Recent News on EU Research Funding

PRIMA: Publication of 2019 Calls and Work Programme

The "Partnership for Research in the Mediterranean Area" (PRIMA) has published the 2019 calls  as well as the 2019 work programme, which contains details on the application and the funded topics. Applications may be submitted by 28 February 2019.

PRIMA is a public-public partnership between 19 EU Member States, Mediterranean countries, partner countries of the Horizon 2020 Research Framework Programme and the European Commission. The aim of this measure is the development of innovative solutions for water and food supply in the Mediterranean. Through competitive calls, PRIMA promotes research and innovation in this area.

For the 2019 call, PRIMA is funding applications in 12 thematic areas with a total budget of 63 million Euros.

The International Office of the DLR Project Management Agency has been commissioned by the BMBF with the implementation of the funding programme for Germany. Specialist contacts there are Dr. med. Birgit Ditgens and Birgit Wirsing (Tel: +49 228 3821-2396, E-Mail:

Website of the International Bureau of PRIMA

PRIMA Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda


CORNET: 27th Call Opened with Deadline 27 March 2019

The aim of the international research funding network CORNET (Collective Research Networking) is to deepen the cooperation between national and regional programmes for joint research. Project consortia of business associations and research institutions from at least two participating countries or regions can submit applications for joint research projects. On the German side, CORNET is based on the Pre-competitive Industrial Community Research (IGF). New: joint project proposals with partners from Brazil are possible.

Further information: here


EU Funding for British Institutions after Brexit

The UK Government seeks to continue funding all Horizon 2020 and other European funded British institutions after Brexit until the end of the Horizon 2020 Research Framework Programme or the end of individual projects, even if the final project commitment is not made until after Brexit. The UK Research Office (UKRO) has updated its fact sheet concering further funding of Horizon 2020 and other EU-funded projects after Brexit. The official document of the British Government can be found here.


EIT Announces Two New KICs on Urban Mobility and Added Value in Manufacturing

EU Bureau of the BMBF: On 5.12.2018 the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has launched two new innovation communities "EIT Urban Mobility" and "EIT Manufacturing".

Since 2010, eight major innovation clusters (KICs) have been set up in Europe in the areas of energy, climate, information technologies, raw materials, health, food, added value in manufacturing and urban mobility. All KICs also have a foothold in Germany. The set-up phase of each new KIC is supported by the EIT with a grant of up to 4 million EUR ("start-up grant"). A gradual increase in annual production of more than 80 million EUR is possible, provided that the KICs achieve the targeted results.

The Knowledge and Innovation Communities, or KICs for short, are major European consortia bringing together universities, research organizations, industry and regions to bring new ideas for products, processes and services to market. They have so far produced 1,700 university degrees and more than 600 new products, services or processes across Europe. A total of 890 million EUR in investment funds was used to support more than 1,250 start-ups and more than 6,100 new jobs were created.

Further information: here


Become an Academic Expert for ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnerships

By 14 January 2019, the National Agency for EU University Cooperation  (NA DAAD) is seeking external academic experts with proven expertise in higher education and trans-sectoral education to evaluate applications under the ERASMUS + Strategic Partnership Funding Line.

Further information: here


First Call for Ralf Dahrendorf Prize for European Research Area

KoWi: As part of its strategy for the European Research Area, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has set up a new funding award for 2019, aimed at researchers who have successfully carried out EU projects under the 7th EU Research Framework Programme or under Horizon 2020 with a German institution. The prize, named after the German scientist and former EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Education, is intended above all to give excellent researchers the opportunity to present their EU projects to a broad public.

With a grant of 50,000 EUR, creative measures for science communication, such as events, exhibitions or social media solutions, will be promoted. For this purpose, a five-page sketch of the successful EU project together with a five-page presentation of the planned communication measures will be examined in a selection process. Projects can be funded from all programme areas of the two framework programmes, with a particular focus on projects characterized by interdisciplinarity, cooperation between science and society as well as industry and innovative solutions. The projects must have been completed in the last two years.

The sketches must be submitted electronically in the BMBF portal easy-Online  by the deadline of 12 February 12 2019. By May 2019, the six winners will be announced.

Further information: here


"Funding & Tenders Opportunities" Portal Replaces Participant Portal

From 1 October 2018, the Participant Portal for EU funding programmes will gradually be replaced by the new "Funding & Tenders Opportunities" portal, which will become the central entry point for various EU funding programmes and tenders. It allows to:

- Search for and apply for EU funding opportunities
- Search and apply for tenders
- Grant management
- Registration of experts, management of contacts and compensation.

