Government.fo: Last week the joint committee met in Brussels. This was the second formal meeting of the Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation.
The Horizon 2020 programme came into effect in 2014 and runs until 2020. The current programme is currently being evaluated while its replacement programme is being prepared. The new framework programme will commence 1 January 2021 and is called Horizon Europe. The new programme will be more comprehensive than the current one in terms of scope and financing.
The Faroese participation in Horizon 2020 was discussed in the meeting. Faroese applicants are quite successful and succeed in securing funding for 24% of applications compared to a European average of 15%. Despite the high number of applications from the Faroe Islands, there are areas where more Faroese applications could be desired while Faroese participation in some projects could be greater.
There are two areas in particular, where greater Faroese participation is recommended. The first of these is the mobility programme, Marie Curie, which supports individual researchers’ wages and costs when relocating between countries. The second is the so-called Widening-programme for countries that have not reached the level of the elite research countries. The programme issues grants to develop cooperation and competences through “Twinning” and “Teaming”.
The meeting also concerned the organisation of Horizon Europe and the criteria for participation. For the Faroe Islands it is particularly interesting, that the financing structure is likely to be changed so that there will be a direct correlation between participation payment and output for countries with associated membership.
The Erasmus and Creative Europe programmes were also discussed during the Faroese visit to Brussels. These programmes provide subsidies in education and culture. The Faroese Representation to the EU has arranged meetings to discuss conditions for the Faroe Islands to become an associate member of these programmes.