The European Brain Council (EBC) recently provided feedback to the European Commission on the Horizon Europe proposals that were published in June 2018. EBC’s response can be accessed here.

A robust and impact-focused next Framework programme is a key requisite for reducing the societal burden of brain disorders, which affect more than 1 out of 3 European citizens. As such, EBC underlined that the proposed budget of €94.1 billion allocated to Horizon Europe should be increased to at least €120 billion. Raising the budget would be fully aligned with the recent draft ITRE report on the proposal for a regulation establishing Horizon Europe as well as the statement “Counting Down to Zero” that is supported by close to 30 healthcare stakeholders across disciplines.

In the current proposal, €7.7 billion is allocated to fund the “Health cluster” under Pillar II. EBC believes that this amount is insufficient to effectively address the societal challenges related to health research. Therefore, EBC recommended to redistribute the proposed budget of Horizon Europe in order to make more funding available for health research.

Furthermore, it is crucial that the next Framework Programme includes specific objectives aimed at accelerating brain research and providing tangible solutions to patients living with mental or neurological conditions. In the light of this, EBC highlighted the importance of adopting a mission related to the brain and including “Brain research” and “Developing novel treatments for improving the lives of patients living with mental or neurological conditions” as key priorities under the area of intervention “Non-Communicable and Rare Diseases”.