It’s good to see we don’t need to rely solely on Welsh Government Ministers for economic answers, as the Business and Enterprise Committee is looking into possible Assembly legislation for EU Research monies for Welsh Universities.
The press release states ‘A National Assembly for Wales committee inquiry is set to examine legislative proposals for a new European Union research and innovation funding programme, called ‘Horizon 2020’.
The Horizon 2020 programme has three strategic objectives – excellent science, industrial leadership and societal challenges – and funding will be allocated primarily through a centrally managed competitive bidding process in Brussels, open to organisations in Wales and across the EU (and in some cases beyond).
A total budget of £60 billion has been earmarked, although this may change during the negotiations that will take place in Brussels over the next 12-18 months to determine the actual amount of money available and the criteria to access funds.
The Committee will also look at the potential for establishing synergies with the future EU Structural Funds programmes in Wales, to help strengthen Welsh performance in the future Horizon 2020 programme.
“The Welsh Government has made it clear that it sees research and innovation as a key part of Wales’s economic future,” said Nick Ramsay AM, Chair of the Enterprise and Business Committee.
“This is potentially a large financial budget of European funding for which Wales is eligible to make bids, and it’s important we get a substantial share of it.
“Previous Assembly committee inquiries have highlighted how we have underperformed in acquiring funding in these areas and how closer relationships between universities, research organisations and technology companies should be developed.
“We believe Wales cannot afford to let opportunities like this slip by and this inquiry will establish recommendations to ensure that does not happen.”
Anyone wishing to submit evidence to the inquiry can either email email@example.com, or write to: Clerk to the Enterprise and Business Committee, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA.
The closing date for written submissions of evidence is 23 April 2012.'