This year’s Work Programme for Horizon 2020, published on March 25, finally enables European University Alliances to apply for EU research funding. Both groups are invited to put forward their applications – the 17 alliances that were successful in the first funding round in 2019, and the upcoming 24 alliances of the second call. The grants, of an estimated average of € 2 million per alliance, will support activities in the field of research and innovation:
- Developing a common research and innovation agenda and action plan;
- Strengthening human capital, enabling balanced brain circulation and gender balance;
- Sharing research infrastructures and other resources;
- Reinforcing cooperation with nonacademic actors, esp. academia-business cooperation;
- Mainstreaming of comprehensive Open Science practices;
- Involvement of citizens, civil society and public/cities authorities in research and innovation; exploring joint structures across the European Universities on technical activities common to all ‘European Universities’, facilitating collaboration in activities, obstacles, and solutions that could be common to all alliances, as well as clustering activities to share best practices on research and innovation.
The European Commission expects a “tangible progress towards the institutional transformation of universities” and models to make it easier in the future to combine Horizon Europe and the Erasmus+ Programme. The European Universities alliances are encouraged to identify additional funding sources at European and national levels, to facilitate the implementation of their activities.
Further funding is available for the university alliances for the construction of “Knowledge Ecosystems” (page 75) and other measures such as gender equality in science.
The Horizon 2020 work programme: https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/wp/2018-2020/main/h2020-wp1820-swfs_en.pdf
H2020 Programme Guidance document. Support for the Research and Innovation Dimension of European Universities: https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/other/guides_for_applicants/other-doc_h2020-iba-swafs-support-1-2020_h2020-iba-swafs-support-2-2020_en.pdf