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Important input from the Research Council of Norway to the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020

The interim evaluation of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020, will promote better calls for proposals during the second half of the programme period and into the next framework programme. The Research Council of Norway has been working to influence the design of the framework programme to ensure optimal relevance in relation to Norwegian needs.

The Research Council provided a variety of input to the EU Commission in connection with the interim evaluation.

The Research Council’s main message was that Norwegian participants and authorities are generally pleased with Horizon 2020 and that it has been more successful than the previous framework programme, FP7, in bringing research and innovation more closely together and creating stronger ties between research stakeholders, industry actors, the public sector and civil society.

“The overall three-pillar structure of Horizon 2020 (Excellent science, Industrial leadership and Societal challenges) is an excellent, logical approach to organising the programme that is aligned well with its users,” says Tom-Espen Møller of the International Office at the Research Council. 

The success rate for Norwegian applicants is higher than the average for countries participating in Horizon 2020, says Tom-Espen Møller of the International Office at the Research Council. (Photo: Forskningsrådet) The Research Council also pointed out that the success of Horizon 2020 has come with a cost. The number of applications submitted has outpaced growth in the framework programme’s budget, which means that the success rate for applications has declined compared with the previous framework programme. Thus, an excessive amount of time is being spent developing and writing proposals for projects that do not end up with funding.

“The success rate for Norwegian applicants (in per cent) is higher than the average for countries participating in Horizon 2020. The Research Council’s efforts to expand Norwegian participation in Horizon 2020 give high priority to providing guidance and targeted support to continue to enhance the quality of Norwegian project proposals,” Mr Møller explains. More information the Norwegian Horizon 2020 website.

The Research Council suggests that the European Commission should base Horizon 2020 funding activities more firmly on considerations of what is most important to achieve at the European level, and give greater priority to these areas. This should be carried out even if it means scaling back efforts in areas of lesser priority.

Interim evaluation of Horizon 2020

Brochure: Key findings from the Horizon 2020 interim evaluation.

European Commission: Information about the Interim Evaluation and the Expert Group.


Written by:
Claude R. Olsen/Else Lie. Translation: Glenn Wells/Carol B. Eckmann.
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