Ups, we did it again

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Last September we learned that Jan Haavik (Biomedicine) and Stefan Johansson landed their first Horizon 2020-project called MiND in the Marie Sklodowska-Curie program, under the pillar Excellent Science. Soon after, Gunnar Mellgren received an ERA-NET grant for a project aiming at studying cancer-preventive effects of diabetes drugs. Both ERA-NET and IMI are specific programs with a thematic focus, thus complementing H2020. With 2 granted projects out of 5 applications, K2 did very well.

Now the results from the first announcement of health-related research projects in Horizon 2020 are being published. Helga Salvesen obtained a grant for a cancer project tied to the pillar Societal Challenges called Female cancer prediction using cervical omics to individualise screening and prevention (FORECEE). Helse Bergen is partner, while UiB represented by K2 is associated partner, so-called 3rd party. Recently we also learned that Cecilie Svanes, affiliated with Center for International Health and Public Health but also a part of the thoracic medicine research group, successfully obtained a grant to study lung health across generations in European cohorts.

Last week I obtained a grant based on the application ULTRADIAN as coordinator, a project focusing on developing dynamic hormone diagnostics. Nine out of 466 applications obtained grants, which gives a success rate of 1.9%. As many as 138 of the 466 projects qualified for round 2. The EU-commission has received criticism for letting too many application through to the final round, so now the bar will be raised in future calls. Another reason for low success rates (1.9-6.9%) was that an unusual high number of applications were submitted.

All in all MOFA still has had a reasonably good start in H2020, but more grants would have been desirable. How does one succeed? Key success factors are to build or participate in strong networks with “EU-experience”, another is to involve industry (SME) as much as possible. K2 is prioritizing administrative resources to those who wish to write applications, and it is also possible to obtain positioning funds (PES) in order free time for application writing, networking, meetings and consultants.


Good luck with future applications

Best regards

Eystein Husebye

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