Tagged / EU

New EU Energy Roadmap 2050 – essential to read for FP7 Energy submissions!

The European Commission has adopted the ‘Energy Roadmap 2050’ which is intended to be the basis for developing a long-term EU framework for energy. If you’re interested in applying for calls under the FP7 Energy theme, then you should familiarise yourself with the overarching principles to strengthen your application.

The Energy Roadmap 2050 sets out the challenges posed by delivering the EU’s decarbonisation objective, while at the same time ensuring security of energy supply and competitiveness, by analysing a set of scenarios to describe the consequences of a carbon free energy system and the resulting necessary policy framework. Key points from the Roadmap include:

  • Decarbonisation of the energy system is technically and economically feasible
  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy are critical
  • Early investments cost less
  • Contain the increase of prices
  • Economies of scale are needed

If you’re thinking of applying for Energy FP7, read the Energy Roadmap 2050 Communication and FAQs on the Roadmap.

Become a part of the new EU e-Health stakeholder group

The European Commission has launched a call for expressions of interest from both user and industry representatives to form a new eHealth Stakeholder group for 2012.

The group will provide a platform for the development of legislation or policy related to eHealth and will have two main objectives:
•provide input into design and implementation of eHealth policy activities, in particular the Digital Agenda for Europe on eHealth, and the implementation of the eHealth Action Plan; and
•deliver independent, sound and transparent advice, drawing on their knowledge and research.
The deadline for applications of interest is 30 January 2012, and those appointed will be expected be an active member of the group for three years.

New EC Justice website and funding

DG Justice has a new and improved websitewhich now has two particularly useful new pages: one containing an oversight of its 6 funding programmes, and one summarising open calls for grant proposals.

There are also separate web pages giving details of each of the funding programmes, including Daphne III, the Civil Justice Programme, the Criminal Justice Programme and the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme. Currently open calls with forthcoming deadlines are:

Linked to Horizon 2020 changes, the 6 Programmes within DG Justice will be condensed to just two:

  • Justice Programme: concerned with judicial co-operation in civil and criminal matters (€472m budget)
  • Rights & Citizenship Programme  concerned with the development of an area of freedom, security and justice, by promoting and supporting the effective implementation of a Europe of rights (€439m budget)

To complement this, DG Home Affairs are replacing their current schemes with an Asylum & Migration Fund (worth €3.9b) and a Internal Security Fund  (worth €4.65b).

 DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion are launching a Programme for Social Change and Innovation . This contains three Programmes:   Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity (worth €574m),  European Employment Services (worth €143.7m) and European Progress Microfinance Facility (worth €191.6m).

Why not take a few minutes to have a peek…?

Calls related to Health Policy released & InfoDay live online!

The Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC) has issued calls for proposals, based upon the Directorate for Public Health and Consumers (DG Sanco) Work Programme for 2012. This Programme supports the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, and the calls cover a wide area of public health issues. The deadline for these proposals is 09.03.12. Funds are available for projects, conferences, operating grants and joint actions, available through calls under the following headings:

      • 3.1.1. Protect citizens against health threats – Develop risk management capacity and procedures, improve preparedness and planning for health emergencies;
      • 3.1.2. Protect citizens against health threats – Develop strategies and mechanisms for preventing, exchanging information on and responding to health threats from communicable and non-communicable diseases and health threats from physical, chemical or biological sources, including deliberate release acts;
      • 3.1.3. Improve citizens’ safety – Scientific advice;
      • 3.1.4. Improve citizens’ safety – Safety and quality of organs and substances of human origin, blood, and blood derivatives;
      • 3.2.1. Increasing healthy life years and promoting healthy ageing;
      • 3.2.2. Identifying the causes of, addressing and reducing health inequalities within and between Member States in order to contribute to prosperity and cohesion; supporting co-operation on issues of cross-border care and patient and health professional mobility;
      • 3.2.3. Addressing health determinants to promote and improve physical and mental health and taking action on key factors such as nutrition and physical activity, and on addiction-related determinants such as tobacco and alcohol;
      • 3.2.4. Prevention of major and rare diseases;
      • 3.3.1. European Health Information System;
      • 3.3.2. Dissemination, analysis and application of health information; provision of information to citizens, stakeholders and policy makers; and
      • 3.3.3. Analysis and reporting.

