Tagged / EU

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

Latest EU Social Sciences & Humanities funding

Free movement of lawyers: proposals should evaluate the legal framework for the free movement of lawyers against market and regulatory developments in the single market. Funding is worth up to €500,000 over 11 months. Deadline 15.09.11

Socio-economic impacts of new measures to improve accessibility of goods and services for people with disabilities: proposals should explore the merits of adopting EU regulatory measures to substantially improve the proper functioning of the internal market for accessible products and services, including measures to step up the use of public procurement.  Funding is worth up to €800,000 over 12 months. Deadline: 22.08.11

Roma in education: this funding supports transnational cooperation projects in the development and implementation of coherent and comprehensive joined-up educational measures to raise the participation and attainment levels of Roma students in general education and vocational educational training, and to support network activities for awareness-raising of the social integration of Roma children and students.  The total budget for the call is €584,000 and each grant is worth up to €150,000 over a maximum of 12 months. Deadline: 16.09.11

European policy network on the education of children and young people with a migrant background: this funding supports cross-European collaboration between high level decision makers, academics and practitioners for raising the educational attainment of children and young people from a migrant background. The maximum duration of projects is 36 months, and a total budget of €500,000 is available for 2012. Deadline 14.10.11

Support for the Digitisation of European Cinemas: the aim of the ‘digitisation of cinemas’ scheme is to encourage cinemas showing a significant percentage of non-national European works to exploit the possibilities offered by digital. This call for proposals aims to facilitate the digital transition of cinemas screening European films by supporting the side costs linked to the purchase of a digital projector. Closing date: 15 September 2011

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

Latest EU energy related funding

European Energy Efficiency Fund: this fund will invest in energy saving, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, particularly in urban settings, with the aim of achieving at least a 20 per cent energy saving or an equivalent reduction in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. The fund will offer a wide range of funding streams such as senior and junior loans, guarantees or equity participation to local, regional and, under certain conditions, to national public authorities to promote sustainable energy investments. At its launch, the fund is worth a total of €265m with contributions from the European Investment Bank and national financial institutions.

Eco-innovation projects: this funding supports 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. Closing date: 8 September 2011.

Assessment of scenarios and options towards a resource-efficient Europe: proposals should identify inefficient uses of resources that cut across different sectors and policy areas at meso- and macro-economic level and quantitatively assess the potential for, and effects of, efficiency improvements within systems. Funding is worth between €700,000 and €750,000 over 24 months. Deadline: 22.08.11.

Multilateral Research on Material Efficiency: Proposals are invited on the topic of Interdisciplinary Program on Material Efficiency – A first step towards sustainable manufacturing. This call will be supported by €10 million over a three year period and it is hoped that between eight and ten collaborations will be funded.

Europe 2020: latest Structural Funds update

The latest EU proposals reveal several key issues for UK Structural Funds which are summarised below.

Less money for the UK: the amount received by the UK is likely to fall (as GDP is higher than in other Member States). The overall budget for the structural funds at EU level will remain roughly the same (€376 billion); the greatest proportion will be earmarked for poor areas below 75% of the EU GDP average (unlikely to be any in England). The levels of total investment will still be significant and all areas will continue to have at least some access to funds.

New opportunities for part of England: there is opportunity for some areas of England to benefit from greater levels of structural funding. In the current programme, areas were either identified as rich (competitiveness) or poor (convergence) with some phasing in areas in between, receiving levels of funding accordingly. From 2014 it is proposed a new transition category be created between the two, at the level 75%-90% GDP, which would receive greater levels of funding than competitiveness areas. All other areas, with a GDP above 90%, will continue to benefit from competitiveness funding as they do now.

Tightening priorities: structural funds may be targeted at a fewer number of EU priorities. Competitiveness and transition areas will be required to focus economic development spending (ERDF) on energy efficiency, renewable energies, SME competitiveness and innovation. It is also proposed at least half of structural funds must be spent on skills development projects (ESF) in next programme round.

Stronger performance management: the EU will negotiate a partnership contract with the UK government, setting out a commitment for spending structural funds to address priorities and progress will be assessed through a performance framework measuring outcomes.

New funds for research, infrastructure and education: a range of expenditure lines will be integrated into three new EU-wide programmes: a ‘Connecting Europe Facility’ is proposed to offer €40 billion into transport, energy and ICT infrastructure projects; ‘Horizon 2020’ will integrate a range of research and innovation funds into a single €80 billion programme; and a single education and youth programme of €15.2 billion will integrate the range of youth development, learning and exchange funds.

Rural development: the rural development element of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will receive €89.9 billion from 2014-20, and will be subject to similar performance and conditionality measures like structural funds. Funding for farm payments is proposed at €281.8 billion, roughly the same as current. The EU will make proposals permitting flexibility between the rural development and farm payment funds.

More coordinated spending: a common strategic framework for ERDF, ESF, the rural development programme will aim to join up the strategic ambitions of the different funds, as driven by the EU2020 strategy.

Financial engineering instruments: proposals place more emphasis on using the EU budget to leverage additional private sector investment.

Simplified administration: proposals aim to simplify, speed up and improve administration and delivery, requiring that both the EU and member states commit to radical simplification.

Negotiation timetable: proposals must be agreed unanimously by Member States, who are working towards an agreement for the end of 2012. Alongside this, important detail for each of the individual funds will be published in the autumn 2011, and Government is beginning to plan how funding programmes will be administered in England.

EU Intellectual Property/ technology transfer funding

EIB-universities proposal for three new research action sponsorships: projects should cover 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 16.09.11

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.