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Horizon Europe Office in Ukraine as the key National Contact Point (NCP)

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Expected Outcomes:

  • Horizon Europe (HE) Office is established in Ukraine and facilitates the creation of an active and effective network of thematic NCPs across Ukraine who are able to provide professional services to the Ukrainian R&I actors in different parts of the country.
  • HE Office in Ukraine provides individual support to the National Contact Points (NCPs) and acts as their coordinator.
  • HE Office in Ukraine provides support to the NCPs and prospective HE applicants by organising targeted information events on R&I cooperation opportunities, by preparing relevant communication materials, by offering training activities on drafting competitive proposals and by assisting them in finding the project partners in the EU and worldwide.
  • HE Offices monitors and analyses the implementation of R&I cooperation projects, raises awareness about the success stories and alerts to specific implementation issues (legal, operational, financial etc). This work will inform the discussions in the annual EU-Ukraine Joint Committees under the Association Agreement to Horizon Europe and Euratom.
  • HE Office in Ukraine promotes Ukraine’s active participation in the HE Programme Committees configurations in close coordination with Ukraine’s Ministry of Education and Science and with the focus on Ukraine’s key research and innovation priorities.
  • HE Office in Ukraine creates a dedicated webpage as an entry point to the Ukrainian R&I community on opportunities under HE Programme, referring to the official Funding and Tenders Portal.
  • HE Office in Ukraine provides policy advice linked to Ukraine’s integration into the European Research Area (ERA) by focusing on a selected number of policy priorities. It also provides support to Ukraine’s participation in the ERA governance structures, in particular the ERA Forum.
  • Horizon Europe Office in Ukraine explores and facilitates synergies with the EU-linked R&I cooperation opportunities beyond the HE programme.

Expected Impact:

  • Professional Horizon Europe NCP services are provided in Ukraine.
  • Better awareness about the Horizon Europe opportunities among the Ukrainian R&I community.
  • Simplified access to the Horizon Europe calls; improved ability to find the right EU partner and higher quality proposals from Ukraine.
  • An increase in the Ukrainian applications to the Horizon Europe calls as compared to Horizon 2020 (or the number of applications is at least similar to the pre-war levels).
  • Good uptake of the dedicated Horizon Europe support measures for Ukraine.
  • Ukraine gains a solid basis for closer integration into the ERA.

Scope:

The agreement with Ukraine associating it to Horizon Europe and Euratom Research and Training Programmes is in force since 9 June 2022 and represents a key instrument to support Ukrainian researchers and innovators in the context of ongoing military aggression by Russia. In accordance with the Association Agreement, Ukrainian entities can participate in the programmes on equal terms[[According to the Regulation (EU) 2021/695 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 April 2021 establishing Horizon Europe – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, laying down its rules for participation and dissemination, and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1290/2013 and (EU) No 1291/2013 (OJ 12.5.2021 L 170/1)]] with entities from EU Member States. Ukraine does not have to contribute financially for years 2021 and 2022 and there is a general encouragement across the Horizon Europe Work Programme to create opportunities, where possible, for the affected persons and entities of Ukraine.

At the same time, Ukraine’s R&I capacity, both at institutional and individual levels, is at risk in view of public R&I budget cuts and destroyed research infrastructure. According to the latest survey of 2000 Ukrainian scientists, 38% have been forced to relocate internally and 15% have left abroad. In addition, almost three quarters are struggling to carry on their work for various reasons (damaged research infrastructure, electricity and water cuts, moral impact etc..

In addition, as the EU candidate country, Ukraine has to improve its R&I related policy frameworks aiming at closer integration into the ERA. It has to implement additional policy reforms, which should receive prior relevant policy advice in line with the national priorities and reconstruction and recovery-related plans.

In this context, establishing a Horizon Europe Office in Ukraine would help to maximise on opportunities presented by Ukraine’s association to Horizon Europe as well as by the specific support measures put in place. It would guide prospective Ukrainian participants on calls, the application process and finding the project partners; ensure Ukraine’s involvement in the Horizon Europe Programme Committees configurations and coordinate the network of the National Contact Points. In addition, it would provide policy advice on Ukraine’s integration into the ERA, which could feed into the subsequent government-led R&I sector-related reforms, and support Ukraine’s participation in the ERA governance structures, in particular the ERA Forum.

In relation to other associated countries, Horizon Europe Offices exist in Georgia (Executive Agency of the Ministry) and Turkey (the Scientific and Technological Research Council (Tubitak) and represent useful tools to facilitate and/or improve these countries’ overall participation in the Horizon Europe programme. Mutual learning activities could be organized if considered relevant and appropriate. In addition, complementarities will be sought with the current Horizon 2020 project ‘Bridge2HE’ and its follow up project.

The Horizon Europe Office in Ukraine project will cover the staff costs, organization of events, training sessions and roadshows as well as the setup of a dedicated webpage to promote Horizon Europe opportunities in Ukraine.

A grant to identified beneficiary is an appropriate implementation modality for this action as it will reinforce the key R&I public institution of Ukraine - the National Research Foundation of Ukraine (NRFU) – in view of the ongoing military aggression by Russia and its far-reaching impacts on the R&I sector in Ukraine. The NRFU is the only public institution that runs competitive R&I calls in Ukraine.

This grant will be awarded without a call for proposals according to Article 195(e) of the Financial Regulation and Article 24(3)(b) of the Horizon Europe Framework Programme and Rules for Participation.

Funding rate: 100%