Under Horizon Europe, the European Commission funds research and innovation projects to strengthen research and innovation across Europe. The ‘Widening participation and spreading excellence’ sub-programme contributes to building research and innovation capacity for countries lagging behind, in line with the policy objectives of the European Research Area.
Synergies between Horizon Europe and cohesion policy programmes, mainly the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), but also INTERREG and the Resilience and Recovery Fund (RRF), are crucial for countries to catch up in R&I and to reduce the innovation gap in Europe. Although such synergies have already been addressed in the Teaming and Excellence Hubs actions, these instruments do not capture the full range of possible synergies and need to be complemented by a dedicated scheme.
The Commission notice “Synergies between Horizon Europe and ERDF programmes” presents the new opportunities for achieving operational synergies between Horizon Europe and the ERDF, including for Seal of Excellence, transfer, cumulative funding, combined funding (Co-funded and Institutionalised Partnerships), Teaming, and upstream/downstream synergies.
The purpose of this action is to provide support for additional efforts required for setting up the interfaces between two different funding systems where major barriers still occur due to the mismatches of regional versus European approach, consortium vs single beneficiary funding and Horizon thematic priorities vs national/regional smart specialisation. Consortia should decide at proposal level which of the two aforementioned pathways is applicable for their needs. This will also influence the composition of the applicant consortium and the choice of funded activities.
This Coordination and Support Actions – with an Indicative budget of 20 million € – offers opportunities to incentivise the concrete realisation of particularly promising sequential synergies in two different pathways either supporting the upstream synergy mode (a) or downstream synergy mode (b) where the former is focusing on human resources development and internationalisation and the latter on valorisation and upscaling of research results towards marketable solutions.
The following overall outcome is expected:
- Improved and more systematic synergies between Horizon Europe and Horizon 2020, and ERDF, IPA (instrument for pre-accession assistance), RRF, INTERREG or similar funding instruments through internationalisation, valorisation and technology uptake;
- Strengthened competitiveness of R&I actors in Widening countries;
- Accelerated knowledge transfer and innovation cycle for beneficiaries from ERDF and Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe;
- Strengthened innovation capacity and competitiveness of less R&I performing regions.
In order to achieve the expected outcomes, participation as coordinators to the call is limited to legal entities established in Widening countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and all associated countries with equivalent characteristics in terms of R&I performance and the Outermost Regions), as defined in the Horizon Europe regulation.
This action is open for participation of the JRC that can contribute, where relevant, specific expertise for the development of R&I strategies depending on the R&I domain chosen by the project, technology transfer and IPR management as well as linking up to regional smart specialisation strategy.
The deadline for applying is 28th of September 2023.
For more information please click on the following LINK.