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Mission Boards present proposals for the EU Commission

Top experts hand over their proposals for EU missions to the Commission for a greener, healthier and more resilient Europe

At the European Research and Innovation Days on September 22, 2020, high-level independent experts (including Daniela Jacob as an expert on the Mission Board “Adaptation to Climate Change including Societal Change” – see background below) presented their proposals to the European Commission for possible EU missions on some of our most pressing societal challenges. 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.

EU Commission Mission Board Paper

The five mission proposals submitted by the Mission Boards, the independent experts advising the Commission, are:

  • Conquering Cancer: Mission Possible Targets by 2030: more than 3 million lives saved, living longer and better: achieve a thorough understanding of cancer, prevent what is preventable, optimise diagnosis and treatment, support the quality of life of all people exposed to cancer, and ensure equitable access to the above across Europe.
  • A Climate Resilient Europe - Prepare Europe for climate disruptions and accelerate the transformation to a climate resilient and just Europe by 2030 Targets by 2030: prepare Europe to deal with climate disruptions, accelerate the transition to a healthy and prosperous future within safe planetary boundaries, and scale up solutions for resilience that will trigger transformations in society.
  • Mission Starfish 2030: Restore our Ocean and Waters Targets by 2030: filling the knowledge and emotional gap, regenerating marine and freshwater ecosystems, zero pollution, decarbonising the blue economy, and revamping governance. These mutually supportive objectives will enable the regeneration of the water cycle as a whole.
  • 100 Climate-Neutral Cities by 2030 - by and for the citizens Targets by 2030: support, promote and showcase 100 European cities in their systemic transformation to climate neutrality by 2030 and turn these cities into innovation hubs for all cities, benefitting quality of life and sustainability in Europe.
  • Caring for Soil is Caring for Life Targets by 2030: at least 75% of soils in the EU are healthy for food, people, nature and climate. The proposed mission combines research and innovation, education and training, investments and the demonstration of good practices using “Living labs” (experiments and innovation in a laboratory on the ground) and “Lighthouses” (places to showcase good practices).


In August 2019 Daniela Jacob was elected to the European Commission's "Mission Board" „Adaptation to Climate Change including Societal Transformation”.The Mission Boards, set up by Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas, are high-level advisory bodies for five mission areas for planning the future EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe, and each consist of 15 experts from research, politics and society. More than 2100 people have applied for membership of the Boards in a Europe-wide process.

Daniela Jacob: "It is a very great honour for me to be a member of the Panel. At the same time, I am aware that there is a great deal of responsibility involved. For in the missions we deal with major challenges facing the people of Europe".

In the past few months, the panels have defined specific missions under the context of five areas of combating cancer, climate change, healthy oceans, climate-neutral cities and healthy soil and food. The aim is to propose specific research content to the European Commission, including concrete objectives and timetables for missions that will implement the five priorities mentioned above, which are currently only formulated in general terms, in Horizon Europe from 2021 with measurable results.