Category / EU

Welcome to the EU section of the blog! Emily Cieciura (BU’s Research Facilitator – EU and International), Jo Garrad (Funding Development Manager) and Dianne Goodman (Funding Development Co-ordinator) together try to take the pain out of finding and applying for EU funding by horizon scanning many sources and placing the most important information on this page.

We blog as often as possible on everything from calls for proposals and partner searches, to networking event opportunities, all the latest on Horizon 2020 and international funding. We also use the blog to disseminate information on EUADS (BU’s EU academic training initiative), how to write brilliant proposals, how to find partners and other top tips!

Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy Challenge: Report from Horizon 2020 Stakeholder Workshop

The EU’s proposed Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation will run from 2014-2020, replacing FP7. Over the coming months, the EC is preparing the proposals for the Programme and as part of this, holding stakeholder workshops on the proposed ‘societal challenges’ of Horizon 2020.  The discussion focused around these questions:

Are there new and emerging  areas in addition to those identified in the EU’s Strategic Energy Technology Plan that should be supported? It was agreed that a systematic approach will be used when analysing the future development of energy technologies, taking into account EU energy and climate policies and ways to enhance Europe’s global competitiveness. The Challenge should cover the whole innovation cycle (basic research, applied research, demonstration and market introduction) and more support is needed for energy storage, renewable heating and cooling, marine energy, geothermal energy and materials. 

How can research, demonstration and innovation targeting energy efficiency be reinforced and how can ICT contribute most effectively? It was agreed that better coverage of the energy efficiency deployment chain, work on risk management and research combining technology, market and social aspects of energy systems were seen as important. ICT is important to support smart grids, energy efficient buildings and neighbourhoods. European research can be made more attractive to industry through measures related to ‘technology push’ and ‘demand pull’. Having a stable environment in Europe, in terms of policy objectives, regulation and support, was seen as important. European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) could be a possible way forward. The need to optimise the interaction between EU and national programmes was also emphasised, for example through Joint Programming.

 A summary report of the stakeholder workshop on the ‘Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy Challenge’ has been published.

EU Blog Special: next week dedicated to Horizon 2020 future funding directions

Horizon 2020 will be the next major Framework Programme of funding from the EC when FP7 ends in 2013. Horizon 2020 will be shaped around several major themes and the EC have held Stakeholder consultation meetings over the last few months to discuss these further and help shape the direction of funding. Everyday next week I’ll post the salient points of the meetings and links for further info.

  • Monday will feature ‘Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy’
  • Tuesday will feature ‘Marie Curie Actions’
  • Wednesday will feature ‘Resource Efficiency & Climate Action and Raw Materials’
  • Thursday will feature ‘Inclusive, Innovative & Secure Societies’ (which includes Humanities and Social Sciences)
  • Friday will feature ‘Smart, Green & Integrated Transport’

Just a reminder that all of the FP7 Work Programmes for this year which feature Calls for Proposals have been summarised for you to take a look at and can be found on our EU webpages

Hot off the press this week – 4 new EU calls for proposals and tenders!

Calls for Proposals
Information, Training & Assistance Centres in Latin America: Proposals should ensure the visibility of European satellite navigation activities, monitor local satellite navigation initiatives and support the EU satellite navigation industry through support of information, training and assistance centres and activities, in Latin America. Deadline 15.09.11

Youth Support Systems: This call for proposals aims at supporting partnerships with regions, municipalities, civil society actors and bodies active in corporate social responsibility in order to develop over the long-term projects which combine various measures of the ‘Youth in Action’ programme. This mechanism aims at encouraging synergies and cooperation between the European Commission — via the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency — and the different actors working in the field of youth by pooling resources and practices with a view to maximising the impact of the programme and to reaching out to a higher number of beneficiaries. Deadline 03.11.11

Calls for Tenders
Stimulating Innovation for EU Enterprises through ICT: The objective of this action is to assess the policy context, concept, implementation, results and economic impact of the EU policy initiative eBSN (eBusiness support network for SMEs), focusing in particular on the initiative on ‘Stimulating innovation for European enterprises through smart use of ICT’, encompassing a series of industry-specific demonstration actions to stimulate innovation among European SMEs through smart use of ICTs. Deadline 06.10.11

Guidance for Active Age Management – Supporting Longer Working Lives of Older Workers: The aim of this Europe-wide study is to investigate how lifelong guidance is embedded in the European Union and national policies and strategies on active ageing as well as in employer’s age management strategies supporting older workers’ (55+) lifelong learning and skills development, and within this context to what extent various guidance services available to this target group in real terms address the issue of staying longer in employment (instead of making an early exit from working life). Deadline 26.09.11

New EU research finds video games can be good for you

It appears that blasting aliens to smithereens, rescuing the princess for the 256th time or pretending you’re Lara Croft  may not be so bad after all. New research led by scientists at the University of Essex  in cooperation with colleagues in Germany and the United States, looked at why people find video games fun.

