Universities have problems with Horizon 2020

UWM, University World News, the newsletter on the global university, noted growing difficulties of universities with Horizon 2020. The success rate of applications is markedly reduced and the European University Association (EUA) attributes its responsibility to the austerity policies of governments. Of 73000 projects submitted in the first 18 months of the program, only about 13% was funded, compared to 18.5% of the 7th Framework Programme, and in some programs derived from the rate dropped to 10%. Sign of a deterioration in the quality of university research? Apparently not. The explanation that gives Thomas Estermann, EUA, the cause are numerous cuts to public funding as a result of the crisis; universities are turning so with increasing frequency Commission funding, to increase competitiveness. In addition, the reduction of funds available to the same program, which sold 2.2 MDI € the European Fund of Strategic Investments. Robert Jan Smith, DG Research and Innovation, recently admitted that the budget of Horizon 2020, 80 Bn €, should have been at least 100Bn €. As of September 15 on 72 919 applications submitted, only 5,907 have received funding. On 15th July 2015, the final balance of the funding marked the assignment of Bn € 7.36 to 7,964 participants. The 85% of the funds went to seven countries: Germany, UK, France, Spain, Italy, Nederland and Belgium. 74% of the winners received a single funding, 12% has won two projects, 7% have seen and approved a further 3, and 7 more received funding for 5 projects or more. The “best performers” are the French CNR with 207 projects funded, the Fraunhofer with 162 and Oxford with 111, followed by the Commission for Atomic Energy of Paris with 104, the Spanish National Research Council and the University of Copenhagen with 94 each, the University College and Imperial College in London with 93 projects each financed. Among the 20 universities with the highest number of projects funded, 9 are English, three Dutch, two each in Belgium and Denmark, and one for Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. On the sidelines of the data, looking at the overall success that has mainly affected the countries of longest Union membership, vain to think that the rules for participation in the Euro-design is, despite promises of simplification, yet very complex and tricky . To complicate matters, there is also to consider the relationship that projects in Horizon have to have with the Smart Specialization Strategy (S 3) of the Union.

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