The European Commission has announced the winners of the first Horizon Impact Award, a prize dedicated to EU-funded projects that have created societal impact across Europe and beyond. The winning projects have come up with a new drug for a rare disease, helped prevent child abuse, increased security of browsing the web and protected coastal areas against the effects of climate change.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said:
These projects show how research and innovation directly benefits citizens. Their ideas and products have changed people’s daily lives for the better. We have designed Horizon Europe, our new research and innovation programme, so that it brings about more valuable benefits and even greater impact.
Jean-Eric Paquet, Director-General for Research and Innovation of the Commission, announced the winners at the European Research and Innovation Days in Brussels. An independent jury selected the winning projects from 10 finalists. Each of the winners will receive €10 000:
-CRYSP-TLS (France) provided the web users with an improved TLS protocol that ensures digital security. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and other major web-browsers currently deploy the TLS 1.3 so citizens can check emails, make online purchases or even pay taxes using a more reliable web browser that ensures secure connection. Read more .
-SAFE (UK) developed a free child abuse prevention program that has already been translated into 18 languages and reached over 600.000 families in 22 countries. The training program has been taken up in countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. Read more.
-SMART-COASTS (Italy) established a systematic approach in assessing and managing European coasts that have become growing erosion and flood risks, as well as in delivering safer coastal habitats. The best practices have been successfully deployed in numerous European countries and taken up by key policy actors in the field. Read more.
This Horizon Impact Award, launched in March this year, aims to illustrate the wider socio-economic benefits of EU investment in research and innovation and to encourage project beneficiaries on how best to manage and utilise research results. The prize acknowledges and rewards the most influential and impactful project results under Horizon 2020, the current EU research and innovation programme (2013-20), and its predecessor, the 7th Framework programme (FP7, 2007-13).
The European Research and Innovation Days provide an opportunity for decision-makers, industry, finance, academia and businesses to debate and shape the future EU research and innovation landscape and to discuss the strategic priorities of Horizon Europe, the next EU research and innovation programme (2021-27).