Summarised Work Programmes now available!

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

Well, as I promised last week when the Work Programmes were released, I have taken the pain out of reading these for you and created summary documents. These are bookmarked so you can jump straight to the section you are interested in, see the call aims and objectives and deadline and the type of project it is without trawling through the Work Programme.

You can then look up more specifics such as the assessment criteria in the Work Programme for those calls you are interested in.

Over 1, 000 pages have been compressed in to these documents which are in subject order and on our I drive. We are the only university to offer this service so hopefully you will find this a useful one.

The Work Programme Summaries can be found in the folder: I:\R&KEO\Public\RDU\Final Work Programme Summaries 2012


Joint Programming: Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life Strategic Research Agenda Published

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne
The Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) on A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life (HDHL) has published its Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) at a recent conference in The Hague. The JPI HDHL has also announced some pilot activities to be undertaken. This area will be really important in furture EC calls, so it would be useful for you to get a flavour of what the EU’s thinking is, so you can see if you are able to fit in anywhere with it.

The SRA is built around three main areas:

  • determinants of diet and physical activity;
  • diet and food production; and
  • diet-related chronic diseases.

The three pilot actions are as follows:

  • a project on determinants of diet and physical behaviour;
  • a roadmap initiative for biomarkers for nutritional/health claims; and 
  • a European nutrition phenotype data sharing initiative.

You can read more on the JPI website.

Erasmus Student Network (ESN) Survey 2012 “Exchange: Creating Ideas, Opportunities and Identity” now open for responses

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

The focus of this year’s edition is to investigate the employability of mobile and non-mobile students and show the beneficial effects of going abroad. The survey also explores the impact of student mobility on entrepreneurship and European citizenship, and gives insight into students´ satisfaction with ESN and other student organisations.

The survey will stay open until the 30th of September and takes no more than 15 minutes to fill in. All participants who complete it have the chance to win a two week intensive language course including 32 lessons in the exclusive Education First school in Manchester (with a total value of more than EUR 1,000).

Accommodation in a host family or residence and a meal plan are included as well as the flight and transfer are included.

AHRC European Proposal Support Fund

The European Proposal Support Fund (PSF) provides funding to enable researchers to network with potential partners and support the putting together of a proposal to the European Commission.

The fund is primarily aimed at encouraging UK arts and humanities researchers to engage with the European Commission Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) Work Programme, however we are open to considering other European Commission Funding sources. In these cases please contact the AHRC prior to submission and we will advise if you can apply (note: European Research Council (ERC) and Marie Curie Actions are not eligible).

Funding is for up to £10,000 for travel, subsistence, meeting costs etc to enable the researchers involved in the proposal to meet and put together their commission application. Investigator time, overheads etc cannot be included. Applicants must be Arts and Humanities Researchers based in the UK who would ordinarily be eligible for AHRC funding. The application form is very short and needs to be emailed to by the closing date. Deadline: 21st August 2012


New Submission System for 2013 FP7 Calls

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

Just as a reminder to any of you who have submitted previously to the EC, but a new system is being introduced for the 2013 calls. The new system is going to replace the Electronic Proposal Submission System (EPSS). Currently, all open calls under the 2013 Work Programmes apart from the European Research Council (ERC) calls require submission of proposals via the new system. Don’t worry if you are going for this year’s Marie Curie’s however as calls still open under the 2012 Marie Curie Work Programme will use the old EPSS system.

The new system is integrated into the Participant Portal; so you need to make sure you have a European Commission Authenticated Service (ECAS) account (and make sure you do this in plenty of time). There is a user guide for the system on the EC website.
In short, to start a proposal submission, go via the link provided on the specific Call page in the Participant Portal. In the section Electronic Proposal Submission, the call topic is selected from a drop-down menu. Applicants will have to input their ECAS account information in a separate window before they can continue with their application. Once logged into ECAS, applicants are automatically directed to the Participant Portal submission system screen, and then have to complete “Step 3″ (with Step 1 being the login and Step 2 the selection of the funding scheme).

