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The biggest stories from

The following stories all appeared on our website: is the central news hub for the EU’s research and innovation

framework programme. The website is an invaluable information resource for

researchers and policy makers with its coverage of major European announcements,

scientific breakthroughs and in-depth reporting of Horizon 2020 objectives.

Some of the most noteworthy developments in recent months include the

announcement that the success rates of securing funding from Horizon 2020 are now

around one in nine – almost half of what they were in the previous framework

programme, and the European Commission’s commitment of €9.1m for investment

into 189 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 24 countries.

Meanwhile, the commission has also announced the 12 members of the new high level

group that will formulate a vision for future EU research and innovation.


I S S U E 1 3

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R T A L





urope’s Galileo satellite navigation system is

set to go live on 15 December, promising to

outperform US and Russian rivals.

Initial services will be available only on smartphones and navigation boxes

already fitted with Galileo-compatible microchips.

Some devices may only need a software update to start using the new

technology, and European Commission spokeswoman Mirna Talko said

several smartphone giants were already making chips compatible with it.

Somewhat fuzzy at first, the signal will be boosted with help from satellites

in the US military-run GPS system, growing stronger over time as orbiters

are added to the now 18-strong Galileo network circling 23,222 kilometres

above Earth.

According to the commission

and the European Space

Agency (ESA), Galileo should

be fully operational by 2020,

providing time and positioning

data of unprecedented accuracy. Jean-Yves Le Gall, president of France’s

CNES space agency, said: “GPS allows a train to know which area it is in

– Galileo will allow it to identify the track it is on.”

The civil-controlled service is also of great strategic importance for Europe,

which relies on two military-run services – GPS and Russia’s GLONASS –

which provide no guarantee of uninterrupted service.

Named after Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, the project was first approved

with an initial budget of around €3bn and was planned to be operational

by 2008, but suffered technical and budgetary setbacks, including the

launch of two satellites into the wrong orbit in 2014.

13 December 2016




analysis of the first two years of Horizon

2020 has highlighted the growing

competition for EU research funding.

The chances of securing a grant are now around half of what they were in

the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

According to figures published this week, the likelihood of attaining a grant

from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research programme are

around one in nine.

This is a fall from the average 19-21% odds in the preceding FP7, which

ran between 2007 and 2013.

The analysis, based on 152,627 Horizon 2020 applications received in

2015, shows that many proposals to the €77bn programme received top

marks from evaluators but did not get funded.

The report says: ‘Horizon 2020

would have needed €41.6bn

more in the first two years to fund

all proposals deemed excellent

by independent evaluators.’

The UK, which is preparing to

leave the EU following a

referendum in June, is Horizon

2020’s most enthusiastic participant, submitting 18,566 proposals, and

is the largest recipient of funding. Germany, Italy and Spain follow closely.

Overall, 39% of applications were from university researchers, 35.2% from

the private sector and 18.4% from research organisations in the first two

years of the programme.

Despite the abundance in applications, more than 90% of all grant

agreements were signed by the commission within the eight-month target.

01 December 2016

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