Monday, 25 May 2015 15:54

Pro European initiatives – Horizon 2020

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After the Finnish elections (19.4.2015) I started searching for pro European programmes and some time ago I rediscovered the Horizon 2020. Well I had some vague memories about it from the time it was initially launched (the end of 2013), but since then I haven’t seen any major public discussions about it, at least here in Finland. As officially announced, it is the EU frame programme for research and innovation (https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/ ) with some 80 € bn budget for the period 2014-2020. Well the lump sum of the project may seem much, but if we take it on yearly basis it comes at 11,4 € bn for the whole Union, which has population of some 507,4 million people (2014). Just for comparison the Finnish state budget for 2014 was some 54 € bn or the Austrian some 76 € bn as the given countries populations were respectively about 5,5 and 8,5 million people. Even though a state budget has many functions and cannot be directly compared to the budget of Horizon 2020, I chose two small EU member states just for general comparison of the whole EU aspiration and a state level. I believe that that’s important especially now, when it seems like the trust in the whole EU project is greatly at stake with Greece at the edge of collapse and UK planning a referendum (could be held as early as 2016 ) about its EU membership. Not to mention the EU-Russia tensions, which according to me are quite worrisome and regrettable?

Anyway, the Horizon 2020 itself consists of 3 pillars which are Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges, broken into subprojects (calls) and budgetary frames. You could see more information directly from the online guide of the Commission, including a step by step procedure for registration or you could use the service of some consulting agency.

Also in the EU member states as well as some none EU countries there are established National Contact Points, which could give you detailed information about the whole project. You could check the point for your country here. The opened calls for this year are listed here, as the submission deadline for many of them is 28.5.2015, but you may have enough time for the later once. The subject I was looking for is more or less summarized in the call Reflective 2 2015, which brief heading is – “Emergence and transmission of European cultural heritage and Europeanisation”. As you can see from the given link it is expected that the “research will support the EU cultural policies linked to fostering the emergence, transmission and use of cultural heritage at local regional, national and, in particular, European level”. In my best belief it is the latter that’s missing at most regarding both the EU inner problems and the rapidly changing global realities.

Well if the so called calls (programmes) are primly for institutional researchers one can be enrolled in the project on a personal expert level. For more information check here (see also the information given in the online guide).

While searching for pro European initiatives I occasionally found an interesting Europe debating page (http://www.debatingeurope.eu/debates/), where one could participate or just read without being researcher or expert.

Kind regards, Rosti 

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