Horizon 2020 is the biggest ever EU research and innovation programme, at the heart of its blueprint for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Nearly €80bn of funding has been made available from 2014 to 2020 to drive economic growth across the continent.
With its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges, its central goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removing barriers to innovation and making it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.
Given this focus the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIoIR) has been at the forefront of Alliance MBS’ work with Horizon 2020.
For instance MIoIR was previously awarded a Horizon 2020 grant as part of a three-year project titled ERA-LEARN 2020 which aimed to provide an integrated framework to make public-to-public partnerships between national and regional funding organisations more efficient.
The Institute was part of a consortium led by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) involving 10 partners across the continent, all of whom are government-run agencies apart from MIOIR which was deliberately chosen to provide independent analysis and policy advice. As part of the programme MIOIR has been monitoring and assessing the impact of joint programming activities set up by EU member states.
ERA-LEARN 2020 specifically supports existing and new joint actions that are built around assisting with research into the EU’s so-called ‘grand challenges’ such as tackling climate change, energy resource issues and dealing with an ageing population.
The web-based platform created under ERA-LEARN 2020 gave people the opportunity to record information and data efficiently, while facilitating the exchange of ideas and experiences. In this era of continued austerity governments are keen to explore how research funding can be spent more efficiently and the programme was about creating a critical mass and exploiting the mutual benefits of knowledge exchange.