Tag Archives: EU

EU Proposals on the Rise

Horizon 2020 LogoA statement from the European Commission has confirmed that in the first half of the year they received applications that totaled nine times the amount of funding available under the Horizon 2020 calls.

The response to the first Horizon 2020 calls has been enormous, with more than 17,000 proposals already submitted. I am impressed by the clear rise in industry interest, particularly from small businesses.”

European Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn

The response marks a substantial increase from the previous 7th Framework Programme (FP7) and a higher level of competition, however it is worth noting that due to the move from FP7 to Horizon 2020 there was a period when no calls were being published.

There has also been a notable increase in applications from industry, with business applications to the “industrial leadership” and “societal challenges” pillars of Horizon representing 44 percent of the total compared with 30 percent under comparable areas of FP7. SME participation is particularly strong, with over 5,500 SME applications to the Horizon calls on encouraging leadership in enabling and industrial technologies and nearly 2,700 applications for funding under the new €3 billion SME Instrument.

Research Priorities of the Italian Presidency of the EU

Logo semestre inglese

As some of you may already be aware the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU commenced on 1 July, and as is custom will run for six months until the end of December 2014.

The Presidency have already announced their main priorities for the coming months, which include contributing to the Europe 2020 Strategy review process, reaching a political decision on a new strategic partnership initiative in the Mediterranean Area, and contributing to the strengthening of the European Research Area.

In line with these priorities an number of events have been planned during the Presidency period. In addition to events looking at business and academia collaboration, these events include an event in Bologna looking at Enabling Technologies for Societal Challenges (29 September-1 October) and ICT Proposers day (Florence, 9-10 October 2014) and conferences on Transport Safety (4-5 December 2014, Genoa) and Energy (date and location to be confirmed.)

Details of these events will be published on the Italian Presidency website, or look out for the latest UKRO updates and alerts.

Political Foundations at European Level

European Parliament

Support for the establishment, development and functioning of European political foundations, as well as the activities developed by them, to underpin and facilitate the European parties’ efforts on political information and debate.

Background

In 2006, the European Parliament drafted an amendment to the 2007 EU budget proposing a ‘Pilot project – European political foundations’ to support the development of the European political foundations and their activities.  In 2008, funding was offered under a permanent grants programme.

Objectives of Fund

The European Parliament awards operating grants to political foundations at European level to support activities that further promote the objectives of European political parties in terms of contributing to the debate on European public policy issues and on European integration.

The financial assistance is expected to aid political foundations to act as catalysts for new ideas, analysis and policy options.

Value Notes

The financial envelope for 2015 is €13.67million.

Financial contribution from the Commission cannot exceed 85% of total eligible costs.

The European Commission reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available.

Match Funding Restrictions

At least 15% of match funding required

Who Can Apply

Participation in this Call focuses on European political foundations affiliated to a European political party and is limited to one foundation per party.

To be eligible for a grant, the applicant must:

  • Be affiliated with one of the political parties at European level recognised in accordance with this Regulation.
  • Have a legal personality in the Member State in which its seat is located.
  • Observe, in particular in its programme and in its activities, the principles on which the EU is founded, namely the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law.
  • Not promote profit goals.
  • Have a governing body with a geographically balanced composition.

Location

EU Member State

Terms and Conditions

The following texts are available on the European Parliament’s Internet site

  • Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding.
  • Decision of the Bureau of the European Parliament of 29 March 2004 laying down procedures for implementing Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding.
  • Grant application form.
  • Specimen agreement.

Restrictions

The following costs are not considered eligible:

  • Return on capital.
  • Debts and debt service charges.
  • Provisions for losses or possible future liabilities.
  • Doubtful debts.
  • Interest owed.
  • Exchange losses.
  • VAT, unless the beneficiaries show that they are unable to recover it.
  • Costs covered by another activity or action plan receiving a Community grant.
  • Inordinate or ill-considered expenditure.
  • Purchases of equipment.
  • Substitution costs for replacing persons involved in the activities.
  • Expenses related to participants of non-eligible countries.
  • Expenses related to use of experts/speakers from non-eligible countries, unless explicit prior authorisation is granted by the Commission.
  • Travel expenses to and from non-eligible countries, unless explicit prior authorisation is granted by the Commission.

