- Overwhelming support exists for SMEs as important players within Horizon 2020
- All innovative SMEs should be able to benefit from support at EU level
- Adequate SME involvement should be ensured through dedicated actions corresponding to SME needs (including all forms of innovation and the entire innovation cycle from idea to market)
- This innovation capacity of SMEs should be strengthened
- Strong support for a bottom-up approach of the SME specific measures exists
- Support exists for more demonstration and market replication activities and links to financial instruments which close the gap to the market
- For SME’s, simple rules and administrative procedures (e.g. open calls) and a short time-to-grant corresponding to the short innovation cycles of smaller companies should be in place
- It is important to ensure a clear delimitation and definition of EU action based on European added-value
- Proliferation and overlaps of programmes should be avoided; but cooperation and pooling of resources needs to be continued and reinforced
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!
Funding is available for an evaluation of the performance of EU climate policy, in particular phase II of the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme in relation to the implementation of the Renewable Electricity Directive. This will include the assessment of: implementation problems; the interaction between the Trading Scheme and the Directive (and interactions with other policies as far as relevant); their effectiveness in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and their costs. The deadline is 26.09.11
Funding is also available for innovative policies to support healthy, active and dignified ageing and raise the effectiveness and efficiency of spending on social, health and long-term care services and benefits. Proposals should promote the sustainability and quality of health and long-term care provision for the elderly through healthy and active ageing, with a focus on different stages of policy development. The budget for this call is €2 million and grants are expected to fall between €100,000 and €500,000. The deadline is 26.09.11
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 workshops took place in order to gather input from more than 100 stakeholders on what they would like from the next Transport programme; the first meeting was for stakeholders from all sectors including industry and academia and the second event was for national representatives, in order to get the view of Member States. Delegates were happy with Transport having its own ‘societal challenge’, but recognition is needed that it still contributes to excellence in the science base and to innovation and competitiveness. The next Programme should create effective transfer paths from research to industry, and act as an ‘integrator’, enabling technological development in other fields like ICT, energy and materials. Stakeholders agreed with the proposal of having the transport challenge built around ‘solution paths’: ‘Green transport’; ‘Integrated transport’; and ‘Competitive transport’. Delegates were also happy with the challenge focusing more on ‘research for industry’ and on electric vehicles but also stressed that the next Programme should still keep options open for other technological developments like hydrogen and fuel cells.
The ‘Institutional Human Resources Strategy Group’ was launched in 2009 to support the take-up of Charter and Code principles by employers and funders of researchers in Europe. The aim of the group is to provide a platform for the exchange of experiences and mutual support in the implementation of the ‘HR Strategy for Researchers incorporating the Charter and Code.’ So far, two cohorts incorporating 95 organisations has participated in the group. The Commission is now drawing up a list of candidates for the third cohort. It will have its first meeting in January 2012. This is expected to be followed by two more meetings in 2013.
The HR Strategy comprises five steps:
- An internal gap analysis by the individual organisation involving key stakeholders and in particular researchers;
- The development and publication of an institutional HR strategy for researchers and an action plan detailing how the institution will respond to the gaps identified;
- Acknowledgement of progress by the Commission
- Self-assessment of progress after at most two years;
- External analysis after at most four years.
If you are interested in joining the group, contact the Commission giving contact details and a short paragraph explaining the motivation for joining the group by September 29th.
Horizon 2020 will replace FP7 in 2014. Stakeholder workshops on the proposed ‘societal challenges’ have been held, including one on Inclusive, Innovative and Secure Societies. The workshops confirmed that the strand will encompass research currently funded under the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) and Security themes of the FP7 Co-operation programme, as well as the Science in Society and Coherent Policy Development strands of FP7 Capacities and the ICT for society aspects of the ICT theme.
The overarching conclusion from the two workshops was that although most of these areas could work together together to make a cohesive social sciences theme, the security element was a less comfortable fit (felt by both the security and the social sciences and humanities community). A new challenge entitled ‘Protecting the freedom of Europe and its citizens’ was suggested.
The EU’s proposed Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation will run from 2014-2020, replacing FP7. The EC is preparing the proposals for the Programme by holding stakeholder workshops. Two workshops with 50 representatives from the scientific community and government representatives were held on the Resource Efficiency and Climate Action Challenge. Key points that emerged from the discussions are:
- More clarity is needed on how the transition from FP7 to Horizon 2020 will work; it will be important to identify new and emerging needs as the situation will change up to 2020.
- Innovation which promotes societal change should be supported as it should be driven by technology and regulations as well as stakeholders and policy makers. There should be co-operation with non-EU countries to address common concerns.
- Cultural heritage; urban environment; natural hazards; earth observation systems; air quality; and land use and landscape were areas all missing from the proposals but which should be included.
- A balance between covering a comprehensive range of themes and focussing on a reduced number of priorities needs to be implemented. Stakeholder involvement and the indirect/intangible impacts should also be part of the peer review criteria.
Horizon 2020 will replace FP7 in 2014. Stakeholder workshops on the proposed ‘societal challenges’ of Horizon 2020 have been held, including one on Marie Curie Actions. The new structure will comprise of four strands:
- Initial Training of Researchers
- Career Development of Experienced Researchers
- Research and Innovation Staff Exchanges
- Co-funding of Regional, National and International Programmes.
The majority of participants welcomed the streamlining of the programme down to four actions, and supported the proposed extension of co-funding across the three other programmes. They also emphasised the importance of simplification and consistency of rules.
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.
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
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
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.’ In addition, games like satta king fast can be a great way to unwind after a long week at work.
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 ‘pikakasinot‘. Players were asked how they felt after playing in relation to the attributes or characteristics of the persona they would ideally like to be.
The Malta Industrial Innovation Research Center for Small to Medium-sized Enterprises is looking for partners in the field of tidal hydroelectric engineering. The project aim is to determine the optimum use of tidal flows for electrical generation. You can read more on the proposal and find contact details on the TIES Partner Search webpage.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
FP7 funding is increasingly preoccupied with involving SMEs in projects. If you’re thinking of applying for funding and wondering how best to involve SME’s you can look through the report from the commission which provides an analysis of their involvement in funded projects.