SILVER – Active ageing: Open call for robotic based pre-commercial solutions

In the European Union, countries are facing tough times in the health and elderly care sector: while populations age and require more care services, countries are under pressure to make these services more cost efficient and effective. The pan-European SILVER project (Supporting Independent LiVing for the Elderly through Robotics) aims to demonstrate how public services can be rejuvenated by procuring R&D services that will develop higher quality and more sustainable elderly care solutions.   

The SILVER project searches for new, innovative ways to acquire public sector health services by utilizing a Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) process designed for optimally matching R&D with procurers’ needs. The goal is to find new technologies to assist elderly people’s ability to continue living independently at home. By the use of robotics or other related technologies, the elderly are able to enjoy homelife even if they have physical or cognitive disabilities.

 Registrations for the competition can be made via the SILVER webpage at

 SILVER (Supporting Independent LiVing for the Elderly through Robotics) is a research and development project to establish and to execute a Pre-Commercial Procurement process suitable for the conditions for cross-border project implementation across several EU countries. It is funded by the European Union under the ICT cooperation part of the Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7). The project started in January 2012 and will run for 51 months. SILVER has partners in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden and United Kingdom.

 Status: OPEN

Open Date: 1st March 2013

Registration Close Date: 5th June 2013

Close Date: 12th June 2013



Phone number: +44(0) 300 321 4357

Erasmus Mundus mobility to South Caucasus region and Ukraine for students and staff available now! -Deadline 28th February-

BU students and staff have been invited by Georg-August Universität Göttingen to apply for mobility at ALRAKIS II.

ALRAKIS II is one of the awarded Erasmus Mundus action 2 projects that promotes exchange mobility in the South Caucasus region and Ukraine. The beneficiary countries are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine. Our students and staff would be looking at applying at Target Group 2.

For more information please visit the project website and if you have any queries please contact Eva Papadopoulou at and 01202 968252

Please note that the deadline for this is 28th February 2013.

EACEA/2007 Call for Experts

Posted in EU by Eva Papadopoulou



The Executive Agency Education, Audiovisual and Culture (EACEA) is issuing a call for expressions of interest in order to obtain applications for the establishment of a list of experts. This call is managed by the Agency in conjunction with the European Commission.

The experts’ duties will be to assist the Agency, or, where applicable, the Commission, in the performance of  tasks, with reference to the programme objectives, the priorities and criteria laid down in the calls for proposals, as well as the guides and manuals made available to applicants.

More information on this call can be found here 




Need A Fully Funded Research Fellow ???


 The Prize

These schemes provide strong financial support for a Research Fellow in your department for a period of 12 – 24 months on any research topic.

The Catch

The Research Fellow must come from another European Country or International Base worldwide. It is joint application with you and the fellowship candidate – so they must be identified. (If the fellow is already in the UK they must have been working here for less than 1 year in the last 3.)

The Deadline

Deadline for application is August 2013 – but the forms are relatively easy & straight forward – although moderately time consuming.Fellowships will start in early 2014 but this start date could be extended to early 2015.

Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)                  Deadline  Mid August 2013

International Incoming Fellowships (IIF)       Deadline  Mid August 2013

Note: For people already at the University there is a similar outgoing international Fellowship scheme to enable research periods in other , non European, Labs and Research Centres.

These fellowships are prestigious and highly sought after, especially as they pay very well. There is a difference in emphasis between the two schemes but the overriding criteria is candidate, and host, excellence with respect to the justification of the project rationale. This is all derived from the candidates cv and thus please discuss initially with Martin Pickard who can advise on suitability and fit.

These fellowships are an excellent, and often overlooked, way to expand and compliment a research team. Initial advice is imperative as, again, project structure and rationale with respect to the candidate are very important in determining success and need to be argued and justified around the actual science and project.


One University (Host) and one applicant, of any nationality, other than from than the UK. (candidates may already be in the UK but must have spent less than 12 months of the past 36 in the UK)

The higher the quality of the cv, rated against age and experience, the more likelihood of funding success. Each prospective fellow can only apply for one fellowship but any host can have as many fellows as they want applying to work with the same PI.