Eligible Expenditure

Funding is provided as an operational grant to meet operating costs. Amongst the activities that political foundations shall undertake, the following could be highlighted:

  • Observing, analysing and contributing to the debate on European public policy issues and the process of European integration.
  • Supporting European seminars, training, conferences and studies on the aforementioned issues.
  • Serving as a framework for national think tanks, political foundations and academics to work together at European level.

How To Apply

Deadline(s):

2014 deadline for 2015 financial year: 30 September 2014

Frequency: Annual.

Useful information

Applications must be:

  • Submitted on the grant application form (Annex 1 to the Bureau Decision of 29 March 2004).
  • Signed by the applicant or his duly authorised representative.
  • Submitted under double cover; the two envelopes shall be sealed and labelled as requested in the Call for Proposals.

Information taken from Grantfinder, Idox

Horizon 2020 – Excellent Science – ERC Grants

H2020

ERC funding schemes are open to excellent researchers of any nationality who wish to carry out their frontier research in the EU Member States or associated countries.

Background

The European Research Council’s grant programme consists of actions under Part I of the ‘Excellent Science’ pillar of Horizon 2020 , the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation 2014–2020.

Part I of the Excellent Science pillar relates to the specific objective ‘Strengthening Europe’s science base in frontier research’.

Objectives of Fund

The European Research Council (ERC) aims to provide attractive, long-term funding to support excellent investigators and their research teams to pursue ground-breaking, high gain and high risk research.

Research funded by the ERC is expected to lead to advances at the frontiers of knowledge and to set a clear and inspirational target for frontier research across Europe.

Value Notes

The indicative budget for the 2014 Call is €15 million.

Up to 100% of total eligible and approved direct costs, and flat-rate financing of indirect costs of a maximum of 25% of the total eligible direct costs, is available.

Grant levels vary as follows:

ERC Starting Grants

  • Up to a maximum of €1.5 million for a period of five years.
  • Additionally, up to €500,000 can be requested to cover:
    • Eligible “start-up” costs for Principal Investigators moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving the ERC grant.
    • Purchase of major equipment.
    • Access to large facilities.

Consolidator Grants

  • Up to a maximum of €2 million for a period of five years.
  • Additionally, up to €750,000 can be requested to cover:
    • Eligible “start-up” costs for Principal Investigators moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving the ERC grant.
    • Purchase of major equipment.
    • Access to large facilities.

Advanced Grants

  • Up to a maximum of €2.5 million for a period of five years.
  • Additionally, up to €1 million can be requested to cover:
    • Eligible “start-up” costs for Principal Investigators moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving the ERC grant.
    • Purchase of major equipment.
    • Access to large facilities.

Proof of Concept Grant

  • Up to a maximum of €150,000 for a period of 18 months.
  • The ERC expects that normally, proof of concept projects should be completed within 12 months.

Who Can Apply

Principal Investigators of any nationality may apply to carry out research in a host institution established in an EU Member State or Associated Country. Public or private institutions, including universities, research organisations and undertakings can host the Principal Investigator.

The researcher may be residing in any country in the world at the time of application, but the host institution must be in an EU Member state or Associated Country. The grant is awarded to the institution that engages and hosts the Principal Investigator.

In certain conditions team members may be based outside of the EU or an Associated Country.

The following specific eligibility criteria apply:

  • Starting Grant - The Principal Investigator should have been awarded his/her first PhD more than two years, and less than seven years prior to the Call for Proposals. Applicants are expected to have produced at least one important publication without the participation of their PhD supervisor.
  • Consolidator Grant – The Principal Investigator should have been awarded his/her first PhD more than seven, and less than twelve years prior to the Call for Proposals. Applicants are expected to have produced several important publications without the participation of their PhD supervisor.
  • Advanced Grant - applicants are expected to be active researchers and to have a track record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years.
  • Proof of Concept Grant – All Principal Investigators in an ERC frontier research project, that is either ongoing or has ended less than 12 months before the publication date of a Call for Proposals, are eligible to apply.

