Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 220

I S S U E S I X
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
220
U K F O C U S
Horizon 2020 MSCA calls, both QUB and UU have enjoyed significant
success. Furthermore, QUB is in the negotiation stage with six European
fellowships and one global fellowship, while UU has also been
successful and, encouragingly, has effectively involved a local Northern
Ireland company in one of its projects, alongside a local health trust and
partners from the Republic of Ireland.
Each of the Horizon 2020 contact points in Northern Ireland is also
responsible for supporting applicants from within its thematic sector
seeking to apply to the MSCAs. In recognition of the importance of the
actions, we also plan to examine if additional specific support is required;
this survey will be part of the wider review into Horizon 2020.
The European Research Council also presents a great opportunity for
Northern Ireland, and we want to increase our success in this field from
our performance in FP7. As with the MSCAs, both QUB and UU have
developed action plans to meet this challenge. Some of the actions
include the use of external advisors who have experience of working on
ERC interview panels, as well as the holding of workshops and mentoring
sessions. In partnership with the universities, we will continue to review
progress in this area.
What have been the recent major developments in
research, development and innovation collaboration
between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland?
The international collaborative nature of Horizon 2020 makes it ideally
suited for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to work together
to a mutual benefit, and the importance of North-South collaboration is
recognised by the administrations in both Belfast and Dublin.
Executive has set on winning €145m from
Horizon 2020 and the need for all departments
and public bodies, academia and the private
sector to work collaboratively to deliver this.
To ensure that the necessary levels of support
are in place across the Executive to deliver the
new target of €145m, a review of the structure
of Horizon 2020 support in Northern Ireland will
be undertaken. The role of the Horizon 2020
manager will be an important part of that
review, which will be carried out later in 2015.
What efforts have been taken to
increase the involvement of
Northern Ireland in the European
Research Council and the MSCAs?
The MSCAs present a significant opportunity
for applicants from Northern Ireland. Under
FP7, Northern Ireland benefitted from €17.9m
of Marie Curie Action funding, accounting for
20.4% of the total funding received under
the programme.
Given this significance and its academic focus,
strategies have already been prepared by
Northern Ireland’s two main universities,
namely QUB and UU, to ensure that all actions
possible to stimulate and encourage applicants
to the MSCAs are taken. This work is already
starting to pay dividends as, in the most recent
Both Queen’s
University Belfast
(pictured) and Ulster
University are
particularly
benefitting from
Horizon 2020 funding
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