VTT’s President and CEO Antti Vasara is the only Finn to have been appointed to the expert group for the interim evaluation of Horizon Europe, the current EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
“It is an honour to be involved in shaping how Finland and Europe's strategic competitiveness and long-term success will be strengthened. Research and innovation play a key role in this, and they also support the R&D targets set by the Finnish Government,” states Antti Vasara.
The expert group is made up of 15 people selected from 359 applicants, representing a wide range of higher education institutions, research organisations and the business world. The members are appointed in a personal capacity and act independently and in the public interest, bringing an external perspective to the assessment.
The group's assessment will also significantly influence the preparation and priorities for the next Framework Programme 2028-2034. Horizon Europe is the world's largest international research and innovation funding programme and the EU's main research and innovation funding programme. The programme's budget for 2021–2027 is EUR 95.5 billion. The programme aims to combat climate change, help achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and boost EU competitiveness and growth.
“As global competition for R&D investment has intensified, it is important to have an in-depth debate on how to get the most out of R&D investment at EU level and how to increase investment. Research and innovation as well as technological know-how and its exploitation have become key elements of economic security,” notes Vasara.
“In Finland, we have seen how important it is to form a shared vision in the long term. Finland's competitiveness and prosperity are based on knowledge, research and innovation – and operating at the European level is extremely valuable for us,” Vasara continues.