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And We're Calling It: Horizon 2020

21 June 2011 8:05 pm
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Its size and scope are still under discussion, but at least the next 7-year installment of Europe's massive research and innovation program now has a name. Today, the European Commission announced that the successor to Framework Programme 7 (FP7), slated to start in 2014, will be called Horizon 2020.

The change was directed by Research and Innovation Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, who expressed her dislike for the current uninspiring name literally from day one. "If you talk to an ordinary member of the public about FP6 or FP7, they're wondering, 'What the hell is this?' " she said at a press conference on her first day in office last year. In March, she launched a naming contest, and on 10 June, three names were short-listed and put up for a vote. With 37% of the 8318 votes cast, Horizon 2020 beat out Imagine 2020 and Discover 2020.

The name signifies a fresh start, Geoghegan-Quinn said in a statement today—but Eurowonks attached to "Framework" needn't despair. To stress "a certain continuity," the program's official name will be "Horizon 2020—the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation."