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Derek Vaughan MEP has welcomed the official launch of the Horizon 2020 programme in Wales, which he says will provide more targeted support for Welsh SMEs.
The programme is worth around £70bn and will see a complete overhaul of the way EU research and innovation funding is distributed to universities and SMEs across Wales.
Mr Vaughan said: “Horizon 2020 promises to drastically cut red tape by simplifying rules and procedures to attract more top researchers and a broader range of innovative businesses.
“I’m particularly pleased that the programme has a dedicated focus on SMEs, which promises to support breakthrough innovations across all fields of science, technology and innovation.
“This is really good news for research and innovation in Wales, and should see more information provided by the Commission for applicants to reduce admin burden and encourage more participation.”
Mr Vaughan met with representatives from Welsh Universities last month to discuss the proposals and help them prepare for the new programme.
He said: “It’s important that our universities and SMEs are aware of the changes to funding priorities and the application process so that we can make best use of the support available.”
Mr Vaughan added: “Our meeting was also a good opportunity to talk about Wales’ performance under the current EU funding instrument (FP7), which has provided £100m in support to Welsh universities and businesses since 2007.
“My focus now is on how build on our successes and achieve even better results under the new programme.”
The first call for funding under the Horizon 2020 programme is expected in the new year.
The launch follows Mr Vaughan's efforts to secure more funding for Wales in 2014-2020 after initial proposals would have seen the Welsh budget cut by 22% which would have meant over £400m less for Wales.
As a result of his lobbying Wales stands to be £130m better off in the next funding period which means more EU money to support Welsh businesses, research and jobs.