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Time to apply for EU funding

The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020, is entering its final phase. In its remaining three years, the programme period will announce close to EUR 50 billion in funding. The Research Council of Norway encourages Norwegian actors to make the most of this opportunity and to take part in the working meetings to be held around the country this autumn.

“A number of thematic areas relevant to Norway are reflected in the new work programme. In other words, there are many areas in which Norwegian actors have good chances of winning funding,” states John-Arne Røttingen, Chief Executive of the Research Council.

The Research Council and the other public agencies in the research and innovation system will be holding working meetings about the new work programme. This is the second and final work programme under Horizon 2020 and will be in effect from 2018 to 2020.

“It is up to the institutions and the actors themselves to decide what they want to apply for, but we are hoping that qualified project proposals for the EU will already start to turn up during the upcoming meetings,” Dr Røttingen adds.  

Meetings will be held in all cities with major universities in autumn 2017. Close to 300 participants have registered for the first meeting, which will be hosted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Sintef.

Help for the application process available

The Research Council provides a range of measures to help Norwegian applicants to develop a high-quality project proposal. The team of National Contact Points (NCP) (in Norwegian) represents each of the thematic areas of Horizon 2020 and can provide information during the application process. The Council offers a set of free courses under its “Path to EU Excellence” initiative, which covers all phases of the application process.   

The Research Council also offers funding support for activities to find research partners abroad and developing networks. More information about these funding initiatives (in Norwegian).

Most Norwegian research institutions have a well-developed EU advisory infrastructure to assist researchers in the process of preparing EU grant applications. Free external funding consultancy services are available for potential Norwegian applicants that do not have access to such advisory services, for instance in the industrial and public sectors (in Norwegian). 

The EU’s main priorities for the final three years of Horizon 2020

  1. Increased investment in sustainable development and climate-related research and innovation. Focus areas will be the climate and the circular economy.
  2. Integrating digitisation in all industrial technologies and societal challenges.
  3. Strengthening international research and innovation cooperation.
  4. Societal resilience. Security issues related to terrorism, information security and natural disasters.
  5. Market-creating innovation. Establishing a European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot.

The Commission has published a draft working programme for 2018–2020: Next Work Programme 2018–2020. This draft is updated on an ongoing basis.

Horizon 2020

  • A total of NOK 221 billion in funding has been allocated under the programme thus far, corresponding to roughly 40 per cent of the overall funding available under Horizon 2020.
  • The remaining 60 per cent is now being announced.
  • Overall, 120 000 applications have been processed, with funding awarded to 14 300 proposals.
  • In all, 668 project proposals have been awarded funding for a total of NOK 3.9 billion. Norwegian applicants have submitted a total of 4 642 grant applications.  



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