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Research and innovation
News article28 September 2020Directorate-General for Research and Innovation

European Research and Innovation Days 2020 bring together over 35 000 participants online

The European Commission has brought together thousands of policymakers, researchers, innovators, businesspeople and citizens in a unique digital event on the future of research and innovation.

Consisting of a Policy conference and the Science is Wonderful! exhibition, European Research and Innovation Days 2020 ran over three days and finished on 24 September. The policy conference brought together over 35 000 registered participants from 188 countries in 146 sessions, and the exhibition saw over 6000 visits, including from schools, universities and citizens.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:

With over 35 000 participants, 146 sessions and 576 speakers, the European Research and Innovation Days brought together the entire innovation system and citizens online to shape the future of research and innovation. We need all Europeans working together to co-create the solutions for the future of Europe.

On the first day of the event, top experts handed over their proposals for EU missions to the Commission for a greener, healthier and more resilient Europe. By 2030, the proposed missions aim to find solutions for saving more lives from cancer, making Europe climate resilient, restoring our ocean and waters, achieving 100 climate-neutral cities, and ensuring 75% of soils are healthy. Europeans’ concerns, ideas and hopes helped formulate the proposals to ensure the missions’ relevance and ability to make a real difference.

During the second and third day of the event, the Commission also awarded four prestigious European prizes to recognise game-changing ideas:

All these prices recognise outstanding achievement and improvements to people’s lives. They represent a unique way to boost innovation by unleashing untapped resources, creating the buzz that delivers solutions to global challenges, and identifying role models that can inspire others.

On the last day of the Research and Innovation Days, a Letter of Intent was signed setting out a common objective between the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s first Knowledge and Innovation Communities - KICs (EIT Climate-KIC, EIT Digital and EIT InnoEnergy) (EIT), to maximise EU support for game-changing innovators and entrepreneurs across Europe.

The Letter of Intent sets common principles, including commitment to the innovators, agility, reactivity, speed and streamlining of innovation policy, resources and efforts, enhancing synergies and efficiencies across the two programmes.

The recordings of all sessions will be available on the event platform.


European Research and Innovation Days is the European Commission’s annual flagship Research and Innovation event. This year, it was a fully virtual event, with the Policy conference and the Science is Wonderful! Exhibition both taking place online.

The policy conference forms the core of the European Research and Innovation Days and was divided into plenary sessions, hub sessions and workshops covering 10 themes.

More information

Research & Innovation Days website

Science is Wonderful! exhibition

Horizon magazine – media partner


Publication date
28 September 2020
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation