The European Commission will invest €195 million in setting up and developing 13 new ‘centres of excellence’ in seven Member States, helping to boost research and innovation performance and inspiring the scientific community to develop new products and processes in tandem with leading scientific institutes from all over Europe.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said:
Scientific talent is everywhere in Europe but in some parts of the Union it does not have fertile ground to develop. We want to change this and that is why we are investing €900 million from the EU’s Research and Innovation Programme in developing partnerships and setting up centres of excellence that will help talented researchers reach their full potential.
To be funded by Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme, the 13 projects will be located in Bulgaria (1), Cyprus (3), Czech Republic (2), Estonia (1), Latvia (1), Poland (3) and Portugal (2). The projects will each receive close to €15 million once the final grant agreement with the Commission has been signed in the second half of 2019. The grant will allow the new centres of excellence to form partnerships with leading scientific institutions across Europe in areas such as health, marine and maritime research, industrial production, biodiversity and nanomaterials.
For example, the Polish NOMATEN project will see the cooperation of the National Centre of Nuclear Research of Poland with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Their goal is to create in Poland a new research organisation in which international world-class research teams will design, develop and assess innovative multifunctional materials for industrial and medical applications.
The 13 project proposals have been selected for funding from the Teaming part of Horizon 2020, which is designed to facilitate institution building in countries with low research and innovation performance. The projects work in close cooperation with Europe's leading scientific institutions.
A set of measures with total budget of around €900 million is available for creating the conditions for widening the participation of universities and research organisations in less R&I-performing countries in the competitive calls of Horizon 2020. These include the Teaming, Twinning and the ERA Chairs instruments. Eligible Member States under Teaming include all those that joined the EU after 2004 plus Portugal and Luxembourg, as well as some of the non-EU countries associated to Horizon 2020. So far 11 Teaming Phase 2, 61 Teaming Phase 1, 97 Twinning and 27 ERA Chairs projects have been funded under Horizon 2020.