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Horizon 2020 offers opportunities

The European Commission’s head of research believes the University of Bergen is in its best position ever to succeed with its applications for EU research funding.

Rector Dag Rune Olsen (left) with Robert-Jan Smits, research director at the European Commission, photographed at Horizon 2020 meeting.
LOOKING TO HORIZON 2020: On a visit to Bergen Robert-Jan Smits (right), research director at the European Commission, met with UiB’s Rector Dag Rune Olsen.
Photo:
Jens Helleland Ådnanes

“Your chances of success are even better than before,” said Robert-Jan Smits when meeting with Rector Dag Rune Olsen and other representatives from the University of Bergen (UiB) on Thursday 5 December.

Smits is the General-Director of DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission. On his visit to Bergen he got a presentation of UiB’s research on climate change, international health and marine research.

Read more about the programme in our article Horizon 2020: Big Science.

Focus and determination

Next year the New EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020, will begin. The programme aims to solve tomorrow’s challenges through research, technological development and innovation. A budget of around 70 billion Euros makes Horizon 2020 the world’s biggest research programme.

After listening to the presentations, Smits commended UiB for its focus and determination on being the leader in certain fields of research.

“The chances of success increase when one takes the initiative and wants to take on a leading role in certain fields,” he said.

Suitably Scandinavian

By European standards, UiB is a young university. Nor is it among the largest. Rector Dag Rune Olsen believes this may be a strength, as collaboration across disciplines becomes easier to accommodate.

“Our approach has so far created excellent research in our certain fields of priority,” Olsen said.

A key objective of Horizon 2020 is to solve certain challenges in society through research and innovation.

Smits told the UiB leadership and researchers that he believed that this in particular would suit academic environments in Scandinavia, where social sciences and interdisciplinary approaches have a strong position.

“Norway is very strong in interdisciplinary research, so we are delighted that you are a part of our programme. Showing excellence in niche areas means a lot, and I encourage you to make us of our programmes even more in the future,” Smits said.

(Translation: Sverre Ole Drønen.)