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!

AHRC survey on International Collaboration

The AHRC is currently carrying out a survey to gather vital information about International collaborations in order gain a greater understanding. The 10 minute survey provides an opportunity to inform the AHRC of your experience in International collaboration and feed into the on-going development of the AHRC’s international activities- including  FP7 participation.  The deadline for submission is 10th July 2011.

Call for bids: UK-India Education and Research Initiative Phase Two

The first call for bids for Phase Two of UKIERI has been launched and has confirmed funding from the UK and Indian Governments of £5 million annually over the next three years.
Phase two of the programme concentrates on four key areas: leadership from school to universities; innovation partnerships between higher and further education institutions in UK and India; skills development; and the mobility of students and qualifications. The first round closes on 5 August 2011.

European focused funding available

The Central Europe Programme offers funding for projects on the facilitating innovation across Central Europe; improving accessibility to, and within, Central Europe; using our environment responsibly; enhancing competitiveness and attractiveness of cities and regions. The budget for this call is at least €22.5 million and the recommended funding amount is €1m to €2.5m per project. Closing date: 14 October 2011

EU Social Sciences and Humanities funding available

European instrument for democracy and human rights – enhancing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms where they are most at risk and supporting human rights defenders: proposals should explore the enhancment,  respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in countries and situations where they are most at risk and where human rights defenders and civil society organisations work under severe constraints and are most under pressure. Grants are worth between €150,000 and €2m. Closing date: 1 August 2011.

European instrument for democracy and human rights restricted call for proposals: proposals should explore contributions to the development and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law and respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Grants are worth between €200,000 and €1.5m. Closing date: 1 August 2011.

European Policy Network on the Education of Children and Young People with a Migrant Background: proposals should address the issues raised by the November 2009 Council conclusions on the education of children from a migrant background and stimulate high-level cooperation between Member State policy makers responsible for social inclusion through education, including cooperation between authorities in the countries of origin and host countries. The network should actively stimulate transnational cooperation primarily at governmental level, but also at the level of experts and practitioners. Grants are worth  €500,000. Closing date: 14 October 2011.

Aarhus researchers to map Danish humanities

The non-profit Velux Foundation has awarded €764,000 to a research group based at to map humanities in Denmark, the university said on 10 June. The researchers will study how the humanities are “bound together” at Danish universities as well as investigate how the humanities disciplines influence and are influenced by social sciences and natural sciences.

EU audiovisual funding available

The 2012 Media Mundus call for proposals has been launched. The aims of the programme are to increase the competitiveness of the European audiovisual industry, to enable Europe to play its cultural and political role in the world more effectively and to increase consumer choice and cultural diversity.
The programme will seek to improve access to third-country markets and to build trust and long-term working relationships. The MEDIA Mundus programme supports cooperation projects between European professionals and professionals from third countries, to the mutual benefit of the European audiovisual sector and the one of third countries.
Deadline: 23 September 2011

South African- EU funding available

EuropeAid Trade development and cooperation agreement support facility: EuropeAid’s activities encompass the European Development Fund and some 70 budget headings based on over 80 separate pieces of legislation. The purpose of this call is to strengthen relations between the European Union and South Africa. Grants are worth between €150,000 and €250,000. Closing date: 26 August 2011

Research commissioner argues for open innovation approach

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the Commissioner for research and innovation, has called for Europe to take a broad and open view of innovation to reach its full potential “innovation is increasingly interpretative: looking for opportunities without necessarily having a fixed definition of the problem.“This requires a completely different approach, an open process driven by curiosity and uncertainty…Open innovation is therefore more than a tool, it is an attitude—an attitude we need to turn Europe into a more innovative place,”

latest Green Knowledge Economy focused EU funding calls

Literature Review on the Potential Climate Change Effects on Drinking Water Resources:proposal must complete a literature review on the potential climate change effects on drinking water resources across the EU and the identification of priorities among different types of drinking water supplies. Deadline: 1 August 2011.

European Red List of Marine Fishes: proposal must produce production of a European Red List of marine fishes according to IUCN Red List criteria. Deadline: 1 August 2011.

Assessment of Hemispheric Air Pollution on EU Air Policy: proposal must further underpin the policy development within the EU and the CLRTAP on aspects of intercontinental transport of air pollution. Deadline: 10 August 2011.

Blending of Biofuels with Fossil Fuels: proposal must focus on the blending of biofuels with fossil fuels and other ways to market biofuels in order to provide the Commission with the considerations and inputs necessary to report under the Renewable Energy Directive. Deadline: 12 August 2011.

Renewable Energy Policy Support: proposals must provide a thorough and regularly updated database of renewable energy measures, with a focus on financial support and market/grid access for each EU member state, as well as ad hoc analysis on specific relevant topics. Closing date: 19 August 2011

Evaluators criticise European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s governance

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) based in Budapest, Hungary, has broadly and quickly met its goals but should change its governance model and be more open to external partners and expertise, evaluators say.
In a qualitative report released this month, evaluators note that the EIT successfully set up three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) that bring together partners from business, education and research.
They praise the relevance of the institute’s concept and recognise that much has been achieved in a short period of time, since 2008.
However, the authors and evaluators recommend that the EIT should extend its benefits more broadly, and develop more links with complementary programmes and engage with a broader range of partners.

