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Lump sum funding within the framework of Horizon Europe

05/20/2022 |

The financing for projects funded under the European Framework Program for Research and Innovation has so far been based on reimbursement of actual costs. A high expenditure of time and work as well as susceptibility to errors remain despite simplified regulations and better IT support. The European Commission is therefore striving for greater use of lump sums. This concept envisages eliminating all cost reporting and financial ex-post audits and thus directing the main focus on the scientific and technical project content.

At the end of Horizon 2020, a pilot project ("Horizon 2020 lump sum pilot") was launched. The resulting report shows that lump sum funding has proven itself in practice. The aim therefore is the more widely use in Horizon Europe calls. As a result, some university and research associations expressed criticism.

A hearing of experts on lump sum funding took place in the European Parliament on 1 February 2022. The "Panel for the Future of Science and Technology" (STOA), which also organized the event, presented a study on the suitability of project funding through lump sums based on the survey of researchers and stakeholders of the lump sum pilot. After the presentation, the stakeholder groups EARTO, LERU and SMEUnited had the opportunity to share their experiences and perspectives on lump sum funding. The recording of the event can be found on the STOA website.

The study shows that a majority of participants have a fundamentally positive attitude towards funding with lump sums. However, challenges and problems were also identified. The full results of the study can be found here.

The European Commission has now set up a website for lump sum funding in Horizon Europe on the Funding & Tenders Portal. It contains various information on this type of project funding as well as a list of calls currently open for lump sum funding.

Further information:

Website for Lump sum funding

Webinar: Lump Sum Funding in Horizon Europe: How does it work? How to write a proposal?

Lump Sum Grants in Horizon Europe: Why do we need them and how do they work in practice?

Study "A reimbursement system based on fixed lump sum- Is it the right tool for the EU Framework Programme for research?"

Source: European Commission; Kowi

Co-funding for third countries in Horizon Europe

05/06/2022 |

With a few exceptions, institutions from all over the world can participate in Horizon Europe. However, most industrialised countries that are not EU members and are not associated to Horizon Europe do not receive funding from the European Commission (Exceptions: Low to middle income countries, see List of Participating Countries in Horizon Europe in the Funding & Tenders Portal; as of 15.04.2022). 

These third countries have to cover the costs of project participation through other sources. In order for countries to still be able to participate in Horizon Europe projects, some countries provide their own funding for their institutions. The provision of funding at national level for the participation of third countries is called "co-funding". National funding must be applied for separately by applicants from third countries via the respective funding organisations.

The European Commission has now published a guide on co-funding mechanisms. The guide contains an overview of the current third countries with a national funding provision as well as specific information on the respective countries. So far, the following countries have committed to co-funding: Australia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, China, Switzerland and South Korea.

The guidance on co-funding can be found on the Funding and Tenders Portal under Reference Documents → Guidance → HE Complementary funding mechanisms in third countries.

Source: NKS DIT; Kowi

Cities Mission in Horizon Europe: EU Commission selects 100 cities as experimental and innovation ecosystems

Map of selected Cities © European Commission
04/29/2022 |

The Commission announced on 28 April 2022 the 100 cities in the EU that will take part in the EU's mission for 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030. The Cities Mission is part of Horizon Europe and aims to stimulate innovation to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. To this end, the Cities Mission will receive funding of €360 million in the period 2022-2023.

Urban areas are responsible for more than 70% of CO2 emissions worldwide and consume more than 65% of the world's energy. The cities now selected will act as experimental and innovation ecosystems to support all others in the transition to carbon neutrality by 2050. The targeted actions within the mission are clean mobility, energy efficiency and green urban planning.

At least one city from each of the 27 Member States is represented, plus a further 12 cities in countries associated or potentially associated with Horizon Europe. Nine cities were selected from Germany, including two cities in Saxony (Dresden and Leipzig). 