Location

EU Member State or Associated Country

Terms and Conditions

  1. A Principal Investigator may submit only one proposal to the ERC for ERC frontier research grant calls made under the same Work Programme.
  2. A Principal Investigator whose proposal was evaluated as category C in the Starting, Consolidator or Advanced Grant calls for proposals under Work Programme 2013 may not submit a proposal to the Starting, Consolidator or Advanced Grant calls for proposals made under Work Programme 2014.
  3. A researcher may participate as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator in only one ERC frontier research project at any one time.
  4. A researcher participating as Principal Investigator in an ERC frontier research project may not submit a proposal for another ERC frontier research grant, unless the existing project ends no more than two years after the call deadline.
  5. A Principal Investigator who is a serving Panel Member for a 2014 ERC call or who served as a Panel Member for a 2012 ERC call may not apply to a 2014 ERC call for the same type of grant.
  6. A Principal Investigator whose proposal is evaluated as category C in the Starting, Consolidator or Advanced Grant calls for proposals under Work Programme 2014 may not submit a proposal to the Starting, Consolidator or Advanced Grant calls for proposals made under Work Programme 2015 and 2016.
  7. A Principal Investigator whose proposal is finally evaluated as category B in the Starting, Consolidator or Advanced Grant calls for proposals under Work Programme 2014 may not submit a proposal to the Starting, Consolidator or Advanced Grant calls for proposals made under Work Programme 2015.

Eligible Expenditure

Applications may be made in any field of research. Support is available for frontier research.

Proposals that cross disciplinary boundaries, pioneering ideas that address new and emerging fields and applications that introduce unconventional, innovative approaches are particularly encouraged.

Applicant Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal.

The following grants are available:

ERC Starting Grant – designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are starting their own independent research team or programme.

Consolidator Grant – designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they may still be consolidating their own independent research team or programme.

Advanced Grant – designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are already established research leaders with a recognised track record of research achievements.

Proof of Concept Grant – funding for further work (ie activities which were not scheduled to be funded by the original ERC frontier research grant) to verify the innovation potential of ideas arising from ERC funded projects.

How To Apply

Deadlines are as follows:

  • Advanced Grant – 21 October 2014
  • Proof of Concept Grant – 1 October 2014

There will be no Call for Synergy Grants in 2014.

Frequency: Annual and biannual

Link to guidelines: http://erc.europa.eu/funding-and-grants

Useful information

Applications are made online through the Participants Portal. A Guide for Applicants is published for each Call for Proposals which describes in detail how the electronic forms should be completed.

Starting, Consolidator and Advanced Grant proposals are submitted by the Principal Investigator who has scientific responsibility for the project, on behalf of the host institution. A single submission of the full proposal will be followed by a two-step evaluation. The evaluation will be conducted by high level peer review panels. Applicant Principal Investigators can request during the electronic proposal submission that up to three specific persons should not act as a peer reviewer in the evaluation of their proposal.

Proof of Concept Grant proposals are submitted by the Principal Investigator who has responsibility for the proposed activities, on behalf of the host institution which is the applicant legal entity. Proposals should provide detailed descriptions of the project, its objectives, planning, execution, and required resources.

Information taken from Grantfinder, Idox.

Horizon 2020: Update on Numbers of Proposals Submitted per Topic

Horizon 2020 LogoIf you have submitted an application to Horizon 2020 and are waiting to hear back, you may be interested to know how many applications were submitted to the same call.

The EU has started to publish the number of proposals submitted to topics under some of the H2020 calls.

Numbers are currently available for the following calls:

Societal Challenges H2020-HCO-2014

Societal ChallengesH2020-PHC-2014-single-stage

Excellent ScienceH2020-MSCA-IF-2014

Excellent ScienceH2020-FETPROACT-2014

Industrial LeadershipH2020-EUJ-2014

Societal ChallengesH2020-EE-2014-3-MarketUptake

Societal ChallengesH2020-EE-2014-2-RIA

Societal ChallengesH2020-EE-2014-3-MarketUptake

Societal ChallengesH2020-INT-INCO-2014

Excellent ScienceH2020-MSCA-IF-2014

A full breakdown per topic can be found using the links above, and it is expected that details on further calls will be made available soon.