Switzerland says "yes" to Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+

In September, the Swiss Parliament approved the overall negotiating mandate and credit for an association of Switzerland to Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+.

This decision paves the way to an uninterrupted participation of Switzerland to the EU research and innovation programmes as well as EU education, training, youth and sport programme for the years 2014-2020. Moreover, the adhesion to the EC's MEDIA programme shall allow for funding of European training and networking opportunities for the Swiss film industry.

Source and more information: SERI et al

Some financial and legal implications of H2020

... have been published recently (sources: Finance helpdesk, Euresearch). The following changes are expected:

  • Changes to the Grant agreement:· A single document with all provisions (no more Core +Annex II)· No more specific Annex III or special clauses. All provisions will be integrated in the grant agreement· On-line explanations for each part of the grant ("annotated GA")
  • Changes in Implementation:· Electronic signature of Grant Agreement, amendments and Financial Statements,· Communication between the Commission and beneficiaries through the Participant Portal.
  • Changes in Certification:· Certificates on Financial Statements - only if total amount of the grant of the beneficiary is ≥ 325 k€ at the time of the payment of the balance (FP7: 375 k€),· Certificates on the Methodology - as an option when using unit costs for direct personnel costs.
  • Changes in Personnel Costs:· Clarification of special cases such as in-house consultants,· Define the standard formula for the calculation of the hourly rates,· Time Recording requirements will be defined,· Specific provisions for personnel costs, list of types of costs which may be considered "direct" (including explanations), etc.
  • Other Changes:· Definition of what is a direct cost for an H2020 project,· Non-Deductible VAT shall (mostly) be Eligible,· Possibly introducing the ability to use average exchange rates for cost reporting,· Financial viability checks only on Coordinators.

Sixth FP7 monitoring report available

In August, the EC published their Sixth FP7 monitoring report.

Participation figures are impressive: during six years of FP7, 379 concluded calls received more than 113.000 proposals, out of which more than 103.000 – involving more than 485.000 applicant organisations and individuals – were included in the evaluation procedure, and more than 20.000 – involving more than 105.000 participants – were finally retained for negotiations, with a corresponding requested EU funding of € 32,8 billion. Proposals and applicants had an average success rate of 19% and 22% respectively.

More than half of all recorded calls in 2012 were launched under the Specific Programme Cooperation. Higher and secondary education institutes (HES) remain in 2012 the main beneficiaries of FP7, both in terms of numbers of applicants and requested EU funding, with respectively 39% and 29% of the total in retained proposals. It is estimated that during the first six years of FP7 implementation, 17% of all participants in signed grant agreements were SMEs.

Source: European Commission

Open access a success: More than 50% of the articles published in 2011 are available free of charge.

In August 2013 the European Commission informed about a study it funded on the availability of open access publications.

The global shift towards making research findings available free of charge for readers—so-called 'open access'—was confirmed in this study. The study suggests that open access is reaching the tipping point, with around 50% of scientific papers published in 2011 now available for free. This is about twice the level estimated in previous studies, explained by a refined methodology and a wider definition of open access. The study also estimates that more than 40% of scientific peer reviewed articles published worldwide between 2004 and 2011 are now available online in open access form. 

The study looked at the availability of scholarly publications in 22 fields of knowledge in the European Research Area, Brazil, Canada, Japan, and the United States. In several countries and disciplines more than 50% of papers are now available for free. Free availability of the majority of articles has been reached in the fields of general science and technology, biomedical research, biology and mathematics and statistics. The fields where open access availability is most limited are the social sciences and humanities and applied sciences, engineering and technology.

A recent European Commission Communication (IP/12/790) identified open access as a core means to improve knowledge circulation and thus innovation in Europe. Therefore, open access will be mandatory for all scientific publications produced with funding from Horizon 2020. The Communication recommended that Member States take a similar approach to the Commission in their domestic programmes.

Source: European Commission

European Commission publishes proposal for IMI 2

IMI 2 is a research-funding initiative, funded by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and the European Commission. It will build upon the success of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).

The European Commission has officially launched its proposals for IMI 2 with a total budget of €3.45 billion. IMI 2 will benefit from an in-kind contribution from industry of up to €1.725 billion. Whilst €1.5 billion will come from EFPIA companies the remaining €225 million could come from other large companies who wish to contribute to projects but who are not EFPIA members. The European Commission will match-fund industry contributions with up to a maximum of €1.725 billion from Horizon 2020. IMI 2 will help develop the next generation of cost-efficient vaccines, medicines and treatments. It is expected to start in January 2014 and last till 2024.

More information can be found on the IMI website.

Sources: IMI, Euresearch

Competitive Call for additional beneficiaries from the Human Brain Project

The European Commission funded FET Flagship Human Brain Project (HBP) will launch a call for additional partners in October 2013. Should you be interested to join HBP, please provide a pre-proposal to obtain a preliminary feedback. Further Information will soon be available on the HBP website. Sources: Euresearch, HBP

WHO publishes report on Priority Medicines for Europe & the World

This Report by the World Health Organization (WHO), requested by the European Commission, highlights a number of priority disease areas where research is urgently required to meet the healthcare needs of the population.

The Report is designed to help decision-makers in the European Commission, Parliament, and Council, in particular when defining the new European Framework Programme for Research & Innovation, Horizon 2020. The report focusses on the identification of disease areas where there are pharmaceutical and treatment gaps. In addition, the Report looks at public-private partnerships, such as the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).

More information can be found on the WHO website.

Sources: WHO, Euresearch

Switzerland successful in FP7 - Interim Report 2007-2012

The Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, SERI, just published an interim report summarizing the Swiss participation in FP7 from 2007-2012.
At the time the data for this report was supplied (15 June 2012), Swiss researchers had secured FP7 grant funding totalling CHF 1.56 billion or 4.3% of all FP7 grant funding awarded.

In terms of the FP7 success rate Switzerland ranks 4th among 42 FP7 member and associate countries (following only Belgium, the Netherlands and France). Swiss researchers achieved a 25.3% success rate, significantly higher than the average success rate of 22.3%. Measured in terms of FP7 participation, coordinated FP7 projects and the amount of FP7 grant funding secured, Switzerland ranks among the top ten countries.
As with previous Framework Programmes, the FIT Domain, which includes the EPF in Lausanne, the ETH in Zurich and their associated research institutes, was the main recipient of FP7 grant funding awarded to Switzerland (40% ), followed by cantonal universities (28%) and companies (20%). The remaining significant portion of FP7 grant funding (12%) was awarded to non-profit organisations, universities of applied sciences and public institutions.
The Swiss researchers involved in FP7 projects are primarily involved in the following research fields: the ERC's "Ideas" programme (28% of FP7 grant funding awarded to Switzerland), Information and Communication Technologies (19%) and the "Health" programme (12%).

The full reported can be downloaded from the SERI website.

Source: SERI

SCIPROM is involved in 6 new FP7 projects

We are pleased to announce our involvement in six new FP7 projects starting between Sep 2013 and March 2014.

Topics are widely spread, ranging from Multilingualism to Energy efficiency via Paediatric drug development, Marine biomonitoring, Flexible minifactories and Stem cell treatment of hearing loss. The projects' duration varies between 3 and 4.5 years and each will involve between 8 and 22 international partners from all over the world.

We are much looking forward to these collaborations! 

You will be able to follow up these projects via our website and the project websites we will create and maintain.

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