The study investigated the idea that many people enjoy playing videogames because it gives them the chance to ‘try on’ characteristics which they would like to have as their ideal self. ‘A game can be more fun when you get the chance to act and be like your ideal self,’ explains Dr Andy Przybylski, who led the study. ‘The attraction to playing videogames and what makes them fun is that it gives people the chance to think about a role they would ideally like to take and then get a chance to play that role.’

The research found that giving players the chance to adopt a new identity during a game and acting through that new identity – be it a different gender, hero, villain – made them feel better about themselves and less negative. In fact, the enjoyment element of the videogames seemed to be greater when there was the least overlap between someone’s actual self and their ideal self. The study involved hundreds of casual game players in the laboratory and studied nearly a thousand dedicated gamers who played everything from ‘The Sims’ and ‘Call of Duty’ to ‘World of Warcraft’. Players were asked how they felt after playing in relation to the attributes or characteristics of the persona they would ideally like to be.

Launch of EU-funded ‘ecancerHub’ website

A new hub of information for those affected by cancer has just been launched, providing an open-access, integrated approach to providing the whole cancer community with high-quality and trustworthy information. The product of two years’ work as part of the ‘Establishing an efficient network for cancer communication in Europe’) project, which was boosted by more than EUR 1.2 million of funding under the ‘Science in Society’ Theme of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), ‘ecancerHub‘ brings together information from major European cancer organisations in one easy-to-use site. The 2-year long EUROCANCERCOMS project was made up of 18 project partners from Belgium, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.  By establishing an integrated EU model for a Europe-wide cancer information and policy exchange portal, the pan-European team have succeeded in their aim of creating a functional exchange system for accurate information and intelligence.

Future directions of EU research….

 

Mental health research: The Head of Health Services & Population Research announced at a conference last week that mental health research is likely to be the next research field to be tackled on an international scale. Hopefully funding announcements released next year will reflect this!

Biological diversity:  The Swedish Research Council has announced that it will invest 36 million kroner (3.9m euros) from 2010-2014 to set up a database for researchers studying biological diversity. The LifeWatch is a national research infrastructure project which will tie up with a Europe-wide initiative to share biodiversity data. Four other partners in the consortium, including several universities, will put up between 2.5 million and 9.2 million kroner for the project.

EU Funding for Culture, Tourism and Sport collaborations

The Culture Programme promotes transnational mobility of people working in the cultural sector and to promote intercultural dialogue. If you have contacts in this sector, this could be a key opportunity to collaborate and introduce yourself to EU funding. Calls for proposals are released on an annual basis and 3 calls are currently open under the ‘Cultural Service Teams, Youth Workers’

Multinational Cooperation Projects: Funds groups of cultural organisations to develop joint cultural activities over a period of three to five years. Projects will involve a minimum of 6 cultural operators from at least 6 eligible countries. The maximum funding per project is €500k and the deadline is 03.10.11
Cooperation Measures: Funds shorter and smaller-scale joint projects involving cultural organisations from at least three European countries. Projects can last up to 2 years and should involve at least 3 different European countries. Deadline 03.10.11
Support to European Cultural Festivals: funds festivals that support the circulation of cultural works from other European countries. Projects up to €100k are supported and the deadline is 15.11.11

€4.2M Healthy Ageing in the EU Research funds just released!

Europe’s first joint call for ageing research ‘ERA-AGE 2’ has been released with a whopping €4.2M available. Research Councils from across Europe have contributed to this fund which aims to increase healthy ageing and increase life expectancy by two years within the European Union by 2020.
This call enables researchers from all disciplines to put in applications addressing “Active and healthy ageing across the life course”. The research funded will aim to generate new insights on the factors that enable individuals to live actively and healthily into later life. Applications are invited from multidisciplinary research groups representing three to five funding countries. Stage-one pre-proposals can be submitted until 3 October 2011 under three areas:
1. Generate new knowledge on the biological, clinical, behavioural, social and environmental factors that enable individuals to live actively and healthily into later life.
2. Explore comparatively different models, methods, approaches and good practices in societal responses to increased longevity which emphasise both social inclusion and sustainability.
3. Engage in effective knowledge exchange activities that will assist European and other countries to achieve the goal of increasing healthy life expectancy by two years by 2020.

We’ve summarised the EU FP7 Work Programmes for you!

As you will be aware  the FP7 Calls for Proposals were released on July 20th. FP7 is the major Programme for European funding  with a budget of €7 billion for this year, so plenty of funds to dip into!  

The European Commission releases its Calls for Proposals in some rather long documents (196 pages in some cases) known as ‘Work Programmes’.

