To best prepare the WAITRO membership for the new EU framework, the workshop featured key speakers from the European Commission, National Contact Points (NCPs) and experienced project promoters and managers. They introduced the most relevant topics concerning Horizon Europe Strategic Plan, changes of budget, proposals presentation, partnerships, validation and benefits within the Horizon Europe Framework. In addition, further supporting services and tools of WAITRO were introduced. For this, the agenda was split in six sections:
- Siv Jacobsen, Seconded National Expert in DG R&I from the European Commission presented the main differences between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. She introduced the three pillars of the framework program, the budget and cross-cutting issues like gender, environmental effects and security scrutiny. She also talked in detail about strategic planning and describing the impact of a proposal.
- The NCP for legal and financial aspects in Germany, Bastian Raue, gave insight into international cooperation in Horizon Europe. He went into detail about the possibilities of joint research between EU and non-EU partners under the Horizon Framework.
- Abishek Ramesh, the UK NCP and Global Innovation Lead, presented the arrangements for the UK in Horizon Europe and encouraged participants to consider the UK as a collaborator as the UK is now officially an associate member and will be able to fully participate in Horizon Europe.
- With a new framework program comes a new proposal template. Amro Satti, the Director of International Projects in Promotion and Management Department at LEITAT, highlighted important aspects of the new template, particularly in comparison with Horizon 2020.
- Similarly, Xavier Ponte, coordinator of International Projects at LEITAT, presented the new Model Grant Agreement and gave helpful tips on international participation, third parties, international partners and cost calculation, among others.
- The final presentation was on WAITRO’s innovation ecosystem in Horizon Europe. Laia Piñol, representing the WAITRO Regional Focal Point for Europe, and Anna Wohlrab, WAITRO’s program officer showed how WAITRO can support Horizon Europe proposals through working groups, information dissemination and even external evaluation and Letters of Support. WAITRO’s matchmaking platform SAIRA was introduced as an easy and convenient way to find trustworthy partners. Kirsty Kaiser, Research Fairness Initiative implementation manager, presented tools on ensuring the equitability of partnerships.
The event was moderated by Laia Piñol, Anna Wohlrab and Alexandra Hyldgaard, Senior Consultant at DTI. WAITRO was delighted with the huge success and acceptance of the online Capacity Development Workshop. It was tailored for European WAITRO Members, but welcomed Members worldwide. With over 100 participants of member organization from all around the globe, the WAITRO membership is ready to form consortia and get started on Horizon Europe.
Text by: Karla García (WAITRO), Julia Wiethüchter (WAITRO), Laia Piñol (LEITAT).