Edition 191 - March 2017

Horizon 2020 sees simplification package & guarantee for funding parity with national levels

The European Commission will roll out a simplification package to facilitate participation and reduce administrative barriers in Horizon 2020. This second wave of simplification of Horizon 2020 aligns with an on-going process of improvement in the programme and reflects the views of research, business and relevant stakeholders.  The new measures will decrease red tape, and simplify rules and procedures to enhance the attractiveness of Horizon 2020 to world class researchers and innovative enterprises.

 The simplification measures comprise:

  • A  revised Model Grant Agreement that presents a new definition of additional remuneration  for researchers,   allowing more room for individual beneficiaries to follow their own accounting practices.  It also increases possibilities for cooperation with those international partners not eligible for EU funding.
  • Streamlining the Horizon 2020 work programme for 2018-20, where fewer topics and fewer calls aim to maximize impact and help stakeholders to easier find a match between interests and funding topics.
  • To enhance the relevance of the programme for start-ups and innovators, easier access for these target groups will be facilitated by adapting the SME Instrument , and supporting the selection of diverse innovations.
  • Lump-sum project funding will be applied more frequently, to lower administrative burdens and costing errors. A Results focused budget model  is to support a re-focus on aspects of research and its impacts.

Furthermore a new amendment to the provisions of Horizon 2020 has been made to guarantee that researchers working on EU-funded projects “will receive at least as much salary as they would get if they were working on national projects”. On top of this, eligibility for a bonus of up to €8000 per year continues under the Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation.  To close a gap in compensation, the salary concept in Horizon 2020 has been adjusted to mirror national practice. Some top-ups received will now be considered part of the basic-salary, as opposed to additional income. This is to tackle unintended side effects and participatory barriers, for researchers in countries with a low basic salary, who commonly gain improved funding in national projects via a practice of receiving bonuses.

European Commission Research and Innovation – Horizon2020 simplification

European Commission Research and Innovation – Improved funding conditions

(back to newsletter)