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H2020 support for the European Universities Initiative

After months of anticipation and healthy speculation, the newly-updated yearly Work Programme for Horizon 2020, and specifically the Science with and for Society (Swafs) component sheds light into the type of support foreseen by DG RTD for the research and innovation dimension of the European Universities Initiative (EUI).

Two rounds of dedicated lump sum support grants – under the titles Support for the Research and Innovation Dimension of European Universities (Part I and Part 2) are foreseen.

The first, worth a total of EUR 34 Million from the 2020 budget, is earmarked for the first batch – the 17 selected European Universities – under the first pilot call by DG EAC. The 17 consortia are to be invited to put forward their applications in the second quarter of 2020. The second support line, with an indicative budget of EUR 48 Million (also from the 2020 budget), is to be open in the third quarter of the year to the to be selected (up to 24) European Universities under the second pilot call by DG EAC.

The grants, of an estimated average of EUR 2 Million per alliance, are envisaged to support activities that will fall with an indicative list of seven modules in the field of research and innovation:

  1. developing a common research and innovation agenda and action plan;
  2. strengthening human capital, enabling balanced brain circulation and gender balance;
  3. sharing research infrastructures and other resources;
  4. reinforcing cooperation with nonacademic actors, esp. academia-business cooperation;
  5. mainstreaming of comprehensive Open Science practices;
  6. 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 expectation of the funders is that this support would lead to “tangible progress towards the institutional transformation of universities” and that the to-be-developed models would facilitate future synergies between Horizon Europe and the Erasmus+ Programme. The European Universities alliances are specifically encouraged to identify additional funding sources at European and national levels, to facilitate the implementation of their activities.

More information