Take a look at the DG Sanco web page for more information on the calls.

There is also an Information Day in Brussels on 11.01.12 where you will be offered the opportunity to clarify queries concerning the administrative procedure and the technical contents of the call, as well as network with others in the same field. The deadline for registration for this event is 09.01.12 January 2012 but don’t worry if you can’t make it as the Infoday will also be web-streamed, and the link to this will be available on the EAHC website in advance.

useful European energy policy and research funding landscape meeting notes available

Our contact in Brussels, UKRO has updated its briefing note on the European energy policy and research funding landscape. The briefing will be useful to any of you researching in the area of energy as it gives key insights into future policy, funding opportunities and provides detail on ways of engaging with key European players.

briefing covers the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) and related initiatives which include the European Industry Initiatives (EIIs), the Joint research Programmes (JPs) of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) and the European Universities Association European Platform of Universities Engaged in Energy Research (EPUE). It also includes updated Questions and Answers, including how they relate to FP7 and Horizon 2020, and links to further sources of information and newsletters.

You can read the notes from the meeting on the UKRO webpages.

Reminder of amazing EU funding opportunities from BU!

Just a reminder to you all about our fantastic two EU funding opportunities from BU which have already had an overwhelming response.

The BU EU Academic Development Scheme (EUADS) is for all newbie’s in EU research, comprising of an amazing training and mentorship programme and a personal budget to help you create a proposal. The deadline for this scheme is 13.01.12

The BU EU Networking Fund (EUNF) is for anyone who wants to travel to network with potential partners. There isn’t a deadline for this but the funds are limited so be quick and don’t miss out!

More details on both schemes as well as application forms can be found in my previous blogpost.

Swedes spend tenth of research time applying for funding

How long do you spend writing funding proposals and how does this compare elsewhere in Europe? According to a recent analysis by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education, Swedish researchers spend 10% of their research time applying for funding. Based on data from 2009, lecturers spend 40 per cent of their time on research and of this, 10% is spent applying for external funds, which makes up roughly half of the research funding at Sweden’s universities.

Good news – Parliament supports 10% rise in EU research budget

The budget committee of the European Parliament has said it wants to maintain a planned increase of 10 per cent in the EU research budget for 2012. Under the committee’s proposal, research would obtain the largest increase of any major category of spending, as envisaged in the framework already agreed for spending from 2007 to 2013. However, in response to the financial crisis, the Council of Ministers has requested that research spending in 2012 be cut from the planned €12.56 billion to €11.43bn, in effect remaining the same as last year.

New simple EC FP7 guide coming to you!

It is with great pleasure I can announce that the printed copies of ‘The Simple Guide to European Commission FP7 Funding’ I have been working on over the last few months have arrived. This guide covers everything you need to know – from funding topics, to searching for partners, to completing the proposal form – all in a jargon free, simple format.

I have popped a copy for every research active academic at BU in the internal post. If you haven’t received one by Friday and would like me to send you one, please drop me an email. Happy reading!

Applying to the EC for funding? Simples!

One of the major criticisms of EC funding is the complication of funding, rules and paperwork. Horizon 2020 seems a huge merger of activities which have been funded in FP7 under several different programmes, and generic rules are being developed in order to create substantial simplification for participants.

Horizon 2020 will address the call from participants around Europe for a pragmatic shift towards administrative and financial simplification and states that the management of European research funding should be more trust-based and risk-tolerant towards participants.

Simple  funding rules should reduce the administrative costs for participation and will contribute to a reduction of financial errors so good news all round!

Phew – Marie Curie here to stay til 2020!

I am delighted to announce that Marie Curie Actions (which normally sit in the People Programme of FP7) looks like it is here to stay!

