Horizon 2020 Association Launching Workshops in Georgia and Armenia
Georgia: Horizon 2020 Association Workshop
On 31 May 2016, a workshop about Georgia’s association with Horizon 2020, the EU's framework programme for research and innovation, was held at the Ministry of Education and Science. The event was organised by the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the practical aspects of participation in Horizon 2020 by Georgian scientists with policy makers and organisations from the field of technology and innovation.
The event was attended by representatives of the EU Research and Innovation Directorate, which are directly involved in the developing of collaboration with Eastern Partnership countries. During the workshop the following topics were discussed:
- priorities of EU's framework programme for research and innovation,
- ongoing and planned calls,
- network of national contact points and mechanisms of its improvement,
- information about submitting project proposal,
- financial regulations,
- individual programs such as: Marie Skladowska Curie Action, and
- funding opportunities in the framework of European Research Council (ERC).
The representatives of the European Commission expressed recommendations about specific steps that must be taken by the state to support Georgia’s integration into Horizon 2020 and effective use of the program by the Georgian scientists.
The event was also attended by Georgia’s Horizon 2020 National Contact Points, representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, and Georgia’s Innovation and Technologies Agency (GITA).
During the workshop representatives of Horizon 2020 associated countries made presentations about their countries' participation in the EU's framework programme for research and innovation and discussed the challenges their countries faced during the first phase of the association with Horizon 2020.
The workshop was held in the framework of EU funded project IncoNet EaP ('STI International Cooperation Network for Eastern Partnership Countries').
Armenia: Horizon 2020 Association Launching Workshop and Info Day
The Horizon 2020 Association Launching Workshop and Information Day devoted to Armenia's association to the European Union Framework Programme on Research and Innovation HORIZON 2020 was held on 2-3 June 2016, at the conference hall of Matenadaran in Yerevan. The main objective of the events was to present to the Armenian authorities and STI stakeholders the additional opportunities arising from association of Armenia to the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.
The events were organised in the framework of FP7 IncoNet EaP Project in cooperation with the European Commission, concerned Armenian ministries and agencies and EU Delegation to Armenia.
The Agreement on association of Armenia to European Union Framework Programme on Research and Innovation HORIZON 2020 was signed in Brussels on 19 May 2016, by the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia, Mr. Levon Mkrtchyan; and EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Mr. Carlos Moedas.
The Association Launching Workshop organised on 2 June 2016, was mainly dedicated to Horizon 2020 National Contact Persons and information multipliers from various scientific and research institutes and universities, as well as representatives of SMEs, NGOs and other concerned organisations. It was attended by around 75 participants, including a delegation of the European Commission, experts from Belgium, Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine, and IncoNet EaP partners from Austria, Belarus and Greece.
The workshop agenda included presentations on the general scope of H2020 and new opportunities for the EU associated countries. They also portrayed IncoNet EaP’s contribution to the process of association, new tools and networks for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME), the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions and Joint Research Center grants for science research and innovation.
Representatives of Serbia, Moldova and Ukraine shared their experiences and recommendations on the activities to be implemented by relevant Armenian authorities for a smooth association process and on tackling possible problems in advance, which was followed by good practice cases of participation in EU programmes from Armenia. A summary of the learning circle for the association and participation as well as a long list of activities to be implemented towards association were presented by Dr. Klaus Schuch, Scientific Director of the Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI), Austria.
On 3 June 2016, a Horizon 2020 Information Day was held with main focus on Climate Change, SME Instruments and the COSME Programme. The event evoked high interest in the stakeholders’ community and was attended by more than 150 participants representing research institutes, universities, SMEs and industries, agencies and associations, NGOs and international organisations.
High level Armenian officials stressed the importance of the association of Armenia to the largest in the world collaborative research and innovation programme which will allow Armenian scientific and research institutes, universities, SMEs and individual researchers to be part of European Research Area, and get involved and benefit from participation in joint research projects together with advanced European research organisations and SMEs.
'By joining Horizon 2020 Armenia has chosen to invest in developing knowledge and its citizens. Today, the Armenian government is making a commitment to strengthen the research, scientific and innovation foundations in-country in order for universities, research institutions, and businesses to compete with the best in the world. Armenia has an admirable scientific and cultural history and is worldwide recognised for its contributions in physical sciences, nanotechnology, and in high performance computing.
I welcome the commitment of the Armenian government and the leadership shown by the National Academy of Science and the State Committee for Science for realising this initiative. Their active participation in Horizon 2020, their commitment to bring the scientific capacities and entrepreneurship to a new level in Armenia means that brilliant ideas and thinking can now be further explored and receive substantial EU funding', said Ambassador Piotr Switalski, Head of the EU Delegation.
The agenda included a general introduction towards the association to Horizon 2020 by Mr. Sadler. The EU4BUSINESS Panel presented various EU initiatives and mechanisms, which will support the SME sector development in Armenia in addition to the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. Representatives of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ministry of Economy of Armenia, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank and Enterprise Incubator Foundation of Armenia took part in this session.
The panel was followed by a more practical session on Horizon 2020 with a focus on MSCA Actions, ERC Grants, IncoNet EaP activities to support the NCP network, legal and financial issues, and a more detailed presentation of the work programme 2016-2017 for Climate Change, the SME Instrument and the COSME Programme.
The infoday was organised by the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia in close cooperation with the IncoNet EaP project coordinating teams from ZSI and CeRISS, the EU Delegation to Armenia, and the Enterprise Europe Network. A contribution to the agenda was also made by Ms. Tania Van Loon, Impulse Brussels, Belgium, as a part of twinning visit within the SiS Net Project-Network of Science with and for Society NCPs.
The event was widely highlighted by nearly all major TV channels and mass media agencies of Armenia.
For more information on Armenia-EU cooperation in science, technology and innovation please also visit the website of the Horizon 2020 National Information Point of Armenia.