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SPIE Leaders Urge Photonics Community to Assert Need for Full Horizon 2020 Funding
Date:1/28/2013

Cardiff, UK (PRWEB) January 28, 2013

Photonics researchers and industry representatives across the EU need to let their European Parliament representatives know that Horizon 2020 is important not only to the sector but to economic competitiveness and quality of life across Europe, say leaders of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

While EU member states are cutting national R&D budgets, net contributors to the overall EU budget are calling for a net reduction in the Multi-annual Financial Framework for 2014-2020.

At stake are funding and access to at least some portion of the €80 billion for research and innovation approved for the Horizon 2020 programme, and the resulting economic growth from that investment in R&D. Horizon 2020 funding represents only 8% of the total EC budget for the period.

“Don’t jeopardize the future and European competitiveness!” urged Dr. Eugene Arthurs, SPIE CEO and a member of the Board of Stakeholders of Photonics21. “In the current budget squabble, Horizon 2020 should be protected and not reduced as part of a general budget agreement or sacrificed to appease a factional interest. The innovation community is acutely aware that cutting Horizon2020 would signal that the EU leadership only talk the talk when it comes to innovation.”

The EU's leadership in funding plays a vital role in stimulating national R&D and, through partnering, encouraging industry R&D, Arthurs noted.

“The important goal of reaching a 3% GERD (gross domestic expenditure on R&D) by 2020 wi
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