On April 29, 2016, in Brussels, the Minister of Education and Science of Georgia – Ms. Tamar Sanikidze and Research and Innovation Commissioner Mr. Carlos Moedas signed the Association Agreement for the EU research and innovation program – “Horizon 2020”. The signing of this documents started a brand new stage in Georgia of historical significance for the new European integration. Horizon 2020 is the EU's research and innovation program, comprising 80 billion euros budget. The mentioned budget will be used for scientific research and discoveries, inventions and innovations during the period of seven years (2014-2020).
Furthermore, the program's main mission is to promote the development of science, research and innovation, it is the best way to overcome the social and economic challenges. The main priority for Horizon 2020 program, is to promote the economic growth in conjunction with creating jobs and employment opportunities for the participant countries. Additionally, European political leaders agree that the support for scientific research and innovation is a long-term investment for the European future, thus Horizon 2020 has an immense political support. The program itself is in full compliance with the strategic priorities of the Georgian government, which is to commit highly to the building of the education-based economy and to develop the human capital, which creates the backbone of country’s driving force.
By joining the program Horizon 2020, Georgia reaffirms its full commitment to the European ideology, and that the development of science, innovation and technology is the foundation of the country’s well-being. The Association Agreement Horizon 2020 for Georgia was signed by the scientists, researchers and innovators, as well as legal entities based in Georgia such as: universities, research institutions, non-governmental organizations, small and medium enterprises, business companies, foundations, government agencies, etc.) and are under the same conditions (rules & regulations) as the EU member states.
The Georgian participants of Horizon 2020 program will have the right to oversee and coordinate joint projects within the project scope. Moreover, if Georgia is successful in the Horizon competition, the local researchers will be able to attract hundreds of thousands of Euros, in order to to carry out various scientific and technological research and to fulfil long-awaited innovative ideas.