The Grant

Typical project period – Minimum 12 months — Maximum 24 months

Fellow income: In excess of 80,000 Euro per year.

University Income: Minimum of 18,000 Euro per year.

Help Needed ??

If you have a research Fellow in Mind (or can find one through networking or your colleague links) the application will not take a lot of time – but a clearly defined and specific approach is required. Guidance notes will be available as well as direct one to one support from our proposal writing specialist Dr. Martin Pickard. 

To assist further we have also arranged a series of 2 morning information sessions to be held on the Wednesday 27th of March and repeated again on the Tuesday 16th of April 2013 

Information Session 1 –  09:00am – 10:00am

A Brief Introduction to the Marie Curie Fellowship Schemes – for those of general interest.  

In addition to the general European topic specific calls under the cooperation programme there are a number of explicit opportunities arising through other schemes – some of which are far more easily accessible and have the advantage of being open to literally any research idea/topic. Several of these arise through the People programme under the Marie Curie calls and this 40 minute plus Q&A information session seeks to highlight some of these opportunities and identify their pro’s and cons so that a clear strategy can be developed to avoid missing these significant, and relatively easy, opportunities.

Information Session 2 – 10:15am – 12:15pm

How to Approach and Structure your Marie Curie Fellowship Application -  for those possibly intending to submit a bid.

The structure of any bid (partner interactions, methodology synergy etc.) is critical to the success of an application and forward planning is a key element of winning proposals.

If you are thinking of applying this August this session will illustrate the basic approach requirements for success and show how to structure and present your research application in the correct form of “Brusselese”.  A brief, 2 hour, guide to the Marie Curie application process.

Please note: If you are already intending to submit a bid this August then Session 1 will provide very little additional information. Also Grants Academy members who have already attended our Grants Academy 2 Day Bid Writing Workshop will not need to attend Session 1 as this has already been covered in your workshop so we would recommend you book into and attend Session 2 only.

If these are a potential interest to you – don’t miss this exceptional opportunity. Please book in ASAP via Staff Development Booking Link to reserve your space as we anticipate these sessions will be very popular.


Workshop Metastable Dynamics of Neural Ensembles. Paris, 18th of July 2013

Posted in EU by ebballester

This workshop will take place this summer in Paris and will have the participation of five of the most recognized European experts in neural modelling. The context is the 23th conference on Computational Neuroscience; perhaps the most prestigious international meeting specialized in this topic, which alternates between Europe and America on a yearly basis (other conferences have mainly a national scope). For the workshop organization we are having the constant support and collaboration of Professor Hamid Bouchachia of BU.
A couple of weeks ago I was thinking on how we would fund the workshop expenses. I mentioned my concern about this to my colleague and director of our Smart Technology Center, Professor Bogdan Gabrys. He strongly encouraged me to apply to the internal European funding schemes. That was a good advice, and thanks to the EUNF funding scheme of BU now I am able to organize the workshop jointly with Professor Gustavo Deco and I am writing this. If you have a similar idea I think you really need to try, response in either way is very, very quick and just takes a short time to apply. You can find the documents in this same blog.
The topic of the workshop is metastable dynamics of neural ensembles. Metastability is a term used in several research areas such as statistical physics; loosely speaking refers to states which are stable but only for a limited time span. We will discuss about the following question: Is the traditional view on brain activity dynamics, in which the cognitive flow of information wanders through multiple stable states driven by task-dependent inputs, still a robust model? This picture has been recently challenged both empirically and from the modelling perspective.
For instance, in several contemporary models, intrinsic noise drives default transitions between cortical states, even in the absence of external stimuli. This model explains a range of puzzling phenomenology such as the intrinsic fluctuations of neural activity observed in functional magnetic resonance imaging when subjects are not performing a task (the so-called resting state). According to these models, cortical noise, commonly regarded as irrelevant, has a fundamental role [1, 2]. But there are completely different metaphors of transient brain dynamics where noise is not an essential ingredient: These models are rather based on complex dynamical objects which explain how metastable states could be mapped to cognitive entities even without the intervention of noise or external inputs [3].

