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04 July 2013
Horizon 2020: Negotiators Reach Informal €70 billion Agreement. Total budget lower than expected but higher reimbursement rates
By II @ 10:54 :: 4888 Views :: Public News

The proposal is accompanied by a funding model that will significantly increase the share of public money in every project compared with the previous Framework programme (FP7). Participants in future research activities (including industry) might be supported with as much as 125 % of direct costs, which will reduce the number of funded projects while providing a significant financial support to all partners endeavouring into the new framework programme. The program foresees a share of around 10% of the total budget for SMEs, but this remains an indicative target, not a binding commitment.

 Reimbursement of Costs

  “The funding model for Horizon 2020 has been radically simplified,” said Sherlock, confirming that the simplified reimbursement model of 100 per cent of direct costs plus a 25 per cent flat rate for indirect costs has been agreed upon. This move towards simplification is “necessary for Europe to grow”, said Sherlock, because it allows for a “greater degree of access to funds for a greater number of institutions”. It ensures “unfettered access to EU funding based on the principle of excellence”. “The Irish Presidency, with the support of the member states, has had a very firm position with relation to simplification,” said Sherlock.

 Council’s Compromises

Sherlock said the negotiations “have been quite intense and difficult at times”, but welcomes the input of the Parliament, saying “this negotiation has shows how co-decision works - three institutions working together for the people of Europe.” The package agreed upon reflects a number of the Parliament’s original demands, for example:
 •A dedicated instrument budget for SMEs with approximately four percent of the budget.
•A pilot fast track to innovation project, which will then be evaluated.
•Specific measures dedicated to widening participation in Horizon 2020 - for example twinning of institutions and staff exchanges between rich and developing regions of Europe. This will not be part of the “excellence in science” pillar, but will have its own independent standing and receive 1 per cent of the Horizon 2020 budget.
•An eight month “time to grant” target. There will be some exceptions, for example for the European Research Council and for complex projects 

 "Science in and for Society" will according to the proposal be preserved as a cross-cutting programme including activities for anticipating and assessing environmental, health and safety impacts of technologies, in particular biotechnologies and nanotechnologies."

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