Switzerland in HORIZON 2020
Switzerland and the EU have agreed on a partial association, which came into effect on 15 September 2014 and will last until the end of 2016. This "partial association" allows researchers in Switzerland to participate as associated and equally entitled partners in all activities under Pillar 1 of Horizon 2020, comprising ERC grants, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) etc.
For all other Horizon 2020 projects, i.e. under Pillar 2 & 3 of Horizon 2020, Switzerland remains a "industrialized third country" entity. In these programme areas Swiss partners can join European collaborative projects; they will be funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research & Innovation (SERI).
Please note: Running FP7 projects are not affected. The participation of researchers in Switzerland in the programme COST is not affected.
Pillar 1 – Excellent Science
Researchers and research groups with Swiss host institutes can participate in all calls under Pillar 1 i.e. European Research Council, Future and Emerging Technologies, Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions and research infrastructures as well as in actions under the specific objective “Spreading excellence and widening participation” until the end of 2016. See Overview above.
Pillars 2 & 3 – Industrial Leadership & Societal Challenges
- Researchers from Swiss institutes can participate in Horizon 2020 collaborative projects but will generally not receive EC funding.
- The Swiss Federal Council has approved the direct financing of Swiss research groups (in 2015) participating in Horizon 2020 collaborative projects.
- Consortia should ensure that the consortium includes partners form at least 3 Member States or Associated Countries – excluding the Swiss partner.
- Swiss partners of collaborative projects complete the budget and insert zero in column ‘K Requested grants /€’. Instead, the amount for the Swiss partners noted in ‘H Max. grant /€’ is envisaged for direct reimbursement to the Swiss partners by SERI. Subsequently Article 9.1 in the grant agreement should be invoked. This states that the costs are estimated in Annex 2, but will not be reimbursed and will not be taken into account for the calculation of the EC grant.
- We advise consortia with Swiss participants to keep the total project budget (i.e. requested EC contribution plus Swiss contribution) within the range specified by the respective call/topic.
- In collaborative projects, there is no rule that excludes "third countries" from coordinating a project. The EC has stated that "third countries" may also coordinate projects as long as they provide their own funding and cover their own coordination costs. Please also consult the FAQs.
- Please include the following text module in your proposal: Financial support for Swiss partners: The Swiss Federal Council provides direct support to researchers in Switzerland who, because of the status of Switzerland as industrialised third country in pillar 2 & 3 of Horizon 2020, cannot receive European financial contribution. The regulation entered into force on 1 October 2014 (www.h2020.ch).
- Detailed information on direct financing by the State Secretariat for Education, Research & Innovation (SERI): www.h2020.ch, Swiss Transitional Measures for Horizon 2020 (Submission of funding requests)
Official Communications regarding the Status of Switzerland in HORIZON 2020
Communication from the European Commission (5.12.2014; available via: H2020 Reference Documents, select: H2020 Grants Manual > Horizontal issues > Third country participation > List of H2020 Associated Countries > link to information note)
Communication from the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, SERI (1.10.2015; available via: www.sbfi.admin.ch, select link top left: Horizon 2020); Decisions of the Swiss Federal Council (5.12.2014)
Horizon 2020, the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation
"Horizon 2020" is not just the new name for the Framework Programme 2014 - 2020. It is the name for the new, integrated funding system that will cover all research and innovation funding currently provided through
- the Framework Programme for Research and Technical Development,
- the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and
- the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
In Horizon 2020 research and innovation funding will be brought together in a coherent and flexible manner and will focus clearly on implementing the aims of the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 initiative.
The Work Programmes (the research agendas) describe the contents of the calls and cover a 2-year period. You can search the Calls and the Work Programmes by using predefined topic keyword (for example ICT for energy, Health services etc.) on the search topic page; the result is a list of relevant open calls. Alternatively, you can also use the free text search, i.e. by applying the feature “Containing the exact phrase”.
Experts wanted / New call for independent experts
Ahead of the start of Horizon 2020, the new EU research and innovation programme, the European Commission has recently launched a new call for independent experts.
Experts are needed to evaluate proposals for EU funding and for other activities such as monitoring, programme evaluation and policy development.
Interested candidates are invited to file their application online as soon as possible in preparation for the first project proposal evaluations, which will start in 2014.
Webinars on Horizon 2020
Throughout the year 2013, Euresearch has run a series of webinars on Horizon 2020 providing the latest news and information on funding opportunities.
After the event, these webinars are available on Euresearch's Youtube channel.
The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI offers co-ordinators of Horizon 2020 projects, a fixed sum of 8000CHF to cover proposal preparation costs, for all projects that reach the EU evaluation thresholds. The relevant documents can be found here (German only): www.sbfi.admin.ch/dienstleistungen/formulare/01667/index.html
Co-ordinators from the University of Basel can also apply to the Research Fund for proposal preparation support.