In our woskshop, we will have the contribution of advocates of those two complementary perspectives, as well as a rich representation of different neural models and analyses of neural recordings during perceptual and cognitive processing [4].

[1] Deco, G.,and Jirsa, V. (2012). Ongoing cortical activity at rest: criticality, multistability and ghost attractors. J. Neurosci. 32, 3366–3375.
[2] Deco, G.,Jirsa, V. and McIntosh, A.R. (2011). Emerging concepts for the dynamical organization of restingstate activity in the brain. Nat.Rev. Neurosci. 12, 43–56.
[3] Rabinovich, M., Huerta, R., and Laurent, G. (2008). Transient dynamics for neural processing. Science 321, 48–50.
[4] Balaguer-Balllester, E. Lapish, C., Seamans, J. K. and Durstewitz, D. (2011). Attracting Dynamics of Frontal Cortex Ensembles during Memory-Guided Decision-Making. PLoS Comput Biol. 7(5): e100205.

EU resources at BU

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

This is just a quick reminder of the resources we at BU to help you with an EU submission.

  • Copies of submitted proposals on the I drive  I:\R&KEO\Public\RDU\European Related\Successful EU proposals
  • Blogposts featuring tips on writing a proposal from our successful award holders as Rudy Gozlan and Bogdan Gabrys 
  • Presentation slides from UKRO and our EU showcase presenters  I:\R&KEO\Public\RDU\European Related

I also wanted to remind you that if you are thinking of making a submission, it is imperative to let your R&KEO Senior Officer know as early as possible to enable them to complete the relevant documentation, obtain signed contracts and provide costings etc.

We have a wealth of EU knowledge, experience and resource so do get in touch!

Research related brochures from the EC to download

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

The European Commission has published eight new, mostly environment-related, brochures that provide an overview of the challenges faced in each research area, as well as what EU-funded research is doing to address them. The brochures, which can be downloaded from the Commission’s  website, cover the following themes:


Environment and Health

International Cooperation

Marine Environment

Natural Hazards and Disasters

Social Innovation for Sustainability

Soil and Sustainable Land Use Management Waste as a Resource.

The enormous benefits of becoming an EC Horizon 2020 Advisory Panel member

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

Most of you will have heard me say before that the best way to influence what the European Commission will fund is by being involved in their advisory groups.

Joining an advisory group will not allow you to influence what funding is released under Horizon 2020 but you will have the chance to network with others from across Europe, leading to a host of potential collaborators. This is an especially attractive prospect when you consider that advisory group members are permitted to apply to any funding scheme they wish (so you have a ready consortium for the calls!).

There is a call for Horizon 2020 Advisory Group members out right now and it couldn’t be easier to join. The form is mainly your personal details and a couple of boxes for your qualifications and experience; it is less than 4 pages. You also get to select the Advisory Panel of interest to you (from health and wellbeing to clean energy) so there really is no reason not to sign up.

Places go quickly so take a look at the full details on the European Commission webpage and get involved.

Funding for meetings and networking activity available through COST

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

A Call has been launched under the European Co-operation in Science and Technology (COST) programme. You will know from my previous posts, that COST covers the costs of networking  activities such as meetings (e.g. travel, subsistence, support for the  organiser), conferences, workshops, short-term scientific exchanges,  training schools, publications and dissemination activities. To apply, you  must register online by 15/2/13 and  then apply by 29/3/12.

EU Networking Fund still open!

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

The EU Networking Fund (EUNF) is open to any BU academics who want to network across Europe with a view to finding collaborators. We have a pot of money to support this scheme, and the fund will end when the pot is empty.
You can apply for support for a range of activities relating directly to networking, such as:
• Travel with the intent of networking
• Conference attendance with the intent of networking
• Attendance at external networking events leading to collaborative research proposals
• Meetings with external organisations to establish collaborations.

