On October 27, 2017, in Brussels, the European Commission announced how it would spend 30 billion euros of funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research program between 2018 and 2020.
In total, Horizon 2020 has 77 billion euros at its disposal to support European scientific advancement, and the commission plans to use 2.7 billion of that to establish a European Innovation Council. Carlos Moedas from the Commission for Research, Science and Innovation expressed an interest in blockchain technology among other significant breakthroughs:
"Artificial Intelligence, genetics, blockchain: science is at the core of today's most promising breakthrough innovations. Europe is a world leader in science and technology and will play a major role in driving innovation."
Blockchain technology has become a major focus for commercial, industrial, and public sector interests. Given that sentiment, it is reasonable to expect that projects supported by the commission are likely to encompass work in the blockchain space. The commission will focus on migration, security, climate, clean energy, and digital economy, while Horizon 2020 cultivates market growth by accelerating innovative enterprises.
Moedas affirmed, "The Commission is making a concerted effort – including with the European Innovation Council which takes its first steps today – to give Europe's many innovators a springboard to become world leading companies."
The commission provided a breakdown of how it will apply the most recent iteration of funding:
- "A low-carbon, climate resilient future: €3.3 billion
- Circular Economy: €1 billion
- Digitising and transforming European industry and services: €1.7 billion
- Security Union: €1 billion
- Migration: €200 million"
The commission will also fund 30 flagship initiatives with 1 billion euros, and 460 million euros will be allocated to Member States and associated countries in which it sees an opportunity to bolster participation in the program. Furthermore, the commission will grant 2 billion euros to the promotion of "Open Science" with 600 million euros allotted to the European Open Science Cloud, European Data Infrastructure, and High-Performance Computing.
Horizon 2020 has the distinction of contributing to groundbreaking scientific discoveries including the historic first measurement of gravitational waves and the identification of exoplanets.