Oct. 16, 2019

Europe welcomes collaboration on climate change research with Canadians

Canada allocates up to $50 million over five years to support Canadian participation in Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, UCalgary audience hears
Research leaders
Research leaders

If you were unable to attend the recent Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe information session at the University of Calgary, here are some of the highlights.

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing Innovation Union, one of the initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, with nearly €80 billion in research funding available over seven years (2014-2020).

Horizon Europe, the future EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and successor to Horizon 2020, will be running from 2021-2027. Horizon Europe will be the biggest multilateral research and innovation program in the world with a proposed budget allocation of €100 billion and will offer enhanced opportunities for co-operation with international partners.

  • Photo above, from left: Gregory Mack, regional manager, Europe, Middle East and Africa; Luigi Scarpa de Masellis, adviser, economic and commercial affairs, Delegation of the European Union to Canada; and Cheryl Dueck, senior academic director (international). UCalgary International photo

The overarching theme of Horizon Europe is climate change, with 35 per cent of funding set aside to tackle it. It is also focused on helping to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and boosting the EU’s competitiveness and growth.

“The selection criteria is geared toward three priority areas: excellent science, industrial leadership and societal challenges,” said Luigi Scarpa de Masellis, adviser, economic and commercial affairs, Delegation of the European Union to Canada, who spoke at the event. “There are currently approximately 300 Canadians participating. I encourage researchers to join evaluation teams as reviewers to get a deep understanding of the process, selection criteria and what it takes to have a successful application.”

Canada announced this year it will allocate up to $50 million over the next five years to support Canadian participation in Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. The funding will be made available to Canadian researchers through the New Frontiers in Research Fund’s (NFRF) International stream.

Further information will be available in the coming months on the NFRF website. The stream’s first calls for proposals, including details on eligibility and conditions of funding, should be announced in November.

“Many of the focus areas align with the University of Calgary’s strategic research themes, so it’s a natural fit for UCalgary researchers.” says Cheryl Dueck, senior academic director (international). “Researchers can consider co-supervising MITACS Globalink research interns with European colleagues as an avenue to deepen collaboration or strengthen Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe proposals. MITACS and UCalgary have teamed up to offer 200 outgoing and 100 incoming Globalink Research Awards ($6000 each) for students or post-docs to conduct 12-24 week research projects in designated countries.”

For individual researchers interested in working in Europe, the European Research Council (ERC) and Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), are the programs within Horizon 2020 that support individual researchers around the world.

To participate in a collaborative research project, researchers must come together with at least three entities from three different countries in the European Union, or from countries associated with Horizon 2020. The Horizon 2020 website is a good source for identifying suitable partners in different research areas and connecting with them to explore collaboration opportunities. For collaborative projects, Canadian researchers need to identify European partners who will lead and submit the application as a partner.

Visit University of Calgary International and the Horizon 2020 Participant Portal for more information on funding opportunities.