Tagged / EU

EU energy related funding available

EU Eco-innovation projects funding: to support the market penetration of an environmental product, service, management practice or process with a proven track record, but which has not yet been fully marketed. The indicative budget for this call is €36 million and funding will provide up to 50 per cent of a project’s costs over a period of 36 months. Deadline 08.09.11

EUROGIA+ funding call: projects should develop innovative energy technologies that will reduce the carbon footprint of energy production and use, with a focus on solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and energy efficiency. Deadline 14.09.11

Design options for sectoral carbon market mechanisms and their implication for the EU ETS: projects should help to improve understanding of different options for key design elements of the sector-wide carbon market mechanisms, as well as assessing the implications of recognising credits from such pilots for use under the EU ETS. Funding is worth between €180,000 and €200,000 over nine months. Deadline 16.08.11

Integration of renewable energy in Europe: project should provide quantitative and qualitative analysis of the electricity market, the transmission network and the distribution network in its ability to adapt to higher penetration of electricity from renewable energy. Funding covers approximately 500 person-days. Deadline 23.08.11

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 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

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.

The advantages of winning EU funding: BU’s Dimitrios Buhalis shares his experiences

Over the last 10 years I have had the privilege to work on half a dozen European Commission funded projects with a total income of about £1m. Most of them are relating to technology innovations and advantages with a primary focus to tourism and hospitality organisations and regional regions as well as cultural heritage. Getting European funding is complex and requires a lot of work, networking and innovative thinking. Success rates are low and it is quite demanding. Nevertheless there is a great number of benefits that comes with success. These include:

  • Cutting edge knowledge of the most cutting edge research problems
  • Research that it is relevant to society and has an impact on a European level
  • Networking across different disciplines
  • Working with colleagues from around Europe
  • Funding for research assistants, equipment and travel
  • And yes you can travel around and sample the Belgian and not only beers ….

Perhaps the project I enjoyed most as it made me realise the impact that research can do is a recent project which I did when I was still at the University of Surrey. This was about accessible/disabled tourism and I was called to provide expertise on how to deal with information for people with disability that wanted to travel. The project lasted for 2 years and provided a series of key success factor for facilities to use and also guidelines on how those should be systematised for dissemination over the internet. Getting closely involved with people with disabilities and working out on potential solutions opened a whole world for me a

The immediate results of the projects and the other initiatives that emerged are equally impressive:

Although not always easy, involvement with European funded projects are incredibly rewarding for their intellectual stimulation, the exposure to knowledge and networking as well as access to resources. They are also fantastic for impact to society at an international and global scale. We are about to start a new project on Electronic Marketing, mobile phones, location based services, small business and tourism and look forward to cutting edge research.

EU Green Paper for FP8 released!

The Green Paper has now been released and proposes major changes to EU research and innovation funding in order to make participation easier, increase scientific and economic impact and provide better value for money. The changes, to be introduced in the next EU budget after 2013, will cover the current Framework Programme for research, the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme, and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.  Read the full summary analysis to get a head start on what future EU funding may look like.

European Food Safety Authority – Call for Proposals

The European Food Safety Authority invites proposals on gathering consumption data on specific consumer groups of energy drinks. The project should collect data on the consumption of energy drinks and specific ingredients, including caffeine and glucuronolactone, in relation to member state consumers aged three to 10 years, 10 to 18 years and 18 to 65 years. The budget for this call is €100,000 over 12 months; see the website for more info.

Funding available for EU sustainable development indicators & audiovisual production and statistics

Eurostat has funding available for two topics:

Tenders submitted under ‘Publications and an audiovisual production on European Union sustainable development indicators‘ should  review the knowledge relating to this field in the EU by carrying out conceptual work and analyses and drawing up a draft manual as a citizens’ guide to assessing sustainable development. Funding is worth up to €200,000 over six months and the deadline is 28.07.11.

Tenders submitted under EU Statistics should focus on income and living conditions methodological studies and publications; statistics on high-tec industries, knowledge-based services and human resources in science and tehcnology; statistics on innovation; patent statistics, with a focus on patenting by SMEs; methodological development of statistics on crime and criminal justice. The overall budget for this call is €1.75 million over 36 months and the deadline is 28.07.11.

The advantages of winning EU funding: BU’s Sherry Jeary shares her experiences

“I spent the first three months of this year sitting in REC, a software engineering company  in Wroclaw, Poland doing the job of a Software Engineer. So what is unusual about that? I am a Senior Lecturer in Software Engineering and have, for the first time in my career, had complete immersion in a company doing the subject I research, talk to students about, enthuse with colleagues about and generally bore my outside friends about. As part of the INFER project headed up by Bogdan Gabrys which is creating a complex, predictive, adaptive system, I have had an opportunity that rarely comes an academics way. I got to live in Wroclaw, had fun getting about in a beautiful part of Poland and really enjoyed being among the Polish people. ( I would also recommend the Bison grass Vodka J).