In order to progress from Step 3, the Participant Identification Code (PIC) of the co-ordinating institution is absolutely needed. From here, proposal submission is quite similar to the previous EPSS system. It is important to note however, that a PIC code is now needed for every partner in the consortium in order to be able to add their data. There are also a number of technical requirements details of which you can find in the Commission guide.

Once the first registration is completed, you can go back into the system via the Participant Portal. As in EPSS, it is possible to resubmit drafts of proposals until the deadline. Our resident EU submission experts Paul Lynch and Alex Peirce in RKEO are on hand to give you further advice if you need it.

Erasmus for All update

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

An Erasmus for All event was held last week, hosted by the German Academic Exchange Service and brought together representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament for presentations and a round table discussion. There is a report on Erasmus for All being drafted and its creator gave the following key points as to what will be in it:

  • The name of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) should be retained as it covers the content of the programme much better and it is known widely in Europe. It is proposed that this and other sub-programme names such as Erasmus, Comenius and Leonardo should also be retained.
  • The three level structure of the Key Actions on mobility, co-operation and policy should be implemented but in addition there should be clearer visibility and fixed budgets for each sector.
  • Rather than the proposed 56% of the budget being allocated for this scheme, at least 90% of the budget should be pre-allocated in the proposal so that institutions can plan longer term how they want to use the programme.

The draft report will be finalised this week which will then be translated and presented in the Culture and Education Committee (CULT) on 19 September and should be voted on in CULT in November. The vote in plenary is currently scheduled for January 2013, but is subject to the Council’s proposal on the EU Budget for the next financing period 2014-2020.

It is also proposed that “Erasmus for All”  will have a new category of transnational partnership called Sector Skills Alliances (SSA) to promote cooperation between three categories of partners: the world of education and training (VET providers); sector-specific expertise (including social partners, sectoral federations, Chambers etc.); and bodies involved in education and training systems (public or private bodies or authorities).  Drawing on evidence of skills needs and trends, SSA will work to design and deliver joint curricula and methods which provide learners with the skills required by the labour market. The overall goal is systemic impact on training in the economic sectors concerned in order to increase their competitiveness. The current call for proposals provides and direct support for testing Sector Skills Alliances to draw lessons for future implementation.

I will keep you posted on further developments.

Current EU tenders open for applications

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

Europe’s Capacity to Tackle Demographic and Societal Change: The purpose of this call is to support a partnership of not-for-profit research bodies, public institutions and civil society organisations, to focus on collection and dissemination of key facts, figures, trends and policy analysis regarding demographic change across the EU. The ultimate aim of the partnership’s work will be to reach a wide non-specialist audience and to promote a well-informed public debate on its implications and appropriate policy responses among the general public in all Member States and at all levels of government. Deadline 11.09.12

A Profile of Current and Future Audiovisual Consumers: The study should aim at understanding the behaviour, preferences and orientations of audiences for films in general and, in particular, of young audiences. To that end, it should include in-depth interviews with, in particular, 10–15 and 15–25 year olds to learn more about their consumption patterns and their perception of current ways of marketing European films, series, etc.; i.e. could different or earlier marketing change their behaviour? The study should investigate the impact of different marketing tools including the use of social media. Furthermore it should analyse some of the existing film literacy initiatives and their impact on the future consumption patterns. The role of social networks for audiovisual consumption should be analysed. The study should be implemented by experts/consultants, who have in-depth experience with market research. Deadline 13.08.12

Economic Impact of Social Enterprises: The main objective of this call for proposals is to contribute to the availability of reliable statistics on social enterprises at national and European levels and to identify countries interested in collecting this information.  The aim is to provide policy makers and stakeholders with credible, comparable and systematic information and indicators on the role of social enterprises in national economies and to offer usable and practical information to support decision making. The Commission wishes to encourage national statistical offices in Member States to collect this information, so although other organisations dealing with the promotion of social enterprises (including universities and research organisations) are eligible applicants for the call, all proposals must involve national statistical offices. Deadline 07.09.12

