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Horizon Europe offers big opportunities for researchers

KTH has been and continues to be successful within the EU research and innovation framework programme. For example, we have participated in more projects than any other Swedish university or college. The EU is an important organisation in all KTH’s research areas.

We are currently looking to recruit cutting edge know-how via the EU framework programme, where KTH has proved to be an attractive workplace for incoming researchers. In addition, we are involved in many cooperative projects, where there are numerous consortia at the leading edge of research today.

The coming EU research and innovation framework programme, Horizon Europe (2021-2027), has just been adopted and is expected to start in 2021. The framework budget is € 75.9 billion.

As a university of technology, KTH occupies a unique position among the other organisations thanks to its broad-ranging partnerships with municipalities, regions and the enterprise sector. KTH intends to further strengthen this role and is in the process of developing an updated EU strategy ahead of Horizon Europe. The strategy should highlight opportunities and provide KTH researchers with the tools to successfully compete for financing from the programme.

To support this, we are now looking at how participation in the EU framework programme can be stimulated and what form of support researchers most need. As part of this, we are also evaluating how as a new instrument, the European Innovation Council (EIC) can be utilised. The process for creating participation is key and we are creating this strategy via a sense of togetherness through extensive dialogues with stakeholders and workshops with internal and external stakeholders.

To structure strong applications, we are also drawing on the benefits of KTH alliances such as Nordic5tech, UNITE!, the Crowdhelix network and obviously our strategic partnerships.

As one part of this increased support, we, together with our Stockholm Trio partners, the Karolinska Institute and Stockholm University, are going to establish a joint representation office in Brussels. This means that one person will be based in Brussels and work closely with the Trio partners to achieve greater participation.

As part of this strategy work, I am looking forward to the KTH Horizon Europe week that runs from 12-16 October. It is being organised by the Research Support Office and also involves other expertise from KTH such as KTH Innovation, the KTH Equality Office, Näringlivssamverkan (Enterprise Sector Partnership), the Sustainability Office and researchers with experience from large EU projects. We have also invited many guests including Vinnova, VR, other universities in Europe, our strategic partners and an experienced evaluator of EU projects. The primary target groups are KTH researchers, employees and management, plus strategic partners.

We will hear the very latest news about the new framework programme. There will be sessions on how to write good project applications, what aspects are applicable and crucial for successful applications, along with research Q&A sessions on cross-cutting issues and non-scientific activities. We will also be networking with KTH strategic partners that are looking to work more closely with KTH at EU level.

Also very important is the online consultation that is being launched during KTH Horizon Europe week and oriented to KTH researchers who would like to help create KTH’s strategy for participating in Horizon Europe.

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone with experience of what kind of support would be most important to target in the future, to share this and so enable us to have the best possible decision-making platform.

Horizon Europe will offer tremendous opportunities for researchers to gain external research financing, the opportunity to be able to influence the content of EU research and at the same time contribute to greater penetration within many different areas in the future.