The goal of Marie Curie in Horizon 2020 is to ensure optimum development and dynamic use of Europe’s  intellectual capital in order to generate new skills and innovation and, thus, to realise its  full potential across all sectors and regions. The EC sees well-trained, dynamic and creative researchers as the vital raw material for the best science and the most productive research-based innovation.

THE EC feels that Europe hosts a large and diversified pool of skilled academics and l this needs to be constantly replenished, improved and adapted to the rapidly evolving needs of the labour market; particularly as a disproportionate number of researchers will hit retirement over the next few years and the research intensity of the EU economy is increasing.  

The goal is, by leveraging additional funds, to increase the numerical and structural impact of this scheme and to foster excellence at national level in researchers training, mobility and career development. Additional goals are to monitor progress, identify gaps and to increase their impact. Indicators shall be developed and data related to researchers‘ mobility, skills and careers analysed, seeking synergies and close coordination with the policy support actions on researchers, their employers and funders carried out under the ” Inclusive, innovative and secure societies” challenge.

The EC will target early career researchers – either doctoral or postdoc – and call for EU to develop state-of-the-art, innovative training schemes, consistent with the highly competitive and increasingly inter-disciplinary requirements of research and innovation. Strong involvement of businesses, including SMEs and other socio-economic actors, will be needed to equip researchers with the innovation skills demanded by the jobs of tomorrow. It will also be important to enhance the mobility of these researchers, as it currently remains at too modest a level: in 2008, only 7 % of European doctoral candidates were trained in another Member State, whereas the target is 20 % by 2030. Mid-career mobility will also be targeted not only between countries, but also between the public and private sectors as this creates a strong stimulus for learning and developing new skills and is a key factor in cooperation between academics, research centres and industry across countries.

Former Marie Curie schemes have fostered some excellent results and this will continue with future Marie Curie Actions which will encourage new, creative and innovative types of training such as industrial doctorates, involving education, research and innovation players who will have to compete globally for a reputation of excellence. By providing Union funding for the best research and training programmes following the Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training in Europe, they will also promote wider dissemination and take-up, moving towards more structured doctoral training. Marie Curie grants will also be extended to the temporary mobility of experienced researchers and engineers from public institutions to the private sector or vice versa, thereby encouraging and supporting universities, research centres and businesses to cooperate with one another on a European and international scale.

Funding will most likely be around the following 4 areas:

  1. Fostering new skills by means of excellent initial training of researchers: The goal is to train a new generation of creative and innovative researchers, able to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit in the Union. Key activities shall be to provide excellent and innovative training to early-stage researchers at post-graduate level via interdisciplinary projects or doctoral programmes involving universities, research institutions, businesses, SMEs and other socio-economic groups from different countries. This will improve career prospects for young post-graduate researchers in both the public and private sectors.
  2. Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility: The goal is to enhance the creative and innovative potential of experienced researchers at all career levels by creating opportunities for cross-border and cross-sector mobility. Key activities shall be to encourage experienced researchers to broaden or deepen their skills by means of mobility by opening attractive career opportunities in universities, research institutions, businesses, SMEs and other socio-economic groups all over Europe and beyond. Opportunities to restart a research career after a break shall also be supported.
  3. Stimulating innovation by means of cross-fertilisation of knowledge:  Key activities shall be to support short-term exchanges of research and innovation staff among a partnership of universities, research institutions, businesses, SMEs and other socio-economic groups, both within Europe and worldwide. This will include fostering cooperation with third countries.
  4. Increasing the structural impact by co-funding the activities:  Key activities shall be, with the aid of a co-funding mechanism, to encourage regional, national and international organisations to create new programmes and to open existing ones to international and intersectoral training, mobility and career development. This will increase the quality of research training in Europe at all career stages, including at doctoral level, will foster free circulation of researchers and scientific knowledge in Europe, will promote attractive research careers by offering open recruitment and attractive working conditions and will support research and innovation cooperation between universities, research institutions and enterprises and cooperation with third countries and international organisations.

