The European Union is a centre of high-tech production in various economical fields. From engineering to pharmaceuticals, from car and aircraft manufacturing to renewable energy: EU companies are among the leading enterprises that produce valuable and up to date products for the world’s markets. From large business enterprises such Airbus Industries to small, but innovative software developers – the EU provides a wide range of products that need to be steadily adapted to the world’s rapidly progressing technical development.
Why should the EU fund High-Tech Projects?
It is often said that the EU maintains a large bureaucratic apparatus, which is not only costly but also fails to produce the desired outcomes for the member states of the union. However, many of the institutions created by the EU do not only provide security for different population groups such as farmers, they also help entrepreneurs to keep up their high standards by funding research in various scientific fields, most importantly high-tech projects. Innovative projects need a significant financial input, and there are inventors and other creative people who have good ideas but lack funding. Accordingly, the EU’s Horizon 2020 Program aims at supporting projects that engage in developing new and developing technologies. In the face of growing competition by Asian nations such as India and China, which have made rapid progress in developing and producing innovative high-tech products, the EU program is necessary in order to keep Europe on track towards progress and innovation.
Who profits from EU High-Tech Funding?
The EU Commission is interested in funding different kinds of high-tech projects, which may either fall into the category of “radically new future technologies” or interdisciplinary research on emerging topics, which are promising but still in the early process of development. In addition, there are funds that are being provided for topics that are critical for the future of mankind, for example understanding the human brain. In order to get EU funding for high-tech projects, it is required to respond to specific calls published by the EU Commission. In most cases it is advantageous to apply not as a single individual, but as a group of experts who are following the same research interest. The fields of expertise that can receive funding are manifold: they include topics such as gender-specific medicine, the development of agricultural methods that will enable mankind to produce food in unsuitable environments like the space and the Antarctic’s, research about nanoparticles and many other fields of human scientific interest. The EU also provides starting grants for young ambitious scientists who want to become independent in their research of innovative technologies. However, the EU procedures are not always easy to follow and there are researchers who prefer to get funding for their projects from various foundations. One example is the High-Tech Gründerfonds in Germany, which gives support to pioneering entrepreneurs in many fields of innovation, for instance robotics, chemical processes or software development.