Prevention of and Fight Against Crime Programme: Of most interest to BU under this scheme are action grants for transnational and national projects, for which there will be a budget of €78m in 2012. A series of targeted calls for proposals for action grants to support projects concerned with five specific policy areas were recently announced. Each has a deadline for submission of applications in August 2012  In the main, opportunities exist for HEIs to apply for support to undertake studies and analyses in specific areas and to establish networks of expertise. There are also limited opportunities to develop and deliver training courses for law enforcement professionals, prosecutors and judges and to identify and disseminate best practices in relevant fields.

LifeLong Learning Programme- Implementation of the European strategic objectives in Education and Training (ET2020): This call for proposals is for projects to fulfil the objectives for 2012-2014 in two separate parts:-  Part A: Support for raising awareness around and the national implementation of European cooperation in education and training. Part B: Support for the implementation of innovative learning environments using ICT (called ‘creative class-rooms’) in the development and implementation of transversal education and training policy issues linked to the priorities set out in Europe 2020 and ET 2020. Deadline 01.10.12

Pilot project Economy of cultural diversity: In the Communication ‘A Digital Agenda for Europe’ the Commission identified the need to push ahead with the creation, production and distribution of all platforms of digital content. To this end the European Parliament voted a budget line in the 2012 budget for a ‘Pilot project on the economy of cultural diversity’ which ‘would aim to create an open laboratory to test innovative approaches to deal with content for innovation and digital sharing and distribution. It would be therefore a way to explore new business models respecting diversity in the production and distribution chain’.  The aim of this pilot is to highlight and promote 10 to 15 ideas which make innovative use of ICT based technologies to finance, produce, make available, disseminate and/or extract value from cultural contents. Projects should facilitate access to culture (including cultural heritage) and cultural literacy via online devices and promote cultural diversity in the digital environment.

Preparatory Action Culture in external relations: The specific objective of this contract is to formulate recommendations for a strategy on culture in European external relations which will build on synergies with existing processes and will involve a high number of stakeholders in Europe and representatives of third countries, including cultural institutes and NGOs. Deadline 17.08.12

Regional Innovation Monitor 2013-2014 – RIM Plus: The EU’s Regional Innovation Monitor (RIM serves over 200 EU regions in 20 different countries. Under this call for tenders the Commission wishes to establish a service that will provide regional administrators with a reference framework for the development of more efficient innovation strategies. An inventory innovation strategies at regional level in Europe will be kept updated and made available to those actors involved in developing policy measures in support of innovation.  The service contract will provide users (regional authorities and stakeholders, Member States’ central administrations, the Committee of the Regions, various services of the Commission, experts, businesses and universities) with an overview of the state of development of regional policies and strategies on innovation and on the difficulties and successes of their implementation in the regions. Deadline 31.08.12

Business Innovation Observatory: The European Commission wishes to tender for a service contract to develop a Business Innovation Observatory. The Business Innovation Observatory is a three-year project with the aim to provide European policy makers with analysis and intelligence on latest novel business and industrial innovation trends, activities and models on a regular basis. The emphasis will be placed on the business micro-perspective and how it relates to the wider institutional, political, socio-economic, legal and policy contexts. The analysis will be complemented by the development of appropriate policy recommendations at European and national levels. The tool should be seen as complementary to quantitative analytical instruments, most notably the Commission’s European Innovation Scoreboards. Deadline 10.09.12


Have your say on the future of Intelligent Energy Europe!

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

The current Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme is coming to an end in 2013, and the European Commission is seeking your views to help shape the next IEE programme. IEE III will run from 2014 to 2020 under the Energy Challenge of the future EU programme for Research and Innovation ´Horizon 2020´. You can express your views by 5 September 2012 by completing a short online questionnaire.

