Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 217

companies through the new Client Journey initiative that supports them
through the application process for Horizon 2020’s SME Financial
Instrument. Initial results from the first call are very encouraging, with
the Scottish success rate at 20% compared to an overall European rate
of 6.45%, and three companies have made it to the second stage of the
programme. In a highly competitive arena, this is a promising start.
What are the background and aims of the Scottish EU
Research and Innovation Steering Group?
The Scottish EU Research and Innovation Steering Group was established
in 2010 by public sector agencies and organisations that recognised
more could be achieved through partnership and shared resources. It
aims to ensure there is appropriate support for those wishing to engage
in European research, development and innovation programmes. EU
steering group members are drawn from the Scottish Government,
Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands,
Scotland Europa and the Enterprise Europe Scotland Network.
The group also has a strategic role, safeguarding a clear line of sight
between our ambition to be a more internationally competitive nation
and in identifying and supporting projects with the potential to create
innovative solutions for industry and economic growth. Current examples
of work include the Innovative Medicines Initiative European Lead Factory
programme and the Dundee Drug Discovery Unit, which places Scotland
at the heart of drug research in Europe. Collaborations such as the
Vanguard Initiative – a group of 21 innovating regions committed to the
principles of smart specialisation and the promotion of innovation as a
driver of growth – are also leading by example and setting a framework
for others to aspire to.
The framework programme supports and
fosters collaborative relationships with
international partners to develop new products
and services and a delivery approach that is
necessary to address European and global
societal challenges. For this reason, we held a
series of Scotland-wide events in the run up to
the launch of Horizon 2020 to raise awareness
of the funding potential it provides and offer a
platform for businesses and universities to
discuss prospective projects and develop
consortia. We will build on this with further
events closely aligned to Horizon 2020’s future
work programmes.
We are also providing assistance for SMEs
looking to take the first step towards European
collaborative research and innovation
programmes through the launch of an
‘innovation voucher’ scheme. This initiative is
delivered through Interface, a service backed
by the Scottish Government. The scheme is
used by SMEs looking for assistance with
proposal building and connects small and
medium-sized businesses with appropriate
expertise in Scottish higher education.
In addition, the Enterprise Europe Scotland
team has been working closely with Scottish
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
I S S U E S I X
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U K F O C U S
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