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New opportunities for Ukrainian scientists "Horizon 2020"


http: //ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/

March 20, 2015 is become the historic date for the whole scientific community of Ukraine: Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Sergey Kvit and Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation of the European Union Carlos Moedas signed the Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union on Ukraine's participation in the EU Framework Programme for Research and innovation "Horizon 2020" (http: //ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/).

Association with the "Horizon 2020" is evidenced a new level of cooperation between Ukraine and the EU in the field of scientific and technical cooperation. According to Carlos Moedas at a press conference after the signing of the Agreement "... now Ukraine has access to the full range of activities funded by the program" Horizon 2020 ", which will help to stimulate its economy. I hope that Ukraine will make maximum use of these opportunities."

"Horizon 2020" is the eighth EU Framework Programme for Research. First Framework Programme was launched in 1984 for five years with a modest budget - 3.75 billion euros. Over the years, the programs have become a major tool for research in the EU. Effective from January 2014 the program "Horizon 2020" is the largest transnational program on Scientific Research and innovation with a total budget of about 80 billion euros. This program has a number of features as compared with the previous ones. The program "Horizon 2020" includes three programs that were previously independent, namely: "Research Framework Program", "Framework Program for Competitiveness and Innovation" and the activities of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. The purpose of such association - the maximum removal of obstacles on the way from research to innovation, and the main goal of the program is the "transfer of scientific ideas from the lab to the market."

In the Seventh Framework Program "FP7", preceded the "Horizon 2020", Ukraine was among the ten most effective so-called "third" countries (according to the current classification, the third countries - countries that are not members of the EU and not associated with the program). So there is hope that the Association Agreement will be an important mechanism for the further integration of Ukrainian scientists in the research area and the EU will promote economic growth and create new jobs in Ukraine.

Associate membership in the program means that Ukraine will be able to take advantage of all the components of the program as well as the organization of the EU. From now on, Ukrainian scientists can use all the financial possibilities of the program, to develop their own project proposals, to form scientific consortiums and receive funding as project coordinators. Instead of searching for a job abroad, Ukrainian scientists have access to a powerful resource that allows to realize their ideas and projects in Ukraine.

There are some advantages for Ukrainian entrepreneurs as well. They are granted access to the tools of the program "Horizon 2020", aimed at the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. Implementation of the key principles of the program - "transfer of ideas from the lab to the market" - will have a positive impact on the development of innovation, the emergence of new high-tech enterprises.

Participation in the program involves the contribution, which is calculated according to the country's GDP. It is many years been a major barrier to the association of Ukraine in previous framework programs. Now, the European Commission took the unprecedented financial conditions for Ukraine - a discount of 95% of the deposit, as well as the opportunity to return 50% of the amount due to the instruments of international technical assistance.

To come into force, the agreement  must be ratified by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, but Ukrainian legal entities can already take part in all activities "Horizon 2020", financed by the budget for 2015.

Speaking about the program "Horizon 2020", it should be noted that it envisages the principle of open competition announced by the European Commission in various fields of science and innovative activities. These contests are characterized by high level of competition. The victory in such competitions require knowledge and skills, which the Ukrainian scientists are lacking. One need to have a clear idea about the various tools that are provided in the program, have the skills filing in accordance with the requirements of the program, to be able to protect intellectual property, to understand the legal and financial aspects of the program, a good command of English. And yet, all this must be done against the background of reality, in terms of financial and economic instability.

 

If you recall the experience of other countries, there are different examples. Thus, Turkey has signed an Association Agreement with the EU Sixth Framework Program. The results were disappointing: the country was not able to return the contribution to the program through the projects that have been involved Turkish scholars. That is, Turkey has funded scientific work of scientists from other countries. Experience of Moldova, on the contrary, is positive. Signing an association agreement with the EU Seventh Framework Program in 2012, the country has significantly increased the number of projects with the participation of  Moldovan scientists.

Therefore, the successful participation of Ukrainian scientists in the program "Horizon 2020" primarily depends on them. To review the scientific community with the basic provisions of the program and provide the necessary advice, Ukraine has a network of National Network of contact points (NNCP).

The main objectives of NNCP are: the support  the integration of the scientific sphere of Ukraine into the European Research Area and enhancing mutually beneficial scientific, technological and innovation cooperation with the EU through its participation in the EU Framework Program, providing information and consulting support Ukrainian scientific institutions and organizations for participation in the projects of the program "Horizon 2020 ".

Two national contact points (NCP) in the thematic areas - "Information and Communication Technologies" and "Climate and effective use of resources, including raw materials" - are based on NTUU "KPI" (http://ncp.kpi.ua/ uk). The University has several research teams that have already received the experience of the participation in the EU Framework Program: in particular, the staff of NTUU "KPI" participated in five projects in FP7. There is the first victory in the program "Horizon 2020" as well, NTUU "KPI" is involved in the implementation of the project with the symbolic name "UKRAINE".

Our university has all the prerequisites for successful participation in the program "Horizon 2020", in particular, there are powerful scientific schools in various areas, science park and start-up school with their innovative component, counseling centers at the level of national contact points. The scientific team at the University has enough capacity to make the projects under the program "Horizon 2020" becoming commonplace for all units, and  NTUU "KPI" on the quantity and quality of the projects has been one of the leading universities in Europe.

Sergey Shukaev, Director of the NPC at the NTUU "KPI"

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