Funding for International Cooperation in the Film Industry (UK)

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

The European Commission has announced that the call for proposals  for the year 2012 has been launched an EC Film Industry Call for projects taking place between the 1 February 2013 and 30 June 2014, in the fields of training, market access, distribution and circulation of audiovisual works. The European Union adopted a new MEDIA Mundus programme, a broad international cooperation programme for the audiovisual industry to strengthen cultural and commercial relations between Europe’s film industry and film-makers of third countries. The EU will provide €4,426 million of funding for projects submitted by audiovisual professionals from Europe and from third countries.  The closing date for applications is the 28 September 2012.

SDRC EUNF success

Posted in EU by Zulfiqar Khan

Sustainable Design Research Centre (Zulfiqar Khan and Mark Hadfield) reported the success of BU EUNF application for funding on March 19th 2012 through the BU Blog. The award played a significant role to achieve the objectives of the original plan as

  • To initiate links for the proposed programme
  • Gauge interests in the identified partners in terms of the proposed research programme
  • Identify more industrial links for collaborations
  • Identify relevant resources and expertise
  • Identify the most relevant EU funding stream
  • Define goals for the proposed research
  • Apply for the EU consortium fund as a next milestone
  • Develop an EU/relevant funding body bid

Monday 2nd July 2012 was scheduled for the BU-Tank Museum EU Conference here at BU. A successful conference was held with key representatives from the following organisations

  • BU
  • The Tank Museum, Bovington, UK
  • Oxford University, UK
  • Military Museum, Munster Panzer Museum, Germany
  • Finnish Tank Museum, Finland
  • Swedish Tank Museum, Sweden
  • Belgian Military Museum
  • Military Museum, Dresden, Germany

It was planned to apply for EU networking/consortium funds to take off the proposal development process. Various actions were identified and linked with the expertise/resources. Following from the discussions it was agreed to define a roadmap for the newly formed consortium in terms of sustainable methodology of conserving historic military vehicles in the museum environments across EU.

The following relevant EU funding strands were identified as potential for targeting.

  • ARTEMIS Call 2012 was investigated to see if it was useful in terms of the research.
  • Strategies and Projects for Research & Innovation, Scientific & Management Partnerships in research and innovation, Open calls for proposals of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development was investigated to identify relevant strand and specific call.
  • COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is one of the longest-running European frameworks supporting cooperation among scientists and researchers across Europe calls from this initiative were investigated.

COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) open call has been identified to be targeted for further research collaborative activities.

A proposal is currently being developed to submit an application to this call. A meeting with the Tank Museum Director Richard Smith, Professor Mark Hadfield and Dr Zulfiqar Khan has been scheduled on the 31st of July 2012 to start developing proposal for the above mentioned open call due by the end of September 2012.

This was a significant opportunity in terms of initiating new links across EU museums and key stakeholders. This also provided an influential platform for disseminating and promoting the existing research undertaken in collaboration with The Tank Museum. The newly formed collaborative links with the DSTL (MOD) has already yielded into a DEC-DSTL match funded PhD studentship which is a significant milestone Further links have already been followed to strengthen the newly developed group, which will be important in future funding applications and securing external income.


EU funding regulations made simples!

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

New year’s day 2013 is an important day for those of you undertaking EU research as this is when it officially becomes simpler to get your money off the commission. The new legislation to be introduced on January 1st will cut red tape, enabling increased transparency and higher accountability of all involved in dealing with EU finances. It moves the protection of EU financial interests to a higher level.

The complaints of organizations such as BU have at last been listened to and the new rules focus on simpler and faster access to funds while strengthening accountability in the manner in which taxpayers’ money is spent. New rules include the scrapping of the obligation to open separate bank accounts, shortening the time for payments to beneficiaries (30, 60 or 90 days depending on the complexity of the deliverables), more use of lump sums and flat rates for smaller amounts, no need to fill in the same details every time one applies for EU funds, on-line applications and other measures in order to focus more on results and less on paper work…

For any of you interested in learning more about the new rules and regulations, check out the EC Financial Regulation site.


