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Europe abandons plans for ‘flagship’ billion-euro research projects

Three existing flagships will continue under plans developed through Horizon 2020, the European Union’s science funding framework: projects on graphene, the human brain, and quantum technology.

Details for Horizon 2020’s successor, Horizon Europe, are still being hashed out, but last month, the commission and the European Parliament agreed to a program structure, and it does not include the two or three new flagships the commission had previously intended to pick in 2020. “There was a strong sense by the community overall that we had too many different funding instruments and funding approaches,” says Kurt Vandenberghe, director for research policy at the commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation in Brussels.