New Measures Introduced for the Simplification of Horizon 2020 

In a meeting with members of the European Parliament, the European Court of Auditors and major research and innovation stakeholder organizations, the European Commission has presented a package with additional measures to simplify the rules and procedures for the participation in the H2020 programme. After providing an analysis on the results of the H2020 simplification survey, these measures have been presented by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner of Research, Science and Innovation.

These new rules will reduce administrative costs for the participants and will help prevent accounting errors. Furthermore, they will open the way for the new measures of simplification of the next Framework Programme.

Horizon 2020 is the most important EU Research and Innovation programme, with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020), yet the EC seeks to make the programme even more attractive and bring to the world even more breakthrough discoveries by means of simplifying participation.

According to Commissioner Moedas:  “Radical simplification is one of the defining features of Horizon 2020, when compared to previous programmes. Responses from stakeholders show that huge progress has been made. But simplification is an on-going process. We have listened to researchers, businesses and other stakeholders and reflected their feedback in this second wave of simplification of Horizon 2020. The new measures will further cut red tape, making the programme even more attractive for top researchers and the most innovative enterprises, which is a major pre-requisite for achieving the Commission’s policy objectives.”

Proposed Changes

The changes made consist of a revision of the Grant Agreement which includes, amongst other measures:

  • Acceptance of the participants’ own accounting practice when charging the costs of internal products or services.
  • Offering a simpler option to international partners coming from third countries not eligible for EU funding.
  • Extending the electronic-only grant management until after the final payment.
  • Focusing the final H2020 work programme on key priorities in order to have fewer topics and calls in 2018-20, with the aim of maximizing impact and facilitating for stakeholders the work of finding a topic of their interest.
  • Facilitating the access to the programme for start-ups and innovators, as the Commission is interested in disruptive innovations with expansion potential. For this reason, it will adapt the SME Instrument to support innovations in any area, instead of predefined topics, and it will introduce an interview phase to evaluate the proposals of the most promising projects.
  • Reducing the administrative burden of participants, keeping the project focused on research and innovation, enhancing impacts and reducing the financial mistakes rate.

For further information, click here.