There are a number of benefits for the cities as a result of being selected for the mission, including tailored advice and support from a dedicated mission platform, additional funding and financing opportunities, and the opportunity to participate in large-scale innovation activities and pilot projects. There is also the opportunity for networking and exchange, as well as support in engaging citizens.

As a next step, the Commission will invite the 100 selected cities to develop Climate City Contracts. These will be developed together with citizens, research institutions and the private sector and will include an overall plan for climate neutrality in all sectors such as energy, buildings, waste management and transport, as well as corresponding investment plans.

Further information and background:

EU Missions in Horizon Europe

EU Mission: 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030

European Commission press release of 28 April 2022

Info sheet "EU Cities Mission: These are the cities"

Source: European Commission

European Commission: Suspension of cooperation with Russia in the field of research and innovation

04/13/2022 |

In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission, out of solidarity with the people of Ukraine, has decided to suspend cooperation with Russia in the fields of research, science and innovation.

In a statement from 3 March 2022, Mariya Gabriel, the EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, announced the following measures:

For the EU framework program for research and innovation "Horizon Europe", as well as for the predecessor program "Horizon 2020", no new contracts or agreements will be concluded with Russian organizations. In addition, payments to Russian organizations under existing contracts will be suspended.

On 8 April 2022, the European Commission announced that ongoing projects would now also be terminated. This measure concerns Russian public bodies. Individual researchers in individual measures of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and the European Research Council will continue to be funded - people who are on the EU sanctions lists will not.

Furthermore, Ukraine's excellent contributions in the framework program were acknowledged and the willingness for further steps to secure future cooperation projects was expressed. Ukraine's association with "Horizon Europe" and "Euratom" should come into force as soon as possible. To this end, Ukraine had already signed the association agreement in October 2021 and now has to ratify it.

Background:

In the current EU funding program for research and innovation "Horizon Europe", Russian institutions are not yet represented in any ongoing projects. Before the decision to suspend was taken, preparations were underway for agreements on four projects with five Russian participations.

In the previous program "Horizon 2020" several projects with Russian participation are still running. 78 Russian organizations are involved in the 86 projects currently being carried out. Payments to these entities will be suspended as a result of the decision.

More information:

Statement by EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel from 3 March 2022

Statement by EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel from 8 April 2022

European Commission

Source: European Commission; Kowi

UK extends Horizon Europe guarantee

03/21/2022 |

On 15 March 2022, the UK government extended its funding guarantee for UK participants in Horizon Europe until the end of the year. Originally launched in November 2021 to cover the first calls in the new program, the expansion now also includes numerous topics of the second wave of calls (March 2022).

As association negotiations between the UK and the EU are ongoing, UK institutions are currently unable to receive funding from Horizon Europe. However, it is still possible to apply for funding within the framework of an agreed transitional arrangement, which treats the UK as an already associated state. As long as the association has not yet been completed, successful project applications that are requested to prepare for a grant will not receive any funding from the framework program. In this case, the project costs will be reimbursed through the guaranteed funding from the UK.

The guaranteed funding only applies to explicitly selected topics in Horizon Europe for which the grant agreement is signed before 31 December 2022. It includes both individual funding and British participation in consortia. A speedy association is still being sought, which is why the UK government is calling on researchers to also apply for calls outside the guarantee.

A list of the selected topics for the guaranteed funding and further information can be found in UK Research and Innovation's "Horizon Europe guarantee guidance" and on their website.

Source: UK Research and Innovation; Kowi

Funding & Tenders Portal: Two new functions

02/16/2022 |

The Funding & Tenders Portal is the access point to funding programs and calls of the European Union. On the one hand, it serves as an information platform and, on the other hand, applications for the individual calls can be processed and submitted directly electronically.

In addition, there is the possibility to search for project partners on the respective tender page. While this function was previously only available to institutions/facilities, individual users can now also get in touch with potential partners.

Another update relates to financial support for third parties (cascade calls). Beneficiaries of project funding have the opportunity to support third parties financially in their projects. Applications for such cascade financing can now be registered directly in the portal. All cascade calls can be found on the Funding opportunities page, increasing their visibility to interested applicants.

