As reported by Science Business [25 June 2020] the European Commission has revealed initial details on the scope of five planned research missions that will launch as part of the next big EU R&D programme Horizon Europe.
Partly inspired by the Apollo 11 mission to put a man on the moon, the European research and innovation missions aim to deliver solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing our world. They are an integral part of the Horizon Europe framework programme beginning in 2021.
Experts making up the mission boards have presented an array of preliminary research avenues and deadlines that they say would allow Europe to make headway on the giant challenges of climate change, cancer, adapting cities to global warming, protecting oceans and soil health.
The five possible missions proposed by the Mission Boards, the independent experts advising the European Commission, are:
Conquering Cancer: Mission Possible - By 2030, more than 3 million more lives saved, living longer and better: achieve a thorough understanding of cancer, improve prevention, improve diagnosis and treatment, support the quality of life of all people exposed to cancer, and ensure equitable access to the above across Europe.
Accelerating The Transition To A Climate Prepared And Resilient Europe – By 2030, prepare Europe to deal with climate disruptions; accelerate the transition to a healthy and prosperous future within safe planetary boundaries; and scale up solutions for resilience triggering societal transformations.
Regenerating our Ocean and Waters - by 2030: cleaning marine and fresh waters, restoring degraded ecosystems and habitats, decarbonising the blue economy in order to sustainably harness the essential goods and services they provide.
100 Climate-Neutral Cities by 2030 - by and for the citizens. Support, promote and showcase 100 European cities in their systemic transformation towards climate neutrality by 2030 and turn these cities into experimentation and innovation hubs.
Caring for Soil is Caring for Life – By 2030, at least 75% of all soils in the EU are healthy and are able to provide essential services that we depend on, for healthy food, people, nature and climate.
The mission boards – advisory teams comprising 15 experts and a chair – will hand over their final recommendations to the commission in September, with missions due to launch in 2021.