The RDU know you are all pushed for time in your research endeavours and that the Work Programmes make for very dull reading, so we have been working day and night to summarise all of the calls for you in easy to access PDF formats under different types of funding and different subject areas. This way, you can scan the opportunities faster and take a look at the aim and eligibility criteria more easily to see if you can apply.

These summaries along with a full outline of what FP7 is, how to find funders etc are all available at our staff-only access webpage on EU Funding.

New & improved UKRO website launched at last!

UK Research OfficeThe new and very much improved UKRO portal is now available , Not only is it easier on the eye, it is finally a fully integrated system and much more effective to search.

To access the extensive ‘UKRO Subscriber Services’ and your personal news page,  go to ‘Subscriber Login’ and enter your email address and the password ukro4web. This is a temporary password. Once you are logged in, please go to ‘Edit Profile’ to set a new, personalised password.

You have been set up with a default profile which means that your personal news page will cover all information types and categories, and you will receive a daily email alert. You can customise this at any time using the short guide to the new Portal (and FAQs) on the homepage.

If you haven’t ever set up an UKRO account; now is the perfect time! UKRO is sponsored by the UK research councils and provides information and advice on EU funding opportunities, and EU programmes and policies. Signing up for the alert service means you will be kept up to date on relevant funding opportunities, news and partner searches.

Find EU Partners for the Lifelong Learning Programme, Ethics in Security or Health

Attending Information days and workshops held by the European Commission not only gives you a great opportunity to find out more about a call and ask any questions about it, but these events are also critical networking opportunities to meet others interested in building a consortium and applying for funding. An info day on the Lifelong Learning Programme will be held in October and a workshop on Ethical issues in Security Research in September.  If you are interested in applying to either of these calls, you should attend the info day.

To help find partners in Health funding, the details of participants who attended the recent partnering day on the 2012 Health Theme calls in Brussels are now available. A search page has been created where it is possible to look for participants of the recent partnering event by area of the work programme, type of organisation, country or through a free search. If you are planning on being involved in a proposal for the 2012 calls for the FP7 Co-operation Health Theme, then you should join look at this search page Health partnering day search page

FP7 Work Programmes and Calls for Proposals to be released today!

 Annual budgets for most programmes and themes have risen and some excellent funding opportunities exist. We will be summarising all of the Work Programmes and making them available to you this week.

There are 53 calls for the 2012 round of FP7 with an overall budget of €7billion. 39 were published in the Work Programmes on 20 July, with different deadlines in 2011 and 2012 and the other calls will be published later in 2011 or 2012.

There are a few new features in 2012 compared to previous FP7 years, with the most obvious being the greater integration of innovation and the objectives of the Innovation Union Flagship Initiative in the Work Programmes. Support to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) will continue to form part of most of the calls, including a pilot call under the Health Theme in 2012 with specific SME-targeted actions, similar to the US Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) schemes.

Latest EU funding for ICT

Quantifying public procurement of research and development of ICT solutions in Europe: proposals should gather quantitative evidence of research and development and ICT products and services procured by public contracting authorities across EU member states and associated countries, and cluster the data on a map to show the main fields of public interest in which procurement expenditures occur. Funding is worth up to €400,000 over 24 months. Deadline 23.09.11

e-Skills for Competitiveness and Innovation: the aim of this fund is to develop, with relevant stakeholders, a coherent vision and a detailed roadmap as well as foresight scenarios on the supply and demand of e-skills for competitiveness and innovation in Europe (2011–2015). It will build on the momentum of the EU e-skills strategy. The skills needed include ICT, marketing, design, law, management, etc. for entrepreneurs, managers and ICT professionals and advanced users in all industries. Closing date: 16 September 2011

More help needed for small businesses says European Investment Fund

New financial instruments must be introduced that are better tailored to the individual needs of smaller businesses in Europe—which are having serious problems in accessing capital for growth—according to both employers and fund managers. Several EU stakeholders including the EIF have called for a comprehensive set of measures to further support these smaller companies obtain finance.  The demand for funding under existing programmes such as the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), which EIF manages on behalf of the European Commission, outstrips current budget availability.

Researchers and NGOs slam industry bias in EU research funding plans

A group of NGOs and scientists’ organisations have complained that the Commission’s plans for the future research funding programme are biased towards commercial interests and neglect the needs of citizens.

In an open letter,  the signatories urge the European Commission, Parliament and national governments to “overcome the myth that only highly complex and cost intensive technology can create sustainability, employment and well-being.”

EU funding for IP

European Investment Bank -universities research action sponsorships: funding is available for research covering European intellectual property regimes and their impact on technology transfer/IP finance; analysis of investment needs in infrastructure sectors; the rising of credit risk in microcredit: origins, warning signals, current state and future prospects. Funding of up to €100,000 per year is available for a period of three years. Deadline: 16 September 2011