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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
I S S U E 1 3
COMMISSION COMMITS €9.1M
FOR INNOVATIVE BUSINESSES
he European Commission has set aside
€9.1m to invest in 189 small and medium-
sized enterprises (SMEs) from 24 countries.
The SMEs have been selected for funding in the latest round of the Horizon
2020 SME Instrument, and the funding is provided under Phase 1, meaning
that each project will receive €50,000 to finance feasibility studies for new
products that can disrupt the market. The SMEs can also apply for up to
three days of free business coaching.
Of the 189 SMEs that will receive funds for the proposed 182 projects
(multiple SMEs can be involved in one project), Italian SMEs have been
particularly successful with 34 companies accepted, followed by
counterparts from Spain (30) and the United Kingdom (18).
Most of the projects funded
will be in the area of ICT
(29), followed by transport
and low-carbon energy
systems (both 24).
For the third cut-off of the
SME Instrument Phase 1
this year, the Executive
Agency for SMEs (EASME) received 1,938 project proposals from 40
countries. Since the launch of the programme on 1 January 2014, 1,840
SMEs have been selected under Phase 1 of the SME Instrument.
As part of Horizon 2020, the European Commission is hand-picking
potentially disruptive businesses to invest in and support as part of the
SME Instrument. Businesses could receive up to €2.5m in funding as well
as business coaching.
24 October 2016
HIGH LEVEL GROUP MEMBERS
he European Commission has announced
the 12 members of the new high level group
that will formulate a vision for future EU
research and innovation.
The group will also make recommendations on maximising the impact of
EU investments in this area and is chaired by Pascal Lamy, president
emeritus of the Jacques Delors Institute.
Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and
Innovation, said: “We face economic uncertainty and societal challenges
but also promising opportunities in Europe. So it is vital to get even greater
impact from EU funding for research and innovation, for everyone’s benefit.
“With a wide range of expertise and experience, I am confident that the
new high level group will provide us with a bold vision for EU research and
innovation in the future.”
Lamy (pictured) said: “I am
honoured to lead the group’s work
on maximising the impact of EU
investments in research and
innovation. I believe that these are
crucial for our future prosperity
and to solving our biggest
challenges, and areas where the
EU can demonstrate that we do better together than on our own and that
we can exert global leadership.”
The High Level Group on Maximising the Impact of EU Research and
Innovation Programmes brings together leading personalities from across
Europe with a wide range of expertise. The members hold key posts in
universities or research organisations, are leaders of industrial giants and
dynamic SMEs, serve in high-level policy positions in national or international
organisations, and play important roles in civil society organisations.
30 November 2016
SCIENTISTS EXPLORE NEW
BRAIN DISEASE THERAPY
uropean scientists have collaborated to learn
more about diagnosing and treating
neuropsychiatric disorders, which are among
the biggest challenges in modern medicine.
For many brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, there
are either no medicines or existing therapies do not work for all patients.
Professor Rona Ramsay of the University of St Andrews, UK, chaired
European Co-operation in Science and Technology (COST) Action CM1103,
which brought together chemists and biologists to focus on brain diseases
where new therapies are needed. One of the areas she has been exploring
is the potential of ‘dirty drugs’ – molecules that interact with several targets
in the brain.
She said: “We can now design
drugs to hit specific targets. In
Alzheimer’s, for example, we
are developing drugs to keep
acetylcholine, dopamine and
serotonin in the synapses for longer; add an anti-oxidant to prevent damage
caused by dying brain cells; then add a metal to ‘mop up’ oxidants which
would otherwise cause problems.”
To achieve this, multidisciplinary networks have to design molecular
structures and test them in brain cells and animal models. Participants in
the network have filed a patent on one potential treatment and plan to
move forward with a view to clinical development.
According to Ramsay, the biggest value of this COST Action arose from
partnerships between academics and the valuable exposure to other
disciplines that it offered younger researchers.
18 November 2016