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International collaboration with Horizon 2020
Horizon 2020 is the world’s largest publically funded R&D initiative, with more than €70billion being made available to fund research over the next seven years. The framework programme is, of course, an EU initiative, but a core part of the ambitious scheme is to promote international collaboration between countries.
Horizon 2020, therefore, is open for non-EU applicants and, with campaigns like the ERC Goes Global programme, it will now be easier and quicker than it was under FP7, for global research organisations to join European projects and access funding.
Horizon 2020 is a single funding programme that brings together three separate EU programmes, coupling research to innovation and focusing on societal challenges facing EU society, e.g. health, clean energy, climate change, the ageing population and transport.
The EU believes that more strategic and closer international cooperation will ultimately help Europe achieve success in addressing these global challenges. As such, Horizon 2020 incorporates a new International Cooperation Strategy that focuses on research and innovation, in areas of common interest and mutual benefit. The strategy is based in the following three objectives:
To extend the frontiers of scientific knowledge
The European Union is responsible for 24 per cent of world expenditure on research, 32 per cent of high impact publications, and 32 per cent of patent applications, despite representing only seven per cent of the global population. Excellent science is one of the core pillars of the EU’s R&D policy and Horizon 2020 aims to make it a foundation of economic prosperity and wellbeing. The funding programme will seek to fund the very best science, rewarding top researchers from Europe and beyond, to establish world-class research infrastructures. Researcher training, mobility and career development are central to this policy.
To tackle global challenges
The challenges society faces ate becoming increasingly global and the EU has made these challenges key drivers of its research and innovation strategy, stating: “Our planet has finite resources which need to be cared for sustainably: climate change and infectious diseases do not stop at national borders, food safety needs to be ensured across the globe. For global challenges, worldwide answers are needed and collaboration with developing countries will emphasise joint solutions to specific difficulties, whether it be water management, energy security, agricultural development or particular health issues.”
To invest in competitive industries
The EU wants to create prosperity and jobs in Europe and with this clear aim in mind, Horizon 2020 is focusing on making industry, and notably SMEs, more competitive by linking research firmly to innovation, leading to better products and services across the globe. Industry is, of course, increasingly global, too, so Horizon 2020 will build industrial leadership by supporting business R&I and bringing together the public and private sectors from all over the world. Efforts will concentrate on key enabling technologies - such as advanced manufacturing, microelectronics, nanotechnology and biotechnology – that underpin innovation across many industries and sectors.
With these three drivers firmly established, there is now a huge opportunity for international institutions and researchers to team up with European partners to participate in projects under Horizon 2020.
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Published: Thursday, 20th February 2014