The Participant Portal was established for the EU Research & Innovation Programme (Horizon 2020) only. Other EU programmes joined later, and now the new Funding & Tenders Portal will host all centrally managed EU programmes in one location. In addition, it will cover calls for tender and the related procurement contracts.

For established users, there are not many changes. Username and password will continuie to be valid; all projects and roles will be transferred from the old portal. Please remember to update your bookmarks.

For an entertaining introduction to the Fundind & Tenders Portal, watch this short video

To the Funding & Tenders Portal: here


European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Officially Inaugurated

EU Bureau of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research: EU Ministers, representatives of the European Commission and contributors met in Vienna on 23 November 2018 to celebrate the official launch of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

The EOSC will provide 1.7 million researchers in Europe and 70 million professionals in science, technology, social sciences and humanities with a virtual environment of open and integrated services for the storage, management, analysis and reuse of research data across countries and disciplines. It bundles existing infrastructures for scientific data, which are currently separated in EU Member States and scientific disciplines.

The EOSC portal will be further expanded in the coming years.

Eurostars 2 - Next Cut-Off Date 28 February 2019

Eurostars is a transnational programme with the aim of primarily supporting SMEs in the 36 Eurostars countries. This funding programme is thematically open and aims to develop new or improved products, processes or services. It is expected that the results of the funded R&D projects will be on the market at the latest two years after the end of the project as products/processes or services. For projects in the field of biomedicine/medicine, the start of clinical trials should be completed no later than two years after the end of the project. The inclusion of a German industrial partner in the consortium is desired.

Projects with applicants from at least two Eurostars countries are eligible for Eurostars funding, which s provided by the national funds of the countries participating in Eurostars. Consortium leader must be a research-driven SME from a Eurostars country. The participating research-performing SMEs contribute at least 50% of the total project costs (excluding subcontracting). Universities and research institutions based in Germany are also eligible (up to 100% funding if they cooperate with at least one German research-driven SME).

Further information:


COST: Relaunch of Internet Presence

The website of the COST Association not only appears in a new, sleeker design, but also includes new features. The search for existing COST actions has been improved and success stories and statistical data on all Member States have been added. A calendar of events will keep you up to date on the activities of the COST Actions and the COST Association itself.

The upcoming deadline for COST applications is 5 September 2019.


ERASMUS+ Call for European Universities Published

The EU office of the BMBF reports: The Erasmus+ programme will support "European universities" from 2019 onwards. The aim is to strengthen European values and to promote the quality, attractiveness and competitiveness of European universities. At least three, ideally five to eight universities should form an alliance and expand their vision of an  European campus. There is funding for a period of three years; a total of 30 million Euro is available for four to six projects. Application deadline for the alliances is 28 February 2019.

The call serves as a pilot for future funding of European universities, in particular in the successor programme of ERASMUS+, which will start in 2020.

Support and advice concerning this programme is provided by the National Agency for EU University Cooperation within the DAAD.

To the ERASMUS Program Guide 2019


ERC Publishes Final Work Programme for 2019

The European Research Council (ERC) published its final work program on 7 September 2018, providing information on the upcoming 2019 calls. The ERC's 2.02 billion Euro H2020 work program promotes excellent researchers in pioneering projects across all scientific disciplines. The well-established funding lines will be continued: Starting Grants for aspiring scientists (2-7 years after completion of PhD), Consolidator Grants for researchers (7-12 years after completion of PhD), Advanced Grants for established, active researchers and Proof of Concept for ERC Grantees who want to test the marketability of their idea. The ERC Synergy Grants promote teams of two to four promising scholars.

ERC work programme
ERC press release


Commission Proposal for Next EU Research Framework "Horizon Europe"

On 7 June 2018, the European Commission presented its proposal for Horizon Europe, the next framework programme for research and innovation (duration: 2021-2027). The Horizon Europe legislative package consists of a proposal for a regulation (including the Rules for Participation) and the Specific Programme. The budget proposed for the period 2021-2027 comprises EUR 100 billion (EUR 94.1 billion for Horizon Europe, supplemented by EUR 3.5 billion for the InvestEU fund and EUR 2.4 billion for Euratom).

More information here.
Information page of the European Commission: here


Experts for Evaluation of Horizon 2020 Projects

The European Commission's Research Executive Agency (REA) is currently seeking independent scientific experts and evaluators for Horizon 2020 projects.