Last day for submissions to the Marie Curie Internal Peer Review!

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

With the  Calls for Proposals   released and the deadline next month, this is your one and only chance to make use of our expert internal peer review of your Marie Curie submission.  I am thrilled that two of our excellent recipients of this funding – Rudy Gozlan and Rob Britton – have agreed to be the reviewers for our specialist RPRS internal peer review panel for the Marie Curie submissions to help you. Rudy and Rob will review yoru draft and give you feedback on any issues they can foresee given their experience and highlight any areas which should be addressed to maximise your chance of success before you submit in August.  You will receive your feedback on July 20th, which gives you plenty of time to tweak your proposal and get it submitted on time. There are no forms to fill in; just save a copy of your application as a PDF/ Word document and email over.

We are very lucky to have such fantastic expertise within our institution so please do take full advantage of it :)

FP7 Work Programmes Released!

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

It’s the moment we have been waiting for all year – the final FP7 Work Programmes ever are released today!

You should be well aware of what is coming up in these now, given the previous orientation papers and news I have kept you up to date with but it is useful to have the solid final documents here at last!

I will be working over the next week to summarise the hideous Work Programmes for you in to nice searchable and easy to use formats, which will enable you to see if there are any calls you are interested in without having to trawl through the documents. I will keep you posted as to when these are available. Links to the actual Work Programmes in the meantime are:

The future of Erasmus

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

BU had had a successful track record with Erasmus, Erasmus Mundus, Leonardo da Vinci and other Lifelong Learning programme initiatives so I am pleased to have an update on these in Horizon 2020. This year the Erasmus scheme is 25 years old it’s good to see that education and youth policies remain high on the EU agenda and features heavily in documents such as Europe 2020 and Education and Youth 2020 strategy.

In order to avoid duplication and increase simplification, for Horizon 2020 the lifelong learning programmes, Erasmus, Grundtvig, Leonardo and Cornelius, Youth in Action and other smaller programmes will be compressed into 3 Erasmus for All initiatives with a whopping €19billion budget. The current 7 different co-financing rules will all be harmonised into one set of rules for all schemes within this programme. Also under the current programmes we need to have an Erasmus University Charter which will still be needed. Once you have it you never need to apply again, which is good for BU as we already have it.  This Charter covers different aspects of mobility for staff, students and placements and the EC are currently debating how best they can amalgamate these without making places like BU having to apply from scratch again. The three proposed Erasmus for All initiatives are:

1. Learning Mobility: This will focus on individuals and will have 63% of the budget. It will target staff (youth workers, school workers, teachers, trainers) and Higher Education students and Masters students. It will also cover volunteering and youth exchanges for young people and mobility outside of the EU.  So what does this mean for us? Well, more mobility is available as Erasmus has an international focus, not just EU. I will offer high quality joint Masters degrees through consortiums of universities and also will provide us with student loan guarantees to boost mobility.

2. Cooperation Projects: This will have 25% of the budget which will be used to support cooperation in order to achieve innovation and good practice which it will achieve through strategic partnership support between various stakeholders (including education to education and education to businesses). It wants to use funding to explore how we can make graduates more employable – what skills and competencies for graduates need to be employed in certain  sectors. It will also support large scale partnerships between higher education institutes and businesses through large ‘knowledge alliances’ (up to €1m) and support third county capacity building. So what does this mean for us? The will be Erasmus Clusters which have intense cooperation between countries which we need to be part of. We need to also get involved with businesses to achieve the knowledge alliance aspects and we can also now target countries outside of the EU to build working relationships with. Finally we could start to use strategic partnerships through this type of funding to establish future Marie Curie fellowships.

3. Policy Support: This funds holds 4% of the budget and will be used for policy reform, particularly this policies mentioned in the introduction. It will support the valorisation and implementation of EU transparency tools, policy dialogue with stakeholders and will cover the entire world and not just the EU. So what does this mean for us? We can get involved with countries sours de of Europe and contribute to policy development.