So 3 really is the magic number for the EC: The objectives of Horizon 2020

As highlighted in yesterday’s blogpost, funding for Horizon 2020 will now be structured around three priority areas. Below outlines in more detail the areas included in this:

I. Societal Challenges

This will be in response to EU policy and will focus on 6 areas:


  1. Health, demographic change and well-being;
  2. Food security, sustainable agriculture and the bio-economy;
  3. Secure, clean and efficient energy;
  4. Smart, green and integrated transport;
  5. Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials;
  6. Inclusive, innovative and secure societies.

 The emphasis will be on bringing together a critical mass of resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies and scientific disciplines in order to address challenges and activities will cover the full cycle from research to market, with a focus on innovation-related activities, such as piloting, demonstration, test-beds, support for public procurement, social innovation and market take-up of innovations. Finally, social sciences and humanities shall be an integral part of the activities to address all the challenges.



II. Excellent Science

This will reinforce and extend the excellence of the EUs science base in order to make the EU research and innovation system more competitive on a global scale. This will be funded under 4 programmes:


  • Marie Curie actions will provide excellent and innovative research training plus attractive career and knowledge-exchange opportunities through cross-border and cross-sector mobility of researchers to best prepare them to face current and future societal challenges.
  • European Research Council (ERC) will provide attractive and flexible funding to enable talented and creative individual researchers and their teams to pursue the most promising avenues at the frontier of science;
  • Future and Emerging Technologies will support collaborative research in order to extend Europe‘s capacity for advanced and paradigm-changing innovation. They foster scientific collaboration across disciplines on radically new, high-risk ideas and accelerate development of the most promising emerging areas of science and technology as well as the EU-wide structuring of the corresponding scientific communities.
  • Research Infrastructures will develop European research infrastructure for 2020 and beyond, foster their innovation potential and human capital, and add the related European Union policy and international cooperation.

These activities are focused on building skills in the long term and on the next generation of science, technology, researchers and innovations and providing support for emerging talent from across the whole of the European Union and associated countries, as well as worldwide.


III. Industrial Leadership

This aims to speed up development of the technologies and innovations that will underpin future businesses and help innovative SMEs to grow into world-leading companies. It consists of three specific objectives:

  1. Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies which will provide dedicated support for research, development and demonstration on ICT, nanotechnology, advanced materials, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and processing and space. Emphasis will be placed on interactions and convergence across and between the different technologies.
  2. Access to risk finance in order to overcome deficits in the availability of debt and equity finance for innovative companies and projects at all stages of development  (including supporting the development of Union-level venture capital)
  3. Innovation in SMEs which will stimulate all forms of innovation in SMEs, targeting those with the potential to grow and internationalise across the single market and beyond.

Horizon 2020 will take an integrated approach to the participation of SMEs, which could lead to around 15% of the total combined budgets for all specific objectives on societal challenges and the specific objective on ‘Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies’ being devoted to SMEs.


The ‘Societal Challenges ‘ theme and Marie Curie Actions found in the ‘Excellent Science’ theme are most relevant to BU staff and therefore Wednesday and Thursday’s blog posts will focus on these respectively.


The focus of FP7s replacement, Horizon 2020

This week I will be bringing you a summary of the most important information contained in the draft Horizon 2020 proposal (FP7s replacement).  Today focuses on the background to Horizon 2020 and its overall objectives and aims, which will help you to understand the rationale behind the new funding structures which will be detailed throughout this week on the blog.

Horizon 2020 has an arching overall primary objective to generate excellent science in order to strengthen the EU’s world-class excellence in science whilst fostering industrial leadership to support business and tackling societal challenges, in order to respond directly to the challenges identified in the Europe 2020 strategy by supporting activities covering the entire spectrum from research to market.