Further information here


Publication of European Commission's Social Media Guide for Horizon 2020 Projects

The European Commission has published a guideline for the use of social media in Horizon 2020 projects. The guide contains rules for the use of social media and how to use it profitably in the dissemination and communication activities of projects.

To the Social Media Gudie for Horizon 2020 projects


New Horizon 2020 Calls 2018-2020 Announced

In October 2017, the work programme for Horizon 2020 was published by the European Commission  including the calls for the years 2018 to 2020. The budget of these calls amounts to a total of 30 billion euros. The work programme for European Innovation Council (EIC) Pilots is a new addition.

All work programs for the years 2018 to 2020 can be found here

If you are interested in any one of the calls, the staff of the EU Universy Network Saxony-Anhalt will be pleased to advise you.


Horizon 2020: New Tool for Topic-Related Partner Search on Participant Portal

The Participant Portal for Horizon 2020 now also provides a way to find partners for research projects. It is now possible to place partner searches next to individual topics and to search for possible partners for joint research projects. Potential applicants can see a list of search queries beneath the respective topic. Partner search queries can also be placed by the respective institution's Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR).


Experts Sought to Select Promising Innovators

As of autumn 2017, Horizon 2020 will support innovation projects by innovators, researchers, businesses and SMEs operating in one specific sector or technology. Various calls are are opening for proposals for breakthrough innovations that have the potential to create new markets. This will be part of a Pilot European Innovation Council (EIC). Requests for EIC funding must be evaluated by innovation experts. The best SME applicants are interviewed by a panel of reviewers. The Commission is therefore endeavoring to extend its circle of experts and experts to:

Entrepreneurs who have launched innovative companies at European or global level
Investors (including banks, venture capitalists, business angels, crowd funders, etc.)
Experts involved in the innovation ecosystem (business schools, universities, innovation centers, accelerators, etc.)



Results of Interim Evaluation of Horizon 2020 Published

The European Commission has published the results of the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 on 30 May.

The Commission is largely positive about the current state of implementation of Horizon 2020: all Horizon 2020 objectives (including research excellence, industrial technologies, tackling societal challenges, boosting economic growth and job creation) had been achieved. The results of the interim evaluation are based on a series of Commission studies and have been complemented by a public stakeholder consultation.



Report of the Expert Group "Research, Innovation and Science Policy Experts (RISE)" Published

In May 2017, the report "Europe's Future: Open Innovation, Open Science, Open to the World. Reflections of the RISE Group "of the High Level Group RISE, the strategic advisory group of EU Commissioner Carlos Moedas, was published. The report is based on the four sub-groups of RISE, "Open Knowledge Markets", "Open Science", "Open to the World" and "Open Innovation", and addresses issues such as the economic impact of research and current framework conditions for research funding. The report should serve as a basis for further reflection and discussion between stakeholders on the development of European research policy.



Work Programme 2018-2020: "Scoping Papers" Published

/ KOWI / The European Commission has published 17 thematic "Scoping Papers" and a so-called "Strategic Programme Overarching Scoping Paper" in preparation of  the 2018-2020 work programme. "Scoping Papers", which cover all Horizon 2020 subprogrammes (except ERC), are the result of a broad consultation and discussion process, on the basis of which the European Commission will work with Member States in the coming months on the work programme for the last calls of the years 2018 to 2020. The publication of this work programme is scheduled for October 2017.



Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg Receives Funding for EU Project in Field of Photovoltaics

/ MLU / Prof. Dr. med. Roland Scheer from the Institute of Physics was able to recruit an EU-funded joint project together with 14 partners from 8 countries. Under the title "Advanced strategies for substitution of critical raw materials in photovoltaics" (Starcell), the project will start on 1 January 2017 and will run for 3 years. The total funding amounts to 4.8 million Euros. The MLU receives a share of 379,700 Euros. The Starcell project aims to develop a thin-film solar cell made up of non-toxic and available elements. A central element here is the semiconductor Cu 2 ZnSn (Se, S) 4. This Cu2ZnSn (Se, S) 4 solar cell to be developed should be brought to market as soon as possible. This requires significant material improvements and an increasing efficiency compared to conventional solar cells.



Switzerland Associated with Horizon 2020

Switzerland ratified the Protocol on the extension of the free movement of persons to Croatia on 16 December 2016, thus paving the way for association. As of 1 January 2017, Switzerland is fully associated with Horizon 2020.



The EU Network for Universities in Saxony-Anhalt is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).



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