20.11.2013 change 20.11.2013

EU simplifies the procedures for Horizon 2020

In the new Framework Programme, with the budget of more than 70 billion euro, simplification applies across the whole programme - said EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn at the launch of Horizon 2020 in Warsaw.

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn noted that the EU had reformed how Horizon 2020 will be administered. Less complicated procedures will apply to both the preparation of applications and the reimbursement of project costs, the time between sending an application and receiving a grant will be much quicker. This is aimed to encourage researchers, innovators, and small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in the program, she noted. She announced that the first competitions under the program will be announced on the 11th of December.

"Horizon 2020 Framework Programme is the largest funding program for research and innovation in the EU. By 2020, more than 70 billion euros will be allocated to these targets. I do not think a single European scholar has any doubt today that new opportunities have appeared on the horizon" - said Minister of Science and Higher Education Barbara Kudrycka.

Kudrycka reminded that Polish researchers participated in the EU framework programs since 1999, gaining experience of how to successfully compete for funding for research projects. "Polish participation in the Framework Programmes is clearly increasing. In the 5th Framework Programme, 1760 Polish projects received funds amounting to 150 million euros. In the 6th Framework Programme, 1876 Polish project received EUR 250 million. In the 7th Framework Programme, 1815 Polish projects received funding in the amount of 370 million euros" - said the minister.

She noted that Poland is 12th in the EU when it comes to the number of teams implementing FP7 projects. "However, this does not translate into participation rates. Poland uses only 1.2 percent financial resources of the FP7. The rates are lowest with regard to obtaining the European Research Council grants, however, we observe a systematic increase in the total amount" - she admitted.

Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science added that among the 28 EU Member States, Poland is 19th when it comes to the percentage of those who have managed to obtain. But Poland can achieve much more, she admitted and noted that the Polish participation in the Framework Programme can be increased with the support of National Contact Points.

Geoghegan-Quinn noted that Poland had weathered the crisis better than most of the other EU Member States and avoided the recession in 2008-2010. "Indeed, other Member States certainly have something to learn from your experience. But to sustain this impressive growth, Poland has to accelerate its shift towards an innovation-driven economy. I know that reform is not easy, (…) but I am convinced that it is worth the effort" - said the Commissioner.

The objectives of Horizon 2020 include a new, simplified financial model (which should simplify the reimbursement of projects), maintaining the balance between small and large projects and the introduction of instruments which meet the needs of countries and regions with lower potential for science and innovation.

Horizon 2020 program focuses on three main areas (so-called pillars) . The first is "Excellence in Science". Within this area, pioneering research will be funded. The second pillar of the program is "Industrial Leadership". The last pillar of the program are Societal Challenges. In this area, funding will be provided for research in the areas important for the public, such as: health, demographic change, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine research, clean energy and transport, climate.

Horizon 2020 will be one of several financial mechanisms under which Polish researchers and innovators can apply for funds for their work. Researchers, universities and research institutes can also use the Operational Programmes: Sustainable Development, Knowledge , Education and Development, Eastern Poland , as well as regional Operational Programmes.

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