University rankings ‘focus too much on research performance’

University rankings ‘focus too much on research performance’
International university rankings are not transparent and focus too much on research performance and elite universities, according to a report released on 17 June by the European Universities Association.
Rankings encourage accountability, but are biased and insufficiently transparent, the authors say…..For instance, humanities are ignored by the bibliometric indicators used in global league tables.
The EUA study reviewed 13 international university rankings, and was funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung in Germany and the Portuguese Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

BU on the EU stage

Recent research conducted by a team in the School of Applied Sciences (ApSci) has highlighted the need for a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to environmental management and policy development.  It is a project which is well placed in BU’s movement towards research focused on societal themes and aims to establish how stakeholder values of their local environment can be used to improve the effectiveness of ecosystem management creating stronger links between citizens and policy makers.

This European collaboration is nearing completion. The Transactional Environmental Support System Project (TESS), supported by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission was coordinated by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (www.tess-project.eu) and involved several ApSci staff.  The rationale for this project had its foundations in the move towards citizen-driven environmental governance and policy development.  The aim of TESS was to provide a platform through which biodiversity information collected at a local level can be incorporated into policy development and land-use management.  Could a system of this type encourage local communities to have more involvement in collection of these important data, and a greater role in the maintenance and restoration of their local environment and ecosystem services?

The project involved partnership with 14 other institutions from 10 different European countries. The project identified what information is required by both local land users and policy makers in order to develop effective environmental policy which will benefit both biodiversity and economic development.  The results were tested through 11 local case studies which were then used to further develop the TESS portal (due to go online in the next month or so).  BU’s involvement with the project has allowed us to develop strong, collaborative relationships with a number of institutions across Europe, linking strongly with the University’s desire to become more active on the European stage. 

During the project, the ApSci team, including Prof. Adrian Newton, Dr. Kathy Hodder, Lorretta Perrella, Jennifer Birch, Elena Cantarello, Sarah Douglas, James Robins and Chris Moody, carried out a local case study within Dorset’s Frome Catchment Area.  This case study site falls within the Dorset AONB and includes a SSSI, Local Nature Reserves, National Nature Reserves and Special Areas of Conservation. We were able to incorporate local knowledge and opinion into a novel evaluation of the ecosystem services and biodiversity benefits that might be realised through implementation of SW Biodiversity Implementation Plan. Such strategies have the implicit assumption that working on a landscape-scale to develop ‘ecological networks’ should have potential to  facilitate adaption to climate change, increase ecological ‘resilience’ and  improve the UK’s ability to conform to international policy commitments, such as the Habitat Directive.  However, it is accepted that the cost of the ecological restoration required for such initiatives could be substantial and little work has been conducted on cost-benefit analysis of restoration initiatives.  The work carried out by BU for the TESS project addressed the knowledge gap surrounding the cost effectiveness of ecological restoration approaches to climate change adaptation.

We currently have a paper in review with the Journal of Applied Ecology based on this work. It shows that spatial Multi Criteria Analysis could be used to identify important ecological restoration zones based on a range of criteria, including those relating to ecosystem services, biodiversity and incorporating the values of a range of stakeholders.  This tool could be of direct value to the development of ecological networks in the UK as a climate change adaptation measure.  Such tools developed through TESS may enable future plans for ecological restoration to incorporate local stakeholder values, improving the chances of societal benefits and long-term success of the schemes.

The wider results of the TESS project were presented at a conference in May 2011, hosted by the European Parliament Intergroup at the European Parliament in Brussels.  BU was represented at the conference by one of our postdoctoral researches, Emma McKinley.

Norway signs research collaboration agreement with Poland

Norway and Poland signed a research cooperation deal worth 290 million kroner (€37m) on 10 June, the Norwegian research council . The money is part of a 2 billion kroner deal between the two countries focusing on green technologies, like carbon sequestration projects.The Norwegian research council has welcomed the collaboration. It is a way for Norway to develop its participation in EU framework programmes, said Jesper Simonsen, divisional director in the research council.

Researchers should be paid to communicate, Swedish VA says

Sweden’s academics should be rewarded for communicating their research and for research collaborations, VA, an interest organisation for researchers, suggested in a proposal to government. “Money is an important incentive. That’s why we want collaboration and communication to be taken into consideration when funding is allocated,” says Cissi Askwall, secretary-general of VA.

Lund University sees sharp dip in research output

The number of PhD theses and research articles coming out of Lund University, one of Sweden’s best-known research institutions, has dropped in recent years, despite an increase of public funding for the university. On 13 June, the newspaper Sydsvensken reported that the number of theses from Lund in 2010 was its lowest in 10 years and that the total research output had shrunk by a third compared to 2007.