus area (ICT, Health, Space, Transport, etc) of Horizon 2020 has a Work Programme that sets out two years of activities for that area. The first Work Programmes covering 2014-2015 are already available, each of them containing tons of information relating to those questions above (the ICT Work Programme is available here).

But we at the European Commission are already starting to work on developing the Work Programmes for 2016-2017. And we want your help!

We want to secure ideas from participants at the 1st European Youth Entrepreneurship Conference on how the next ICT work programme could be designed so that it promotes even more innovation, supports more young, ambitious entrepreneurs and high potential start-ups. 

Some themes around which we would like to get your input at the workshop are:

• What are some great challenges – technological or societal – that we could address using inducement prizes? (which is the model used by the “Ansari X prize“)

• What measures could we implement in H2020 to support the growth of European ICT Start-ups?

• What best practices from Europe or other countries (US, Japan, etc) should the EU support in Horizon 2020?

• What two or three technology areas could be most promising for European ICT start-ups to deliver major innovations?

If you have any thoughts on the above, be sure to come along to the “Co-Create” workshop on Saturday June 28th at 15:00pm!