Funding will complement these three primary aims, but each will incorporate at least one of the more specific aims outlined in Horizon 2020. These are to:

  • tackle the major societal challenges identified in Europe 2020 and its flagship initiatives
  • create industrial leadership in Europe increase excellence in the science base
  • achieve a European research area in which researchers, scientific knowledge and  technology circulate freely, and encouraging the Union to become more competitive (including in its industry)
  • ensure  the conditions necessary for the competitiveness of the Union’s industry exist by fostering better exploitation of the industrial potential of policies of innovation, research and technological development
  • contribute to the role of research and innovation as key drivers of social and economic prosperity and of environmental sustainability (to achieve the goal of increasing spending on R&D to reach 3 % of GDP by 2020)
  • support all stages in the innovation chain, especially activities closer to the market including innovative financial instruments
  • satisfy the research needs of a broad spectrum of EU policies by placing emphasis on the widest possible use and dissemination of knowledge generated by the supported activities up to its commercial exploitation
  • develop closer synergies with national and regional programmes that support  research and innovation as well as other Union programmes
  • address the  underlying causes of gender imbalance in science and research by integrating the gender dimension into the content of  projects
  • contribute to the attractiveness of the research profession in the EU
  • favour an informed  engagement of citizens and civil society on research and innovation matters by  promoting science education, by making scientific knowledge more accessible, by  developing responsible research and innovation agendas that meet citizens’ and civil  society’s concerns and expectations and by facilitating their participation in Horizon  2020 activities
  • have strong participation of SMEs
  • promote cooperation with third countries
  • develop a new approach to control and risk management in research  funding; readdressing the balance between trust and control and between risk-taking and risk avoidance
  • promote dissemination of information and as an integral task of research


Tomorrow’s blog post will detail the areas of funding proposed within Horizon 2020….

Exclusive! Week long special on Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the replacement of FP7 – Europe’s largest funding programme, managed by the European Commission (EC). In 2014, FP7 will end and Horizon 2020 will be the primary mechanism through which to seek EC funding.

A confidential draft paper was released this week which details the proposed direction of Horizon 2020. Every day next week I will post important summaries of sections of the document most relevant to you so you can get a head start on preparing for Horizon 2020:


    • Monday covers the rationale behind Horizon 2020
    • Tuesday will detail the 3 funding priority areas of Horizon 2020
    • Wednesday will outline funding proposed in the most relevant funding area for BU staff; ‘Societal Challenges’
    • Thursday details proposals for the Marie Curie Programme throughout Horizon 2020
    • Friday outlines the proposals for simplification of the rules and regulations of EC funding
    BU is the only University in the UK who has summarised this document and will disseminate it to their staff, so make sure you take full advantage of this information!

New EU Health Research Search Engine Launched

The ‘HealthCompetence‘ search engine will provide an invaluable but simple tool for all those interested in health research. This is a free and really simple website to use where you can search by researcher, organisation, project title, thematic areas, keywords, countries, dates and many more fields.

You can also generate reports on the data, for instance if you would like to know a particular organisations participation in EU funded health research, or a thematic area in FP6 or FP7, or even to view the cooperation between two organisations in EU funded health research. This will be a very useful tool in helping you identify potential partners.

Finally, HealthCompetence has a list of upcoming events which you may be interested in, which will provide a great opportunity to network with potential collaborators.

EU and Brazil to launch a whopping €10m ICT research programme!

The EU and Brazil have just signed a deal to launch a joint €10-million call for research proposals in Information and Communication Technologies.

The scheme will fund cooperative research in areas including cloud computing for science, technologies for smart cities, and hybrid broadcast-broadband TV services. I will keep you posted on calls when they are available on this blog.

MEDIA 2007 Call for Proposals: Promotion and Access to Markets

The EC has launched a call for proposals for the promotion and access to markets under the Media 2007 Programme.

The objectives include:

  • facilitating and encouraging the promotion and movement of European audiovisual and cinema works at trade shows, fairs and audiovisual festivals in Europe and around the globe, insofar as such events may play an important role in the promotion of European works and the networking of professionals, and
  • encouraging the networking of European operators, by supporting joint activities on the European and international markets by national public or private promotion bodies.

The deadline for sending in applications is: 22 December 2011 for activities starting between 1 June 2012 and up to 31 December 2012. The guidelines of the call for proposals, as well as the application forms, are available from the European Commission’s website.