Check the first calls and documents of Horizon 2020!

The first Horizon 2020 calls have been published this week on the Participant Portal.

To guide potential participants to find their way in Horizon 2020, the European Commission has made available in the Participant Portal a useful online Manual that offers:

  • an overview of all steps you need to know for the electronic management of proposals or grants;
  • easy navigation by process steps;
  • a brief description on how to complete your tasks.

The online Manual is still not fully completed, but it is expected to include information on Intellectual Property.

The Rules for Participation, model grant agreements and other useful documents are also available in the Participant Portal. You can find them here.

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Council adopts "Horizon 2020"

On December 3rd 2013 the Council of the European Union adopted the Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation for the years 2014 to 2020, which will replace the EU's 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7). You can have a look at the new Regulation establishing Horizon 2020 here.

Horizon 2020 focuses on three pillars, namely:

  1. generating excellent science in order to strengthen the Union's world-class scientific excellence and make the Union research and innovation system more competitive;
  2. fostering industrial leadership to speed up the development of technologies that will support businesses and innovation, including for small companies; and
  3. tackling societal challenges in order to respond to the priorities identified in the Europe 2020 strategy by supporting activities covering the entire chain from research to market.

These priorities will be implemented through the Horizon 2020 specific programme, which you can read here.

To read the Council press release, please click here. The FAQs prepared by the European Commission on Horizon 2020 are available here.

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Horizon 2020 research programme approved by the European Parliament

Horizon 2020 was approved by MEPs on Thursday, November 21. Parliament amended it to improve support for small firms, attract more people into science and more scientists to join the programme, and earmark funding for non-fossil energy research.

Several amendments also concern the European Commission proposal for laying down the rules for participation and dissemination in Horizon 2020, having the aim to simplify the granting procedure and better exploit the research results.

The agreed budget for 2014-2020 is €70.2 billion (at 2011 prices). The biggest headings are "Societal challenges" (39% of the total budget), "Excellent science" (32%) and "Industrial leadership"(22%).

After Parliament's vote, the programme needs to be formally adopted by EU member states too, in the coming weeks. The programme starts on 1 January 2014.

To read the press release, please click here. To access the agreed rules for participation and dissemination and other background notes, here.

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European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin Issue (11)

We are pleased to inform you that the eleventh issue of the European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin has been released and is now available on-line.

This issue is thicker than the previous ones as our Bulletin comes to the end of its third year of publication. We thus decided to give space to more topics matching the interests of all our target groups. The publication starts with an article on Open Access (OA) in FP7 and Horizon 2020. A policy officer from DG Research & Innovation explains the importance and potential benefits of OA for the European Research Area, together with the activities of the European Commission to foster the utilisation of this dissemination tool in EU-funded programmes. The following article sticks with the EU framework programmes and offers an overview on intellectual property (IP) in Horizon 2020, with a focus on comparison with FP7.

Realising the benefits from IP requires its conscious and appropriate management. The article on IP valuation outlines the principal methods in practice. A INTA contribution points out in ten FAQ how SMEs can effectively use the Madrid System. Small businesses are again the target of two IP tools, providing information on how to use their intangibles.

Our close collaboration with Enterprise Europe Network has produced two other pieces. One introduces the publication of IPR Guidelines, created for the Network advisers to guide their clients through the IP process from idea generation to commercial revenue. The second one is an interview with one of the European IPR Helpdesk Ambassadors from Turkey, who shares with us his thoughts on the benefits and opportunities that the scheme offers to him and his clients.

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ICT 2013: Meet the EU IPR Helpdesk in Vilnius

The EU IPR Helpdesk team will participate in the upcoming ICT 2013 conference taking place in Vilnius from 6 to 8 November 2013.

With the motto "Create, Connect, Grow" the conference is expected to attract more than 4000 researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, industry representatives, young people and politicians to the Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre LITEXPO. The event will focus on Horizon 2020 - the EU's Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for 2014-2020.

The Helpdesk team will have an information stand in the exhibition area and will provide first-hand information on the broad range of the Helpdesk's support services.

Looking forward to meeting you in Vilnius!

