Space research in Horizon 2020: which advantages for Italy?

Pubblicato su Science on the Net

Horizon 2020 identified space research as one of Europe’s key industrial technologies. The Commission highlighted its potential for EU innovation and competitiveness, but what are the consequences and advantages for our country? We had the pleasure to speak with Augusto Cramarossa, Head of National and International relations Unit of the Italian Space Agency (ASI).

How does ASI view the recent Draft Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2014-2015 in the area of Space? Is there any aspect that, in your opinion, could be improved?

The meeting held in Rome on November 27 was an informative and not a decisional one. The calls for 2014-2015 were published last December 11. Whilst everything has been already set for 2014, reviews of the calls for 2015 will be still possible until July 2014. Italy and France decided to abstain in regards to the 2014 Programme. In fact, we reserve our judgment on the included activities. We positively worked with the Commission and the other delegations, but, in our opinion, there was still place for improvements. In particular, we criticized the fact that the calls were defined without a clear idea of the general objectives.

In addition, we consider the overall fund distribution for Horizon 2020 (1,7 billion euros) inadequate, since it does not reflect the priority that, in our opinion, projects such as Galileo and Copernicus should be given to. We believe that research and development-funds allocated for these projects are too low. Another problem, then, regards call issue. The Commission proposes to follow a scheme 2+2+2+1 (years). Considering the maturity of the various activities, Italy on the other hand has proposed to invert the scheme, i.e. 1+2+2+2, in order to improve contents and general objectives. This is another reason that led us to abstention.

(Continua su Science on the Net)

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