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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

21 Aug 2018

Russell Group presents position paper on Horizon Europe proposals

The Russell Group has recently presented a position paper on the European Commission's proposals for Horizon Europe, the next EU Research Framework Programme, which were published in June 2018. The Russell Group representing 24 leading UK universities welcomes the proposals, saying that Horizon Europe should build on the success of Horizon 2020, and particularly supporting the proposed structure, the focus on excellence and efforts to try to simplify the Programme.

The Group points out that its members have been very active participants in EU Framework Programmes, and that they therefore welcome the opportunity to help bolster European science and innovation by making constructive suggestions for how the Horizon Europe proposals could be strengthened to ensure the Programme is as efficient and effective as possible. The Group's comments cover 12 different key areas:

  1. Open to the world – ensuring fair rules for association to the Programme and flexibility to work with excellent partners across the globe to drive excellence and maximise impact
  2. Focus on excellence – making excellence even more explicit in the Regulations and ensure sufficient support for ERC and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions to boostthe quality of Europe’s science base and enhance thereturn for public investment
  3. Simplification–delivering efficiency gains through broader acceptance of beneficiaries’ usual accounting practices; addressing success rates; limiting use of lump sum funding; and consulting with beneficiaries to draw up new guidelines and assess simplification on an ongoing basis
  4. Social Sciences and Humanities(SSH)–engaging a wider range of stakeholders and the full breadth of research capability across Europe by ensuring SSH expertise in writing and evaluating calls and embedding SSH research in missions and clusters
  5. Strengthening the entire research and innovation ecosystem–ensuringan effective balance of funding between fundamental, curiosity-driven research and closer-to-market activities,especially in Pillar 2,and considering alternative classifications to ‘TRL’
  6. Impact –considering the wide range of impacts delivered by R&I and relevant timescales
  7. Evaluation–guaranteeing expert evaluation, with clear and transparent rules for applicants
  8. Sharing excellence–maintaining dedicated actions to help widen participation and supporting more flexible, bottom-up initiatives to encourage innovative approaches to sharing excellence
  9. European Innovation Council –recognising therole universities can play to strengthen the EIC and using EIC Fellowships to support training that bridges academia and industry
  10. Open Research Data – providing clarity around data requirements and considering costs
  11. Missions –ensuring missions are broad, with multi-disciplinary opportunities, and developed in a transparent way through appropriate consultation; involving a broad range of appropriate experts in mission boards, including relevant academic experts
  12. Improving the gender dimension –considering schemes around mentoring, return-to-work fellowships, caring costs and core hours policy to enhance support for female researchers.

To download the Russell Group position paper, click here.

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