Horizon 2020 spotlight: How to influence the work programme?
In general, there is no master plan, and the long-term process is not entirely transparent. It is advisable to take a broad approach involving stakeholders and researchers from other Member States.
WHO INFLUENCES HORIZON 2020?
HOW CAN ONE PROVIDE INPUT TO THE WORK PROGRAMMES?
In general, direct contact with the Commission (Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) and relevant policy DGs) is important, often on an informal basis. It may be through meetings, by organizing thematic workshops or through participation in a stakeholder event organized by the Commission. Such activities are often useful in order to put forward scientific, innovative and impact related issues. Personal contact to Commission staff also provides a platform for topic related input to specific parts of the Work Programme. Contacts to members of Advisory Group and Programme Committees as well as active participation in a relevant European Technology Platform are other important channels to provide inputs. For some areas, the Commission may organize public consultations where all stakeholders may suggest future topics. Participating in COST actions and involvement in science policy active networks and/or scientific societies are platforms that allow you to attract the attention of Commission staff and other players involved in preparing the Work Programme to certain issues, challenges or needs.
Member States can also be asked by the Commission to give input on the Work Programmes. Currently, the Research Council of Norway takes an initiative approach and asks research environments in Norway to provide input to the putative topics of WP 2016/2017. Information has been sent to the institute leaderships, please contact them for details.
HOW CAN ONE INFLUENCE THE PRIORITIES UNDER THE NEXT STRATEGIC PROGRAMMES?
The first Strategic Programme 2014-2016 was prepared during 2012 and agreed by the Commission in early 2013.The second strategic programme will cover 2016-2018. Thus, there is one overlapping year between the two programmes. The 2016-18 programme is expected to be prepared during 2014 and the first part of 2015. In order to influence the Strategic Programme a broad and long-term scope is necessary. One must also be aware that results in terms of funded projects may only be visible after 3-5 years. A research community (preferably international) could define a particular sub-societal challenge which is within or across the challenges defined in pillar 3. The objective should be to put this challenge on the European policy agenda and to suggest research and innovation based solutions and the impact this may have. If you wish to put a specific technology on the agenda the strategy could be to promote it as a solution to a number of different sub-challenges. In this case, the industrial and commercial potential should also be clarified.
[Information taken from documents prepared by South Denmark European Office, creoDK and UKRO]