As a result I have already written a conference paper and had it accepted whilst a journal paper will follow. I will have two very useful case studies which I can discuss with colleagues and have learnt a great deal about the processes involved in the company (my particular research interest). I am advising the company on the ways that they can improve what they are doing – so it is a two way thing. Finally, as a result of the project my network has expanded considerably with both academics and industrialists.  I can see how I may need change my teaching strategy to respond to what is happening in the real world and I am well placed to consider applying for funding with my company colleagues in the future to continue the work I have started.

At a recent meeting discussing our strategy for BU’s engagement with Europe,  I was surprised to hear that many academics were either not interested or were nervous of starting out in the EU. I agreed to write about my current journey. If you work at BU and want to find out more, let me know. I am happy to help.”

Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Call for Proposals launched

The Call has a budget of 109M€ and a deadline of August 18th. A webinar organised by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Group of the Energy Generation & Supply KTN was held last week  and the slides and a recording of the presentation are available on the pages of the Focus Working Group on the FCH JU 2011 Call. You will need to be a member of the Group to access these materials and the added benefits of joining are that you will also be able to work with other members of the fuel cell and hydrogen community to explore how to prepare a successful bid into the FCH JU Call, exchange experiences, gain insights into the 2011 topics, search for collaboration partners and find a range of information on how to work and apply for European funding.

LIFE Programme & Resource Efficiency: Decoupling Growth from Resource Use

The EU’s 2020 Strategy sets the priority of moving to a more resource efficient, green and competitive economy. The LIFE programme has a long track record of innovative approaches for building a resource efficient Europe. This LIFE Focus publication aims to showcase how LIFE funding has generated a vast portfolio of know-how for a diverse range of beneficiaries and sectors: from LIFE Environment projects that have helped improve the resource efficiency of production processes to products that incorporate eco-design principles throughout their lifecycle. Other exemplary projects highlight approaches that can save water, reduce the negative impacts of transport, agriculture, fisheries and the food and beverage sector and lead to more energy-efficient buildings. The publication also shows how LIFE projects are helping to realise key EU policy goals such as better land use and planning, the development of green skills and Green Public Procurement. Todownload the publication,  click here.

EC Strategy Launched to Improve Biodiversity

The European Commission has launched a new strategy to protect and improve the state of Europe’s biodiversity over the next decade. Six priority targets have been set which address the main drivers of biodiversity loss. They are:

  • Full implementation of existing nature protection legislation and network of natural reserves, to ensure major improvements to the conservation status of habitats and species
  • Improving and restoring ecosystems and ecosystem services wherever possible, notably by the increased use of green infrastructure
  • Ensuring the sustainability of agriculture and forestry activities
  • Safeguarding and protecting EU fish stocks
  • Controlling invasive species, a growing cause of biodiversity loss in the EU
  • Stepping up the EU’s contribution to concerted global action to avert biodiversity loss.

The strategy is in line with two major commitments made by EU leaders in March 2010 – halting the loss of biodiversity in the EU by 2020, and protecting, valuing and restoring EU biodiversity and ecosystem services by 2050. It is also in line with global commitments made in Nagoya in October 2010, in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity, where world leaders adopted a package of measures to address biodiversity loss world wide over the coming decade.

As an integral part of the Europe 2020 Strategy, the biodiversity strategy will contribute to the EU’s resource efficiency objectives by ensuring that Europe’s natural capital is managed sustainably, as well as to climate change mitigation and adaptation goals by improving the resilience of ecosystems and the services they provide.

Full details of the strategy and its launch can be found here.

Official UK position paper on the next Framework Programme released!

Funding for EU Research and Innovation from 2014: a UK Perspective is the official response to the EU consultation on the Common Strategic Framework for Research and Innovation funding. It takes the form of a 16 page statement setting out the UK’s views, key points are:

  • green growth should continue to receive a high, and ideally increased, proportion of an albeit smaller overall EU budget;
  • focus on impact, dissemination and knowledge transfer should be increased;
  • social sciences and arts and humanities research should be embedded in all aspects of the future programme and increasing its share of funding;
  • a small number of thematic challenges should be agreed and these should include climate change, energy, water and food security, the protection of natural resources and the ageing population;
  • maintaining excellence should be at the heart of the programmes, but also provide support to the aspirations of EU12 countries to increase their participation;
  • as well as providing research and innovation funding, the programme should also support the provision of finance for businesses and follow-on activities; and
  • a step change in simplification is needed with time to grant periods being reduced and the number of audits being kept to the minimum necessary.

Our jazzy new EU tab!

Some of you sharp-eyed bloggers may have noticed we have a brand new EU tab.  This marks the Research Development Unit’s dedication to increasing the awareness of EU funding and supporting you to maximise networking opportunities. The EU blog will feature essential information including networking events, forthcoming information days, key policy changes, internal workshops and of course calls for proposals.

All stories from this tab will feature in our snazzy daily digest email so make sure you’ve signed up so you don’t miss out!

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