Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 29

businesses source their research and development externally, rather than
relying strongly on in-house R&D activities.
The FCT has developed several programmes and partnerships to try to
overcome these obstacles, the benefits of which will be felt in the next
five years. The FCT’s PhD programmes run in an industry setting
scheme that provides internationally competitive education, training and
industry experience for doctoral students. To date, seven such PhD
programmes have been approved, with over 40 companies involved.
Further calls will increase the number of programmes and subsequently
the number of well-equipped PhD holders, which are talented assets
for Portuguese businesses.
Confident future
The FCT-funded international partnerships with notable US universities,
including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon
University in Pennsylvania and the University of Texas at Austin, in
addition to the Fraunhofer Portugal programme, have proven very
successful. Collectively, they have helped to attract industry partners
(over 150), in providing business development, incubation and
acceleration opportunities to 19 Portuguese technology-based
companies, as well as in setting up 92 technology transfer offices, four
incubators and six technology parks, with 45 partner companies. The
second phase of these programmes (running from 2013-17) will have
an even greater focus on scientific research for innovation, in addition
to a technology transfer component.
Research infrastructures are instrumental to increasing the
competitiveness of a modern R&I system. As part of this recognition,
the first Portuguese roadmap of research infrastructures, which was
recently completed, is enabling greater knowledge transfer within
Portuguese industry and, importantly, is equipping both the scientific
and business communities for stronger participation in European and
global research projects.
In Portugal, we are careful not to compromise the intrinsic link between
research (including basic research) and innovation. For a country that
has succeeded in catching up from an enormous lag in research and
development, sustaining blue sky and frontier research is crucial if we
are to establish Portugal as a science and innovation-based nation. Only
by producing new knowledge will we be able to secure the social and
economic development that underpins the prosperity and wellbeing of
all citizens.
service and process innovation and less active
in the innovation of manufactured goods and in
bringing new products to market. It is also
noteworthy that a relatively low percentage of
Professor Miguel Seabra
President of Science Europe
2 0 2 0
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
Teaming together
In January, the European Commission
announced the awarding of grants worth
€14.5m that will help bridge the research
excellence gap between EU member states.
Horizon 2020’s Teaming instrument sees
funding being awarded to countries with
lower research excellence rankings to help
improve research performance and increase investment. A total of
31 projects from such countries have now been selected as part of
phase one of the Teaming call.
Commenting on the grant awards, Carlos Moedas, European
Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “Put
simply, we want Horizon 2020 funds to benefit as wide a range of
European universities and research institutes as possible. We are
determined to see that no part of Europe is left behind in research
and innovation. Teaming now helps to achieve this by creating
partnerships between those at the top and those with the most
potential. Horizon 2020 rewards excellence and, most importantly,
the pursuit of excellence.”
The first Teaming projects selected for funding will be led by
research institutions or agencies, as well as national or regional
authorities. In phase one of the Horizon 2020 Teaming call,
projects will each receive up to €500,000 to prepare operational
plans for new centres of excellence or for upgrading existing
ones, and will work with high calibre institutions from all over
Europe. In phase two, up to ten of these projects could be
selected for further support to implement the centre. The
Commission estimates around €87m of funding will be made
available in the phase two call.
Projects from 14 countries are receiving funding in this first phase,
including four in Portugal. Two of the Portuguese projects, entitled
‘SMARTAgriFor’ and ‘The Discoveries CTR’, see the FCT partner
with multiple leading European universities, both at home and
abroad, including the UK’s University College London and University
Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands.
EU member states that are eligible to benefit from Teaming funding
are the 13 countries that have joined the Union since 2004, plus
Portugal and Luxembourg, in addition to eight of the countries
associated to Horizon 2020. The ‘Teaming of excellent research
institutions and low performing RDI regions’ is part of the
‘Spreading excellence and widening participation’ cross-cutting
pillar of Horizon 2020.
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