What about Jean Monnet and sport funding? Don’t worry these will also exist in Erasmus for All. Jean Monnet will remain pretty much exactly how it is supporting institutions who promote European citizenship. As for sport, it was determined by the EC that many aspects of sport research involve the need for learning, such as why racism exists in sport, and so they have included it within the Erasmus for All scheme.

By early 2013 the European Parliament would have reviewed and agreed the final proposals for Erasmus for All and so we will know the final details as how it will look and confirmation of the budgets etc at this point. I will of course keep you updated each time in receive any information.

What is the ERC?

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

I tend not to blog too much about the European Research Council (ERC) grants within FP7 as they are so competitive and not really applicable for the overwhelming majority of researchers throughout the world, bit as I’m giving an update on Horizon 2020 and because the ERC budget is expected to go up massively, it seems important to cover it. The ERC is designed for the crème de la crème of the world’s researchers. This scheme has a budget of €7.5 billion which is used to fund frontier research projects, focusing in excellence and takes a bottom up approach. The scheme is open to researchers from anywhere in the world and they don’t have to have any partners or can have a whole team. There are 4 types of grant under the ERC:

1. Starting Grants: for researchers 2-7 years post-PhD looking for up to €2m funding for a maximum of 5 years

2. Advanced Grants: for researchers with a ‘significant track record’ of research achievements over a 10 year period looking for up to €3.5m over a maximum of 5 years

3. Synergy Grants: for 2-4 Principal Investigators looking for up to €15m for a maximum of 6 years

4. Proof-of-Concept: for ERC grant holders looking to bridge the gap between research and the earliest stage of marketable innovation, up to €150k

The budgets are high for individual projects and the topic flexible so on paper seems like a great scheme.  Indeed more than 2, 600 Principal Investigators based in 480 Host Institutions in 26 countries have received funds under this scheme since 2007. And the UK is in the top 5 in terms of success rates and we are the country where  the majority of ERC is hosted; with Cambridge and Oxford as the top 2 host institutions in the whole programme.

However the scheme is super competitive; it has an average 12% success rate. All schemes have reduced in their success rates over the last 2 years. It is also biased towards certain institutions, with 50% of Principal Investigators being based in just 50 institutions. And lastly, it is mostly geared towards the physical sciences, life sciences and engineering as it funds ‘risky’ research and is looking for competitiveness which social sciences and humanities often can’t offer.

So overall, despite the fact that for Horizon 2020 the budget will increase (as will the number of applications) unless you are one of the best researchers in the world (and can prove it), working in a uni popular with the ERC and if you have a truly blue skies research project based in the hard sciences and don’t mind a low success rate  then this scheme isn’t for you. If you do match this description then you will be pleased to hear there are no major reshaping plans for the scheme under Horizon 2020, just a recognition that the scientific governance of the scheme needs to be strengthened and links between this and other schemes also strengthened.

How will Marie Curie Actions look in Horizon 2020?

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

Regular readers of this EU section of the BU research blog will know how pleased I am that so many of you engage in Marie Curie under FP7. The great news is that it is here to stay for Horizon 2020 although it will be known as Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. For some unknown reason Marie Curie’s Polish maiden name has been incorporated in to this (possibly due to a previously rather senior Polish Presidency overseeing this!). The other good news is that it is set to get even bigger with an increase of funding by 20% and will incorporate the doctoral fellowships currently offered in the Erasmus Mundus Programme.   The bad news is that it is also getting much more competitive. Two years ago the average success rate of Marie Curie was over 30%, now average is 14%. The good news is the UK is the second highest recipient of the funding with the second highest success rate so we are still in a good position.