You can read more on this scheme in the EUNF Policy Document and make a submission using theEUNF Application Form; there is no deadline.

Erasmus Mundus Call Open – INTERESTED?


The Erasmus Mundus 2013 call for proposals is now open!  Full details of the call can be found here and please note that this year’s call is for Action 2 and 3 proposals only.

We need to assess the level of interest across BU in submitting applications to this call in order to ensure we meet the guidelines re multiple applications.

If interested in applying, please contact Paul Lynch asap! –

Innovation Vouchers – work with local businesses, receive EU funds and get funding within a couple of weeks

The European Regional Development Fund ‘Innovation Vouchers’ provide funding for a business to work with an expert from BU, to gain new knowledge in order to help their business innovate, develop and grow.

There only conditions to obtaining this voucher is that the business:

  • Must not have worked with you previously
  • Must be a start-up, micro, small and medium-sized business (defined by the EC)
  • Must be located in the South West England Competitiveness Area
  • Must trade in an ERDF-eligible sector (i.e. not agri-food, textiles or retail)
  • Must have an innovative idea

The business will receive 40% support for projects ranging from £3,000 to £10,000 for the business to buy in external expertise from you to develop ideas and improve performance. The work must be undertaken between now and early 2015 and the best part is there is around a 2 week turnaround to tell you whether you have been successful. This truly is a great scheme.  

We have a visit from the ERDF representative who will give tips on applying and more details on the scheme in K101, 2-3 on Friday 1st February. There is also individual one to one time with the presenter 3-4pm. To book a place, simply email Emily Cieciura, RKE Operations.


 N.B. The Innovation Voucher  project is part financed by the Competitiveness European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit

My EUNF Application

Posted in EU by Tian Feng

My EUNF application is successful! The funding enables me to visit Gotland University, Sweden, in May/June 2013. I will meet and discuss with Professor Masayuki Nakajima in the Department of Game Design, for research collaboration on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Worlds and Augmented Reality (AR). We aim to combine our expertise to bid ICT related FP7 calls.

Nakajima is world well-known scientist in the field of AI, AR, computer graphics, animation and game. He has published 20 books and more than 250 scientific papers in high impact journals and premium conferences. In 2011, he has moved his laboratory from Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan to Gotland University, the first Swedish university with a full-scale academic programme based on the Liberal Education tradition.

During my visit, we will be discussing and working on potential projects for submission to FP7. And another potential outcome of my visit is to establish an education collaboration between DEC, BU and the Department of Game Design (DGD) in Gotland University. Opportunities like Erasmus, postgraduate recruitment, etc. might be explored as well during the visit.

Erasmus Mundus call out!

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

This is a reminder that the Erasmus Mundus 2013 call for proposals has been released!  Full details of the call can be found here and this year’s call is for Action 2 and 3 proposals only. The British Council plans to hold an Erasmus Mundus Information Day on 8 February 2012 in order to support institutions who are currently participating in Erasmus Mundus projects and those who are interested in submitting proposals under the current call. Further details of how to register for this event will be circulated in the near future.

Erasmus Mundus Funding Available

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

 The Erasmus Mundus 2013 call for proposals is now open!  Full details of the call can be found here and please note that this year’s call is for Action 2 and 3 proposals only.

The British Council plans to hold an Erasmus Mundus Information Day on 8 February 2012 in order to support institutions who are currently participating in Erasmus Mundus projects and those who are interested in submitting proposals under the current call. Further details of how to register for this event will be circulated in the near future….

Erasmus Intensive Programme funding available

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

Erasmus Intensive Programmes (IP) are short programmes of study which bring together students and teaching staff from higher education institutions of at least three participating countries. They can last from 10 continuous full days to 6 weeks of subject related work.

The application for this funding can be found on the British Council webpage which also has guidance for completing this. The deadline for applications is 8 March 2013. Should you have any queries on completing your application contact the Erasmus Helpdesk .


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