Horizon Europe Launch Event

(28-01-2021) Ghent University's EU Team officially launched Horizon Europe during an online event in which the next seven years of European research and innovation were plotted out. Find out what the new European Framework programme means for you.

On February 1st, the Horizon Europe Launch event set the scene for the next seven years of European Research and Innovation at our university. The event hosted many inspiring talks from various internal speakers and was also joined by Mr. Amaury Nève de Mévergnies, Acting Head of Unit of the Interinstitutional Relations and Internal Coordination Unit at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation.

The moderator, Mister Tom De Moor, welcomed about 270 participants, including researchers and support staff from Ghent University and associated University Colleges, and representatives from our National Contact Point and other Belgian universities.

Rector Rik Van de Walle elaborated on three important novelties in Horizon Europe: synergies, widening and societal impact.

“In the run-up to my election as Rector, I stated that we need to weigh more heavily on policy development, also at European level, and that we must provide better support to our researchers. I am therefore grateful for the new impetus given to the services of the EU Team. This will boost research at Ghent University. Together, we take Europe forward.” (Rector Rik Van de Walle)

Understanding funding schemes

In his keynote talk, Mister Nève de Mévergnies gave us insight into the European policy objectives behind Horizon Europe and an overview of the main differences with Horizon 2020 .

While we are benefiting from world-class research, to shape Europe’s future through research and innovation, we focus on the twin transition (digital & sustainable), leverage scientific strengths into leadership in breakthrough and disruptive innovation, set ambitious goals, and contribute to recovery and resilience." (Mr. Nève de Mévergnies – European Commission)

A panel of three very experienced professors, Professor Piet Demeester, Professor Ilse Derluyn and Professor Korneel Rabaey, and Ghent University's Research Director, Professor Ignace Lemahieu, discussed how Ghent University researchers can contribute to the goals of Horizon Europe. The road to success starts with understanding the purpose and the agenda of each funding scheme. Insights from the panel members on their funding strategy, European network building and the key ingredients for success, will equip our research community for the upcoming calls. In combination with the extended services of the EU Team our researchers are in a favourable starting position for the next Framework Programme of the European Commission.

In the afternoon, Professor Nele De Belie, Professor Marjan De Mey, Ms. Sally Chambers and Doctor Bart Hommez who were active in the previous Framework Programme Horizon 2020 looked more closely at different funding schemes or aspects of the programme, such as the Marie Skłodowska Curie Doctoral Networks, Coordination and Support Actions, Research Infrastructures and collaborations with industry.

Three break-out sessions addressed some specifics of Horizon Europe, namely interdisciplinary collaboration, international collaboration with countries outside the European Union, and Missions and Partnerships. Our guest speakers Professor Alexis Dewaele, Doctor Stefan Meysman, Professor Jelle Janssens and Doctor Elisabeth Delbeke shared their experiences with these different aspects of Horizon Europe. Mister Frederik De Decker, Head of the International Relations Office, explained the role that the regional platforms and Erasmus+ can play in international cooperation and in synergy with Horizon Europe.

The event turned out to be very informative and inspiring and offered a great overview of the opportunities of Europe's largest funding programme for Research and Innovation.

Ghent University's EU team has recently been expanded to offer ample expertise and know-how to Ghent University's researchers in their search to find out how their research can become relevant for the European agenda.

Ghent University employees can find all presentation materials and other information on the programme on our intranet. External parties can find all information on opportunities to collaborate with Ghent University on our website.