Update on ERC Calls for Proposals (2014)

The ERC Scientific Council has released a statement containing an indicative scenario as to how things will work from 2014, when FP7 closes and Horizon 2020 begins.

As the EU’s Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7) will finish at the end of this year, the main ERC calls for proposals within FP7 are now closed. The next ERC calls will be made under the future programme, ‘Horizon 2020’, that will take over from FP7 for 2014 to 2020.

However, ‘Horizon 2020’ has not yet been adopted. As is normally the case during the transition from one framework programme to another, the schedule for the next ERC calls (and ERC Work Programme) is very likely to differ from previous years.

The ERC Scientific Council has discussed the issue and, based on the current state of play, it can provide the following possible scenario on a purely indicative basis:

  • Publication of the provisional schedule for the new calls (ERC Work Programme 2014), late in 2013;
  • Opening and submission deadlines of new ERC calls throughout 2014: – Opening and submission deadline for Starting grants; first and second quarter of 2014 – Opening and submission deadline for Consolidator grants; second quarter of 2014 – Opening and submission deadline for Advanced grants; fourth quarter of 2014
  • No further calls for Synergy grants in 2013 and 2014;
  • Normal schedule for Proof of Concept grants (one call with two deadlines in 2014). Although no final decision has yet been taken by the EU, the ERC Scientific Council provides, without any commitment, this provisional information for the convenience of the scientific community.

The ERC will do its utmost to make the transition as smooth as possible and provide the necessary continuity for the research community.

No further information is available at this stage on the calendar, budget or rules of the next calls. Stay informed on the ERC website and the Participant Portal.

Horizon 2020: Cloud Computing, Software and Services – Draft Orientation Paper Available

The European Commission has this week released a document outlining initial thoughts on how the ICT Work Programme 2014-15 could address the future research and innovation challenges in Cloud Computing, Software and Services:

Orientation Paper: 2014 Cloud Computing, Software and Services

This paper is an advance opportunity to see the topics which may form part of the first ICT Work Programme in Horizon 2020. However please note that this is a draft and therefore priorities may be subject to change before the final publication of the Work Programme.

The paper presents two objectives with underpinning aims, rationale and outlines possible areas of activity which may form part of the next call. These are:

  1. Advanced Cloud Infrastructure and Services: Federated cloud networking; automated service composition; mobile cloud service development environments
  2. Innovative Tools and Methods for Software Development:  Tools and methods to manage complexity, system simulation, variability, testing and failure management across the software lifecycle; flexible and scalable tools for on-line collaborative software development

Source: Lincoln Research Blog

Horizon 2020 Expert Advisory Groups

The European Commission has issued a call for Expressions of Interest to become part of Horizon 2020 Expert Advisory Groups:


This is a really important, formative time as Horizon 2020 is developed. There are only 333 days until this new framework is launched!

Experts in groups of 20-30 will advise the Commission on the development of the relevant work programmes for each of a number of headings (FET, MCA, each of the societal challenges and areas of leadership in industrial and emerging technologies). While this is advice, rather than drafting the grant calls, the appropriateness of the work programme can make a significant difference to how attractive participation in them will be is to UK researchers. The UK was not represented on a number of Advisory Groups in FP7. UK Government officials are keen encourage UK stakeholders to participate.

Participation would involve a commitment to two meetings a year (which will require preparatory reading) for two years (extendable to four). Experts can express their interest as individuals (in a personal capacity or representing a general interest) or as representatives of a stakeholder organisation, such as a university.

Expertise is called for within areas listed below. Please note that the ICT area was subject to a separate call but ICT experts can still apply here.

  • Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions on skills, training and career development
  • Research infrastructures (including e-Infrastructures)
  • Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies within the following areas:
    • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)*1
    • Nanotechnologies
    • Advanced materials
    • Biotechnology
    • Advanced manufacturing and processing
    • Space
  • Access to risk finance (debt or equity financing)
  • Innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research and the bio-economy
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy (including nuclear energy)
  • Smart, green and integrated transport
  • Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials
  • Inclusive, innovative and secure societies

Petition Against EU Funding Cuts

As you probably already know, cuts are being made by the EU to competitive funding avenues, such as research and innovation. Such funding is key to creating jobs throughout the EU, however they are instead choosing to focus on funding areas such as agriculture and cohesion, which will not generate nearly as many jobs and will certainly not see Europe supporting the ideas and science of the future.

Some suggest that the Horizon 2020 budget could fall below £70billion which, whilst it seems significantly more than the £55billion offered for its predecessor FP7, doesn’t take into account other increasing costs, such as rising inflation.

As the discussion the surrounding budget cuts to Horizon2020 continues, we can make our small voices heard by signing the following petition and getting involved.