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North South Collaborative Research Opportunities in Horizon 2020

Published on 10th May 2018

Since the Horizon 2020 programme commenced in 2014 the track record of North South collaborative applications has been impressive. Some 52 separate projects have secured over €63m in Horizon 2020 funding. North South collaborations enjoy a success rate almost 3% higher than the EU average!

Now that’s an encouraging statistic! This despite the uncertainty that surrounds many aspects of North South co-operation at this time…

This is one of the findings of a recently commissioned survey by InterTradeIreland on the potential for cross border partnerships to continue applying for the EU’s 7 year, €80billion Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020.

The survey targeted 365 researchers and decision makers from academic institutions and industry across the island. Also significant is that 42% of respondents have either previously/currently/plan to work with partners from the opposite jurisdiction.

North South Collaboration   Attitudes and Perceptions

Impressive Track Record

Since the Horizon 2020 programme commenced in 2014 the track record of North South collaborative applications has been impressive. Some 52 separate projects have secured over €63m in Horizon 2020 funding. North South collaborations enjoy a success rate almost 3% higher than the EU average!

The field of personalised medicine saw the WASTCArD project being ranked number one in the EU of all the proposals received to that call – Marie Curie RISE (Research & Innovation Staff Exchange). This project was led by Ulster University in partnership with Waterford Institute of Technology and Belfast based company Intelesens.

Such North South collaborative partnerships have flourished with each successive European funding programme. Within the first two years of the Horizon 2020 programme, North South applications and drawdown was double that of the previous programme, FP7. An ambitious joint ministerial drawdown target for North/South partnerships of €175m has been set.

InterTradeIreland recognises the importance of maintaining this upwards momentum and achieving the drawdown target. To this end, supports for both academics and SMEs are continually being developed. Supports introduced by InterTradeIreland, the National Support Network in Ireland and the Northern Ireland Contact Point Network ensure full advantage is taken of the opportunities presented by North South collaboration.

InterTradeIreland Supports

North South Collaboration   Ease of Applying

InterTradeIreland facilitates and assists the pursuit of North South collaboration through a wide range of cross-border supports and co-ordinating activities.

InterTradeIreland organises networking and information events on an ongoing basis to help establish North South partnerships for Horizon 2020 projects. More recently a series of ‘Focus On’ events have taken place focussing on specific topics and calls.

Our next such event is the ‘All-Island workshop on Bio-Based Industries opportunities in the Horizon 2020 programme’ taking place in University College Cork on 31st May. Other upcoming events will focus on Cyber Security and Fast Track to Innovation calls.

Our survey found that 61% of respondents believe that the application process for Horizon 2020 is more difficult than that of other funding applications. InterTradeIreland has responded by developing bespoke training on Horizon 2020 funding applications which will be piloted in May 2018.

Other supports being rolled out by InterTradeIreland based on our survey findings include a financial support scheme to help lecturers/researchers prepare Horizon 2020 applications. It is envisaged that these supports will encourage increased participation in Horizon 2020 projects for the remainder of the programme through to the end of 2020.

Brexit: Attitudes & Perceptions

North South Collaboration   Importance

InterTradeIreland’s survey also sought to establish attitudes and perceptions around Brexit and Horizon 2020. Respondents were asked which statement reflected their current attitude to working with partners from the opposite jurisdiction…

Overall, a positive sentiment exists towards cross border collaboration in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. This along with the belief of 75% of respondents that North South partnerships are important bodes well for continued cross border collaboration in Horizon 2020.

About the author

Posted by Chris Shiels, Horizon 2020 Programme Manager, InterTradeIreland on May 10, 2018

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