For those of you unfamiliar with Marie Curie, they are fellowships to support great researchers from anywhere in the world (and include those in industry) to increase their research experience and expertise. You can read more on what Marie Curie actions exist here  and the range of support mechanisms we have for those interested in applying hereIf you know a researcher who would be suitable for a Marie Curie Incoming Fellowship, then do approach them: the UK is the number one destination for the 130 nationality, 60, 000 Marie Curie Fellowship holders, so we are an attractive proposition and if you want to travel to another country, then you can do so with confidence; the UK is the seventh largest participant in this scheme who travel elsewhere in the world. The UK has attracted in the following fellows under the various schemes:

Intra-European Fellowships 894
Initial Training Networks 730
International Incoming Fellowships 279
Industry-Academia Partnerships 241
Co-funding of Regional, National and International Programmes 111
Reintegration Grants 73
International Outgoing Fellowships 73
Career Integration Grants 42
International Reintegration Grants 37
European Reintegration Grants 18

Under Horizon 2020, Marie Curie actions will have a proposed €5.75 billion and all current schemes within the programme will remain pretty much the same, although they have been ‘simplified’ into 4 actions :

1. Early Stage Researcher Fellowships (which will include ITN)

2. Experienced Researcher Fellowships (which will include IEF, IOF, IIF, CIG)

3. Exchange of Staff Fellowships (which will include IAPP, IRSES)

4. Co-Funding Fellowships (which will be COFUND) 

It’s great to see that the EC recognise that if it ain’t broke….

How your International Cooperation Country contacts can participate in Horizon 2020….

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

 I heard John Claxton from the European Commission speaking last week on the participation on International Cooperation Countries (ICCs) in Horizon 2020 (These countries include Brazil, the USA, China and so on).

ICCs have been able to participate as EU members in the FP7 schemes most relevant to us at BU and indeed some calls for proposals have actually targeted these countries for participation. This targeted approach has reduced over the last 2 years of FP7, with instead just a general encouragement to engage with these countries which may be an indication for Horizon 2020. Figures show that 2.5% of the total budget goes to third countries, and one in 5 accepted proposals has a third country participant.

The 5 ICCs which participate most in FP7 in highest to lowest are Russia, the USA, India, South Africa and Brazil. And the programme which has a huge number of ICC participants is Marie Curie, with a whopping 12,000 researchers coming into the EU from ICCs.

The EU is currently revising the international cooperation policy between Member States and the rest of the European Union through committees such as the Strategic Forum for International Science and Technology Cooperation. These groups are trying to develop more coherence and synergies between ICCs and the EU Member States and have already launched pilot work with India, China, Latin America, Africa, the Caribbean and the USA and will be working on Brazil and Russia over the following year.

So what has sparked this change? Well most societal challenges are global in nature, especially those under focus in the proposed Horizon 2020. The EU needs to get access to ICCs working in similar areas and we need access to their markets. We also need to build a critical mass for tackling global challenges through resource pooling and risk sharing in order to lead to more possibilities for breakthroughs and innovations.

And what is the EC doing about it?  The EC has recognised that the EU needs to engage more strategically and actively in international cooperation so has been developing more targeted approach. For Horizon 2020, the EC are aligning their societal challenges and enabling technologies with the rest of the world, looking at issues such as infrastructures, patents, publications, access to markets etc. More specifically there will be funding opportunities for ICCs within the proposed Horizon 2020. Under Societal Challenges and Industrial Leadership there will be the targeting of specific countries or regions based on common interiors and joint calls and co-funding of programmes with Third Countries. Under Excellent Science the will be specific fellowships designed to stimulate innovation, the development of global research infrastructures and of course the European Research Council and Marie Curie programmes will remain open to all countries globally. Finally under dedicated cross-cutting actions there will be support for bilateral, multilateral and bi-regional policy dialogue, network and twinning activities and other policy initiatives.

The final stages of ICC development under Horizon 2020 includes reinforcing partnerships between the EC and Member States, strengthening implementation, governance and evaluation, identifying areas for targeting and developing roadmaps with key partners.

So it looks as though ICCs will be incorporated even further into Horizon 2020 which is great for those of you with partners outside of the EU!

Subscribe to receive the Daily Digest email