Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - MORE (Mobility for Regional Excellence, MoRE)

In 2014 Region Västra Götaland (VGR) launched a new programme for the transnational mobility of experienced researchers, the Mobility for Regional Excellence Programme (MoRE). The programme was launched as a pilot, co-funded by Fp7/Marie curie running for four years, starting in February 2014. The MoRE programme aimed to contribute to the general policy objectives in the European Research Area (ERA) in several ways. MoRE is also a tool to achieve the objectives of the Västra Götaland 2020 development strategy.

MoRE is a unique mobility programme as it does not only promote transnational mobility and improvement of career development for individual researchers. It is also a tool to strengthen research-driven clusters in Västra Götaland.

There will be a minimum of three calls during the programme and the calls are open to researchers of all nationalities and targets highly experienced researchers that are interested in working closely with both academic and non-academic organisations. The MoRE applicant is a researcher together with an employing research and innovation milieu in Västra Götaland. A research and innovation milieu means, in this context, a collection of research and innovation players (universities, research institutes, established and/or new companies, public organisations etc.), involved in research and innovation within a given area and which, within this work, have an active mutual exchange of approaches to problems, competence, knowledge and technology. The researcher should have established contacts with a collection of the relevant stakeholders in Västra Götaland in that particular research field. The proposed research project should stimulate collaboration between the research and innovation milieus in Västra Götaland and the one abroad.

The content of the proposal relates to one of the research and innovation intensive areas prioritised by Region Västra Götaland and funded through the MoRE programme, i.e. Sustainable transport solutions, Life science, Green chemistry, Marine environment and the maritime sector, Urban development, Material sciences, Sustainable production, Information and communication technologies, Energy, Textile/Fashion/Design, Cultural and creative industry, Food production/Green industries and finally Tourism. Project proposals must clearly demonstrate how the project contributes to developing and strengthening the competitiveness and internationalisation of research-driven clusters in Västra Götaland. The programme is also focused on triple-helix collaboration and strengthening international collaboration between research and innovation intensive milieus across borders. The researcher is expected to actively develop collaboration between the two participating research and innovation milieus for the entire duration of the project. The programme allows any subject approach within and also between areas. A bottom-up approach, with a focus on societal challenges and needs-driven science, is encouraged.

Gender equality is at the heart of the programme with the aim that at the end of the programme, the gender balance of researchers funded under the programme should be at least 40-60%.

As of April 2016, MoRE has been running for a little over two years out of four. The first Call for proposals closed on September 1 2015, the second closed on March 15 2015 and the third and last Call closed on October 4, 2015. The result of the calls was a total number of 48 applications. 18 researchers have been selected. 7 men and 11 women. 12 out of 13 of the prioritized innovation intensive areas have been targeted in the applications where 9 out of 13 areas have had approved projects. All six universities situated in Västra Götaland have been active in the calls. The ratio of incoming vs outgoing researchers is 5 vs 13.

During the first two years of the four year programme, all three calls have been published and the evaluation and selection of researchers have been carried out as described in Annex 1. The Management Team was busy with setting up the structure and procedures during the first months of the programme, to ensure the efficient implementation of the programme. Dissemination activities such as information meetings, workshops, seminars, articles in newsletters, news on the MoRE webpage ( etc. was also concentrated to the first year of the programme to ensure that the knowledge about the programme was well spread.

In terms of objectives and results, all programme objectives and expected results have been achieved so far, i.e. all calls have been published and the amount of submitted applications exceeded the expectations! All applications have been handled according to programme procedures and the fellows have been appointed. However, it is difficult to estimate what the results will be like at the end of the programme period. The researchers appointed are all human individuals with a personal life. The Management Team has tried to be as flexible as possible to help the Fellows to find solutions to carry out their research in due time.

In the spring 2015, before the third call for proposals, there was a thorough review made by the company Ramböll. The review also looked at how continued investments should be niched and organized in order to reach universities, research institutes, Science Parks and University Hospitals, and to drive the priority issue of researchers' mobility in Västra Götaland in the future. Ramböll concluded that:

- MoRE is perceived to be a complement to other funding systems.

- The implementation of MoRE has taken place commendably.

- The structure of the MoRE programme is clear and well underpinned.

- Long-term effects for the region are uncertain and difficult to measure.

When it comes to how these recommendations have been taken into account, the major result was the submission of a second mobility programme to the Marie Curie/COFUND call in 2015. Unfortunately the application was not successful.

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