Brussels Calling

medium_laurel3.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

The European Commission (EC) has sent out a call for ideas for its Horizon 2020 (H2020) work programme, which includes environmental improvement initiatives. H2020 has almost €80 billion of funding available until 2020 for research and innovations intended to keep Europe competitive on the global stage. The H2020 money isn’t only about environmental stuff, however sustainability is an important plank in the H2020 platform.

€80 billion is an awful lot of shoes. This is taxpayers’ money that is deployed to help Europe to grow and develop in a healthy and sustainable way, but according to the EC’s H2020 website “Horizon 2020 is open to everyone” so any organisation can submit ideas. But let’s face it, even though anyone can contribute to this programme, proposals from EU member states will obviously get priority. For other countries some sort of cooperative proposal with a European entity would be advisable.

The EC is inviting interested parties to get in touch if they would like to participate in the 2016 to 2017 work programme. The work programme currently underway for 2014 to 2015 focuses on boosting competitiveness, growth and jobs. For 2016 to 2017 the emphasis seems to be on strategic research and innovation which is unemphatically vague.

How this call for ideas could be of benefit to the graphic arts is up to the industry. There is an opportunity for printing and publishing industry associations to get funding for work in various areas. For instance they might want to encourage adoption of environmental standards, or process efficiency standards that reduce waste. They also have an opportunity perhaps to improve provisions related to improving recycling such as deinking or raw material acquisition. Perhaps they want to train printers and publishers to produce media more efficiently for reduced environmental impact. Or how about setting up cooperative exchange programmes to send people to learn about media supply chains in different markets? If any of this sounds tempting, contact the World Print and Communication Forum, ( which represents international and regional print associations to see if they can help.

Ideas exchanges based on experience can have a very positive effect on long term trade prospects, and encourage potential entrepreneurs to think differently. With H2020 there really is no limit on what might be proposed, as long as it is in line with the H2020 goals of driving economic growth and employment. Designers, illustrators, writers, publishers and printers get your thinking caps on! You can find out more here: If you already have an idea you want to submit, contact You have until the 16th June 2014.

– Laurel Brunner

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