The European Commission invites European scientific and research community organisations to nominate high-level candidates to be put on the short-list of candidate-members for the Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors.

The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors consists of seven members who provide high-quality independent scientific advice to the College of European Commissioners on specific policy issues. Members are nominated by the Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation from a short-list that is to be replenished by the current open call and of which two new members will be selected to join the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors in November 2020.

A high-level independent identification committee will oversee the selection process for this short-list following a set of pre-defined factors and criteria. The group of candidates should e.g. reflect the broad range of scientific disciplines but also consider gender balance and younger next-generation leaders.

Nominations can be submitted until 15 June 2020.

Further information:

» Further information on the selection process and candidates‘ profiles

» Current members of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors

Source : EC, KoWi, 03.04.2020

The European Commission has awarded a contract for the setting up of an open access publishing platform for scientific articles from all disciplines (as well as to host pre-prints) as a free service for Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe beneficiaries.

Publications via this platform will undergo a peer review process and will meet all open access requirements of the current and the future EU research and innovation programmes.

The contract for setting up this service, worth around 5.8 M EUR, has been awarded to the London-based company F1000 Research Ltd. (owned by Taylor & Francis, and already supporting Open Access publishing platforms of the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation). Additionally, Eurodoc (European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers), LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association of European Research Libraries) and the Global Young Academy will participate in this initiative and will be responsible for the involvement of researchers and libraries as well as for outreach and training activities.

The service will be launched officially at the beginning of 2021, the submission of publications will be possible from autumn 2020. Further information on the platform as well as the possibility to register interest in submitting articles for publication will be available soon.

Further information:

» European Commission press release

» EU Open Science policy and activities

» Press release Eurodoc

» Press release LIBER

» Press release Global Young Academy

» Contact at KoWi

Source : EC & KoWi, 27.03.2020

As the current restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic severely affect the preparation of project applications, the European Commission has extended the submission deadlines for all Horizon 2020 calls with original deadlines before 15 April at least until this date. The topic IMI2-2020-21-01 is excluded from this regulation. The deadline for submitting proposals for the call EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020 was extended to 20 March 2020.

The exact new deadlines for each call and topic are specified on the respective topic pages in the Funding & Tenders Portal. Below is an overview of the changes we are currently aware of:

FET – Original submission deadline: 23 June 2020, new submission deadline: 2 July 2020 (already announced in the course of the update of the EIC work programme, see AiD of March 6, 2020):

FET PROACT-EIC-07 (Emerging paradigms and communities)
FET PROACT-EIC-08 (Environmental Intelligence)

Research Infrastructures – Original submission deadline 17.03.2020, new submission deadline 14.05.2020:

INFRAIA-02-2020 (Integrating Activities for starting communities)
INFRAIA-03-2020 (Pilot for a new model of Integrating activities)
INFRAINNOV-03-2020 (Co-Innovation platform for research infrastructure technologies)
INFRAINNOV-04-2020 (Innovation Pilots)
INFRASUPP-02-2020 (Strengthening the human capital of Research Infrastructures)

Research Infrastructures – Original submission deadline 22.04.2020, new submission deadline 18.06.2020 (already changed in the course of the adoption of the Digital Strategy on 19 February 2020):

INFRAEOSC-03-2020 (Integration and consolidation of the existing pan-European access mechanism to public research infrastructures and commercial services through the EOSC Portal)
INFRAEOSC-07-2020 (Increasing the service offer of the EOSC Portal

SC1 Health – Original submission deadline 07.04.2020, new submission deadline 15.04.2020:

All topics within the call H2020-SC1-BHC-2018-2020

SWAFS (Science with and for Society) – all topics with the original submission deadline 15 April 2020, new submission deadline 23 April 2020

Innovation in SMEs -Original submission deadline 02.04.2020, new submission deadline 15.04.2020:

INNOSUP-01-2018-2020 (Cluster facilitated projects for new industrial value chains)

ICT – A possible extension of the submission deadline for the topic DT-ICT-12-2020 (AI for the smart hospital of the future) is under discussion.

Please also note that the IT Helpdesk which provides technical support for the Funding & Tenders Portal points out that it currently works “in non-standard remote operation, which could introduce some handling delays”.

Further information:

» Information about updates in the Funding & Tenders Portal

Source : EC & KoWi, 20.3.2020

The European Commission has published a new article on the FAQ website of the Funding & Tenders Portal, which addresses possible disruptions of the implementation of H2020 projects, additional costs and travel cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commission refers to the possibility of applying Article 51 of the H2020 Model Grant Agreement (MGA), which regulates the case of force majeure. Beneficiaries can rely on it if they are unable to meet their contractual obligations due to unusual and unpredictable events beyond their control. These cases are therefore not considered as a breach of contract. The prerequisite is that the beneficiaries immediately inform the Commission or the Executive Agencies about the disruption of the project. In addition, they must take all necessary steps to keep the damage caused by the disruption low (e.g. timely cancellation of orders or travel).

According to the explanations in the Annotated Model Grant Agreement, additional costs incurred due to force majeure (e.g. costs for the reorganization of an event) should in principle be borne by the beneficiaries. However, the new FAQ article promises a possibility of reimbursement of these costs as long as the maximum grant amount is not exceeded. Such costs must also meet the general requirements for reimbursement and must not have already been reimbursed by any other source. The same applies to costs for trips that cannot take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The possibility of reimbursement of cancellation costs is also confirmed once again by the response of the European Commission to a request of our Austrian colleagues from the FFG, which you can find on their website. It stresses in particular that the beneficiaries must immediately inform the responsible project officer at the Commission or the Executive Agencies who then decide on the application of Article 51 H2020 MGA on a case-by-case basis.

Further information:
» FAQ article about force majeure and COVID-19
» FFG website about cancellation costs and COVID-19

Contact at KoWi:
Anita Bindhammer
Sebastian Claus
Cristina Condovici

Source : EC & KoWi, 20.3.2020

The deadline for pre-proposal submission is postponed from April 9 to April 28 2020, 13:00h (CEST) due to the current public health situation in Europe.

Following the Co-funded Call in 2018 (first call), the aim of this second call is to support scientifically excellent transnational research, development and innovation projects that contribute to the improvement of sustainability (environmental, economic and societal) and resilience of crop production.

There are currently at least 16 funding organisations from 12 countries intending to support the Call including France, Latvia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, United Kingdom, Poland, Belgium, Finland, Spain, Romania (tbc), and Turkey.

More detailed information and any further updates are available on the SusCrop webpage and the proposal submission webpage.

SusCrop is an ERA-Net Cofund Action under H2020, which aims to strengthen the European Research Area (ERA) in the field of Sustainable Crop Production through enhanced cooperation and coordination of different national and regional research programmes. In this regard, SusCrop brings together owners and managers of national and regional R&D&I programmes of EU Member States, EU-associated States and Third countries with significant experience in research funding and coordination.

Contact: Christian Breuer (coordinator) [email protected]