The assessment phase of the first half of Horizon 2020 is being concluded with the release of the European Commission’s interim evaluation and the European Parliament’s committee report on the implementation of the programme. Both policy making bodies insist that Horizon 2020 remains largely underfunded and therefore is not able to meet the rising tide of excellent proposals submitted by the scientific community. These statements not only echo EUA’s concerns on the lack of efficiency of the programme, but also take into consideration EUA’s estimates of ‘hidden’ costs in submitting proposals. This is a step in the right direction, as there is growing recognition of the financial waste at all levels (European, national and institutional) and missed scientific opportunities to address the crucial challenges being faced by the EU. More...