Source: Kowi; EU office of the BMBF

Call "Hop on Facility": Funding for the inclusion of project partners from countries with low research and innovation performance in already selected collaborative projects of Horizon Europe

01/27/2022 |

As part of the Horizon Europe program part "Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area", the "Hop on Facility" call opened on January 27, 2022. This is intended to promote the inclusion of new project partners from countries with low research and innovation performance (widening countries) in existing Horizon Europe joint projects. The main selection criteria for funding are excellence and the added value that the new partner brings to the existing project in form of a relevant additional task.

Conditions:

  • Application must be made by the coordinator of an existing consortium
  • Project must be funded under Horizon Europe Pillar 2 or EIC-Pathfinders
  • Project has not yet had a project partner from a Widening country
  • Accession of the new project partner must be approved by all consortium partners

The Widening countries include: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia (list of Widening countries can be found in the work program "Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area" on page 9)

The next deadlines for submission are April 20, 2022 and November 10, 2022.

Further information on the call can be found on the Funding and Tenders Portal of the EU Commission.

Source: NKS

Gender Equality Plan becomes mandatory for funding calls in Horizon Europe

A Gender Equality Plan (GEP) will be an eligibility criterion for calls in Horizon Europe with deadlines in 2022 and onwards. This applies to all public bodies, universities and research organizations from EU member states and associated countries. The GEP must meet certain requirements:

  1. Public document
  2. Dedicated resources
  3. Arrangements for data collection and monitoring
  4. Support through training and capacity building

Further information can be found on the website of the European Commission.

If you need further advice, the EU Liaison Officers of ZEUSS will be happy to help.

Updated version of the Horizon Europe work program 2021-2022

On 15th December 2021, the European Commission published an updated version of the 2021-2022 work program. The following sub-programs are affected by updates:

  • General introduction
  • Research Infrastructures
  • All Pillar 2 cluster programs
  • Widening participation and stricting the European Research Area
  • Missions (new tenders for the newly implemented missions)

It is recommended to note any changes in dates or updates to individual calls in 2022 in the Funding & Tenders Portal.

Source: Kooperationsstelle EU der Wissenschaftsorganisationen

Overview of the current status of the association negotiations in Horizon Europe

Associations enable institutions from non-EU countries to participate in the program under the same conditions as institutions from EU member states. It thus represents the closest form of cooperation with non-EU countries.

The following countries have so far signed an official association agreement to Horizon Europe: Norway, Iceland, Turkey, Moldova and Ukraine.

The following countries are currently in final negotiations and an association is expected this year: Faroe Islands, Israel, Tunisia, Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.

Switzerland will be treated as a non-associated third country for the 2022 Calls, as the negotiations in July 2021 failed for the time being. Information on the conditions under which Swiss institutions can participate in the supporting program can be found here.

Association negotiations with the UK are currently pending. It currently falls under the transitional regulation for 2021/2022. This means that during this period it is still eligible for funding under the conditions for associated countries. This regulation also applies to the following countries: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Morocco, North Macedonia, Serbia and Tunisia.

Here you can see the current status of the association negotiations published by the European Commission.

Source: Bayerische Forschungsallianz; European Commission

Horizon Europe: EU Council adopts the establishment of Joint Undertakings

As part of Horizon Europe, the Council of the European Union adopted the regulation on the establishment of joint undertakings on 19th November 2021. These undertakings enable public and private actors to enter into joint research and innovation partnerships at European and national level in order to tackle complex challenges. For this purpose, around 10 billion euros are to be made available from Horizon Europe and supplemented by at least the same amount by the partners.

The following partnerships have been accepted:

  • Global Health (EDCTP3),
  • Innovative Health Initiative,
  • Key Digital Technologies,
  • Circular Bio-based Europe,
  • Clean Hydrogen,
  • Clean Aviation,
  • Europe's Rail,
  • Single European Sky ATM Research 3,
  • Smart Networks and Services,
  • Metrology.