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Simplification: the new main word in Horizon 2020

In the end of this year, the Seventh Framework Programme will reach its end and in 2014 we will open the door to Horizon 2020. According to the European Commission, this new Framework Programme “represents a radically new and comprehensive approach to the EU's research and innovation funding policies.”

Horizon 2020 will be implemented by a set of new Rules for Participation and Dissemination, which have been updated with the aim in particular to ensure simplification for the benefit of all those who will participate in this programme. An important dimension of the simplification concerns the fact that in Horizon 2020 participants will only have to work with a single main set of rules, including those on intellectual property rights, which apply to all components of Horizon 2020.

To know more about Horizon 2020, please click here. For further information on the different dimensions of simplification in Horizon 2020, please click here.

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Open Access to research publications: study on the availability of open access during 2004/2011

Recently, the European Commission identified open access to research results as an essential element to boost Europe’s innovation capacity. Consequently, the European Commission announced that it will make open access to scientific publications a general principle of Horizon 2020. Hence, in Horizon 2020, the articles produced will be:

  • immediately made accessible online by the publisher ('Gold' open access) - up-front publication costs can be eligible for reimbursement by the European Commission; or
  • made available through an open access repository no later than six months (12 months for articles in the fields of social sciences and humanities) after publication ('Green' open access).

According to a recent study, open access “represents 50% or more of scholarly journal articles published between 2008–2011 in Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, and the United States.

The study therefore concludes that “these results either suggest that the proportion of peer-reviewed articles available in OA [open access] has been vastly underestimated or that the share of OA [open access] articles has grown significantly in recent years. Part of this growth could be retroactive, as journals progressively open their archived content and as researchers self-archive their work in OA [open access] repositories. However, growing awareness, new policies and infrastructure, as well as the growing credibility of OA [open access] journals and repositories, probably account for a larger part of OA [open access] growth.

To read the European Commission announcement, please click here. For further information on the study, click here.

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“Has the Commission ensured efficient implementation of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research?”

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) recently issued a special report entitled “Has the Commission ensured efficient implementation of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research?”. The ECA assessed whether the Commission has ensured efficient implementation of FP7. The audit covered the rules for participation, the Commission’s processes and the setting-up of two new instruments, and its results are likely to be useful not only for the remaining period of FP7, but also for the operational setup of the next research Framework Programme - Horizon 2020.

The report found that although the European Commission has taken a number of steps to bolster its management of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), researchers seeking FP7 funding are however faced with unnecessary inconsistencies.

Accordingly the ECA recommended:

a)      Regarding rules for participation, the Commission should make further efforts to ensure that  beneficiaries’ practices can be used in Horizon 2020 and manage FP7 in a more consistent  manner;

b)      To strengthen process management, the Commission should deploy IT tools which will integrate all functionalities and it should examine the imbalances in staff workload;

c)       To reduce processing times, the Commission should make sure that the processes are automated and implemented consistently across its services;

d)      The Commission should make its control activities before and after payment more risk-driven, so as to better focus its control effort; and

e)      The EU Council, European Parliament and the Commission should bring the legal framework of the Joint Technology Initiatives more into line with their staff complement. To maximise the impact of the Risk Sharing Finance Facility, the Commission should demonstrate that it targets those beneficiaries which have limited access to finance.

For further information and to read the special report in full, please click here.

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Discussions on the new strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation

The new strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation was presented in Brussels and discussed with representatives of the diplomatic community.

The strategy was presented by Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, who highlighted that “international cooperation will continue to be a vital part of the Union's research and innovation policy, and it will be an integral part of the new Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020”.  “An open discussion followed from which broad support for the new strategy emerged and a continued willingness to cooperate with the European Union.”

For further information, please click here and here.

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Council reached an agreement on Horizon 2020

Last week the Council reached an agreement on a partial general approach concerning the draft regulation laying down the rules for participation in research projects funded under Horizon 2020. This means that the Council has reached an agreement on the essential elements of this regulation, but the European Parliament's opinion is still necessary.

The draft regulation includes the rules on intellectual property rights, use and dissemination.

For further information, please click here.

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