Issue 2

Horizon 2020 NEWS


Issue 2
10 June 2015



Open H2020 Calls with potential interest for CERN 

Call Topic Deadline
H2020-SMEINST-1-2015 Horizon 2020 Dedicated SME Instrument, Phase 1 2015


H2020-SMEINST-2-2015 Horizon 2020 Dedicated SME Instrument, Phase 2 2015 17/06/2015

H2020-INOSUP-2015-2 Capitalising the Full Potential of On-Line Collaboration 18/08/2015
H2020-FTIPilot-2015-1 Fast Track to Innovation Pilot 01/09/2015
H2020-NMP-2015-two stage Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials and Production 08/09/2015
H2020-MSCA-IF-2015 MSCA Individual Fellowships 10/09/2015


Promoting gender equality in research and innovation 16/09/2015


Making science education and careers attractive for young people 16/09/2015


Integrating society in science and innovation 16/09/2015


Novel ideas for radically new technologies 29/09/2015
H2020-ERC-2015-PoC ERC Proof of Concept Grant 01/10/2015
H2020-MSCA-COFUND-2015 Co-Funding of Regional, National and International Programmes 01/10/2015

More H2020 Calls

H2020 proposals submitted in 2015

CERN community continues to show significant interest in Horizon 2020. 

In total 51 proposals for new EU projects with the participation of CERN (as coordinator or beneficiary) have been submitted to different H2020 programmes in the period January-June 2015. 

H2020 Programme Submmited
ERC 12 1 8
Research Infrastructures 2 1 1
e-Infrastructures 5 0 0
FET Open 1 - 1
Health (2nd stage) 1 - 1
ICT 2 - 2
NMP 1 0 0
Widening Excellence 3 - 3
COST 5 - 5
Marie Skłodowska-Curie 19 3 1

The ERC and Marie Skłodowska-Curie programmes have been most popular. Whereas most of the ERC Grants are still under evaluation, the recent results of the 2015 ITN (Innovative Training Networks) Marie Skłodowska-Curie Call demonstrated once again that this is one of the most competitive EU programmes. The overall success rate of the 2015 ITN Call is below 7%; in this context having three selected projects (out of 18) is not that bad an outcome. What is more disappointing is that several of the unsuccessful ITN projects coordinated by CERN obtained an excellent score (above 92-93%) which in other years might have been sufficient for funding.

As regards the e-Infrastructure call all 5 proposals have been turned down. CERN has been involved in a string of successful projects under this programme for many years, but severe competition takes its toll.

There has been quite some interest in COST and Twinning projects. COST actions aim at fostering networking and cooperation among national R&D programmes, whereas Twinning projects are funded by the Widening Excellence programme to further develop the excellence of promising research centers located in the less-advanced EU Member States, through capacity building and knowledge exchange.

Highlights of succesful projects recently selected for funding

ULTIMA is a Proof-of-concept project complementing a running ERC Advanced Grant on novel high-resolution calorimeters, hosted by CERN. These are grants dedicated to demonstrating the feasibility of certain technologies developed in ERC schemes, with high potential for market applications.

BrightnESS is a project for support to the Implementation Phase of the European Spallation Source in Lund, where the PH department will contribute to advanced R&D on the ESS detector technologies.

STREAM is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN for the development of smart sensor technologies and training for radiation enhanced applications and measurements, coordinated by CERN.

OMA is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN for the development and optimisation of medical accelerators, coordinated by the University of Liverpool.

AMVA4NewPhysics is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN for training on advanced multi-variate analysis for New Physics searches at the LHC, coordinated by INFN. 

More information about all H2020 projects is available on the website of the CERN EU Projects Office. Read More

H2020 Work Programmes for 2016-2017

The wave of Calls for Proposals launched by the EC over the period 2014-2015 is coming to an end. Now the attention is brought to the preparation of the new Work Programmes that will contain the Calls and topics to be funded over 2016-2017. The process of the preparation of these Work Programmes is at the stage of discussions and approval by the Programme Committees. The formal adoption by the EC and the publication of the first 2016 Calls is expected in September. The EU Projects Office has draft versions of some of the new Work Programmes, which may be made available upon request. 

New EDH document for EU projects

Please take note that as of 1 May 2015 all EU proposals in which CERN is involved must be submitted for hierarchical approval, together with a short project summary, via a new EDH document.

The executive memo of the DG to this effect is available here

Upcoming H2020 Events and Training

CERN Internal trainings: Date  Location
Building up a good Marie Sklodowska-Curie project and writing a successful proposal 01-02/07/2015
External trainings:    
Finance in Horizon 2020 23/06/2015 Cambridge
Horizon 2020: Applicants Workshop for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships 01/07/2015 CERN
Consortium agreements in Horizon 2020 07/07/2015 Cambridge
Info days and other events    
Information Day on FET Open Call 06/07/2015 Brussels
ICT 2015 event 20-22/10/2015 Lisbon

More events and trainings on the web-sites of Euresearch, the Vision 2020 Network and the European Commission.

Competition in H2020 is cruel across the board

During the years of stagnation and economic recession in Europe, many national research budgets have been cut for several years in a row. So for a vast number of universities, research centers and institutes obtaining funding from the EU Framework programmes is almost a matter of survival. That is why everybody was expecting Horizon 2020 to be extremely competitive. And indeed, in the first year of H2020 the average success rate across all programmes is staggering low – only some 15% of the submitted proposals have been selected for funding in 2014. For certain successful and very competitive programmes, such as the ERC, the EC is inviting the Member States to find alternative funding for excellent projects that have not been funded because of budget limitations. 

Other programmes have been heavily over-subscribed but the majority of the projects have not met the excellence criteria and were well below the thresholds. The EC says this is the case in particular for the dedicated SME instrument and the FET Open programmes, which were launched for the first time ever in 2014.

In other programmes with traditional tough competition, the EC has tried to mitigate the waste of time and efforts by the participants through running 2-stage evaluations. However, at the end of the day the success rate in some of these programmes (e.g. Health) was of the order of 5-6% and it remains to be seen whether the EC will be able to find other, more adequate measures to enhance the overall success rate in H2020 to reasonable levels. 

Other news and suggestions for further reading on H2020

1. A scientific panel will replace the role of chief scientific advisor to the European Commission, which was discontinued by President Juncker, and will include independent scientists and experts from different disciplines. The panel will be setup by Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, this autumn, who will also act as facilitator between the panel and the EC.  More information can be found in this BBC article

2. The final round of negotiations on the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) successfully concluded on 28 May 2015 with the Parliament being able to struck a deal to cut 500 M€ less from Horizon 2020 than what the EC proposed. The programmes which will be spared are ERC, Marie Skłodowska-Curie and Widening Excellence. Read more in the Science Business article

Participation of CERN in Erasmus+

Unlike H2020, the EU Education and other programmes do not foresee a special status of intergovernmental organisations such as CERN. In fact, for the purpose of Erasmus+ CERN is considered as a legal entity established in Switzerland. As such, the Organization is eligible to participate in Erasmus+ cooperation projects and receive funding from Bern, as do Swiss universities. Funding from the EU is only possible in very special cases because of the status of Switzerland as a partner country in Erasmus+. The individual mobility of EU students or teachers to CERN is restricted and subject to certain conditions. More information.


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