Horizon 2020 and beyond…Notes from UKRO Visit

Our UKRO Representative Jon Brookes visited Newcastle yesterday, here are some notes from the presentation:

Average success rate across all H2020 Programmes was 14.9% so far. This varied from scheme to scheme with some of the ERC fellowships at 4%. £4.6 billion came to the UK, of which 2/3 goes to HEIs.

There is now a dashboard on the Participant Portal that you can use to look at success rates by organisation.

For the remaining 2 years of H2020, calls will be clustered around 4 focus policy areas, you will need to reference the relevant policy area in your proposal, as well as referring to the relevant SDG. In Horizon Europe (FP9) this will be more prevalent. UKRO have a Factsheet on the Role of SDGs https://www.ukro.ac.uk/subscriber/Factsheets/factsheet_sdg.pdf

The remaining calls will be clustered around supporting the Commission’s political priorities:

  • A low-carbon, climate resilient future: €3.3 billion;
  • Circular Economy: €1 billion;
  • Digitising and transforming European industry and services: €1.7 billion;
  • Security Union: €1 billion; and
  • Migration: €200 million.

The new Horizon Europe Programme will have a budget of €100 billion and will be formed around 3 pillars:

  • Open Science – Building on the success of the European Research Council, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and the Research Infrastructures, the pillar adds more resources for projects with higher impacts.
  • Global Challenges and industrial competitiveness – It consists of clusters that aim at exploiting European strengths and assets by generating new knowledge and translating it into useful innovations, developing and applying digital and key enabling technologies along with a new mission approach.
  • Open Innovation – This new pillar will offer a one-stop shop for high potential innovators, aiming to put Europe at the forefront of market-creating innovation through a “bottom-up” approach.

There will be a new European Innovation Council with funding instruments for companies:

  • Pathfinder – risky projects & early stage ideas
  • Accelerator – taking existing ideas and bringing them to market

Horizon Europe will have a ‘Mission Orientation’ with different strands of the programme uniting to pursue Grand Challenges such as curing cancer, eliminating dementia, carbon neutral cities, plastic free oceans. It will therefore be essential that you read and reference the relevant European policy documents in your applications.

There was some discussion about Brexit and what that could mean for the UK. There are a number of documents on the UK Govt website detailing what will happen if there is no deal: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/horizon-2020-funding-if-theres-no-brexit-deal/horizon-2020-funding-if-theres-no-brexit-deal–2

The UK Government guarantees that it will cover all of the UK successful bids budgets submitted right up to the end of H2020. This only covers the UK element of the budget. This guarantee covers any bids put in on a competitive basis up to the end of 2020, including COST Actions, Erasmus etc.

Bear in mind that if there is a No Deal and the UK ends up as a Third Country then you will need to make sure that you have the minimum 3 Member States on the grant to ensure eligibility. Third Party countries CAN coordinate collaborative projects so the UK could still lead projects in the event of a No Deal.

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