Additional Information can be found here.

Source: KoWi; EU Council

New information on Switzerland's participation in Horizon Europe

The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation of Switzerland (SERI) published an update on 20th October 2021 about Switzerland's participation in Horizon Europe and the associated programs. Switzerland is currently treated as a non-associated third country. You can find the update as a factsheet as well as all current information on the conditions of the participation of Swiss institutions in Horizon Europe on the SERI website.

Five new EU missions to address global challenges

On 29th September 2021, the European Commission launched five new missions to tackle the greatest global challenges. EU missions under Horizon Europe are a new collaborative approach to policy making to achieve specific goals within a set time frame. In the areas of health, environment and climate, the missions aim to deliver solutions to the following global challenges by 2030:

  • fight cancer,
  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Restoration of the oceans and waters
  • climate-neutral and smart cities,
  • healthy soils.

The EU Commission also published foresight reports on these individual missions on 21st October 2021. These aim to help with the development of the missions. You can view the individual reports here. Current information events by the EU Commission on the individual missions are published here

For further information visit the website of the European Commission.

The first countries associated with Horizon Europe have been announced: Norway and Iceland

Norway and Iceland were formally associated with Horizon Europe on 24th September 2021. This means that institutions from these two countries are largely on a par with those of the EU member states. Association negotiations with other states are planned. The European Commission publishes the current status of the negotiations here.

Source: European Commission

 

The European Commission has launched a website with information about European Partnership Initiatives in the new EU Framework Programme Horizon Europe.

Information about

  • types of partnerships and how they are being identified, 
  • candidates for partnerships, 
  • contact details and
  • impact assessments

will be updated regularly.

Further information: here

 

The EU Commission has launched a new open access publication platform for fast publication and open peer review for research stemming from Horizon 2020 funding across all subject areas.: "Open Research Europe" (ORE)

More information can be found here.

Source: DLR

What changes are expected for stakeholders from the social sciences and humanities in Horizont Europa?

With the recently published information magazine "Compass for Social Sciences and Humanities in HEU", the National Contact Point offers you a first insight into the structure of the 9th EU Research Framework Programme and its funding opportunities for the social sciences and humanities.

Further information and copies for download can be found here.

Source: NCP Society

On 30 September 2020, the European Commission adopted a Communication on a new European Research Area for Research and Innovation. Based on excellence, competitive, open and talent-driven, the new European Research Area will improve Europe's research and innovation landscape, accelerate the EU's transition towards climate neutrality and digital leadership, support its recovery from the societal and economic impact of the coronavirus crisis, and strengthen its resilience against future crises.

The Commission set out strategic objectives and actions to be implemented in close cooperation with the Member States, in order to prioritise investments and reforms in research and innovation, improve access to excellence for researchers across the EU and enable research results to reach the market and the real economy. Additionally, the Communication will further promote researchers' mobility, skills and career development opportunities within the EU, gender equality, as well as better access to publicly funded peer-reviewed science.

More information can be found here.

Source: EU-COM

To take more responsibility for research excellence and innovation in the European Union and to encourage joint funding applications, the BMBF published the new guideline FH-Europa on 11 September 2020. The aim of the funding program is to support networking in Europe and to increase the participation of Universities of Applied Sciences in European programs and initiatives such as "Horizon Europe", "Green Deal" or "EUREKA".

Proposals can be submitted electronically until June 30, 2027.

Source: DLR 

The EU office of BMBF has developed a practical example (german) with the Free State of Saxony.

It shows impressively how the Free State of Saxony uses strategic European partnerships to link its existing strengths, such as the traditional coal and steel industry, with future innovation potential in Europe as well as  worldwide. Shaping the structural change Saxony brings together innovation and structural policy through new approaches, identifies local competitive advantages through new technologies and embeds them in European value chains.

Quelle: DLR

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