THE AE-BARCELONA KNOWLEDGE HUB SUPPORTS THE BARCELONA CITY COUNCIL IN ITS #CITIES4SCIENCE INITIATIVE, CALLING FOR INCREASED EU FUNDING FOR RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

The Barcelona Knowledge Hub of Academia Europaea (AE-BKH) expresses its full support for the #Cities4Science initiative led by the Barcelona City Council on social media, and it encourages leaders across Europe to join their voices and push for greater support of science.

On June 17, 2020, Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona, along with the mayors of Madrid, Berlin, Milan, Munich and Stockholm, sent an open letter urgently calling for increased funding for research and innovation, to the presidents of the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament and various parliamentary groups, the Commissioner’s Office for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, and EU representatives from member states, respectively.

As the letter states, the importance of science and knowledge “has become even more self-evident during the COVID-19 crisis”, while European cities, “as this pandemic has shown, combine incomparable challenges and opportunities in seeking solutions”. The EU needs to increase its science budget. COVID-19 has shown that science and research are essential to face today’s challenges, but urgently require more resources. The #Cities4Science campaign was launched accordingly, to call on the EU to increase its science budget.

The specific demands made are:

  • To increase the budget for the European research and innovation programme for the 2021-2027 period, known as Horizon Europe. The cities are calling for the programme to get at least 120,000 million euros.
  • To continue the Horizon 2020 framework programme for funding research (due to end in this December) and the new Horizon Europe programme starting in 2021, ensuring that current lines of research are not affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
  • To reaffirm and step up the European investment commitment to the Marie Sklodowska-Curie programmes for grants prioritising support for women, young people and vulnerable groups, and the Erasmus+ programme for doctoral students.

For its part, the Barcelona City Council continues its efforts to invest in public policies in the realm of science and knowledge, and has recently renewed the Barcelona Science Plan, originally launched in 2018, for the period encompassing 2020-2023. The plan lays out 15 specific objectives and 51 actions to be taken over the course of this period, with the Barcelona Hypatia European Science Prize, organised in collaboration with the AE-BKH, representing one of those actions. The AE-BKH looks forward to working with the Barcelona City Council on additional actions within the framework of the plan.

For more information:

#Cities4Science https://www.barcelona.cat/infobarcelona/en/cities-call-on-the-eu-to-invest-more-in-science_961738.html

Barcelona Science Plan 2020-2023 http://barcelona.acadeuro.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/PBC-2020-2023_ENG.pdf

Barcelona Hypatia European Science Prize http://barcelona.acadeuro.org/hypatia-prize/