It has been five years since the European Union have light to its powerful research funding tool: the HORIZON 2020 EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. During these years, the University of Barcelona has obtained 136 research projects that involved more than 51 million euros.
The success rate of the UB regarding the Horizon programme is currently 12.60%, more than half point over the average in Europe. Compared to the previous framework programme, it has increased by 17% in projects and almost 29% in received funding. The HORIZON 2020 programme will finish next year, so these figures are expected to increase before the new programme comes in (HORIZON EUROPE). At the moment, there are six projects under negotiation phases that can add more than 4 million euros to the count during the upcoming months.
Considering the different pillars of the programme, the participation of the UB in this project stands out in Excellent Science, where it got 88 projects accounting for almost 40 million euros. Then, in Societal Challenges, with 36 projects and 9 million euros approximately, and third, in Industrial Leadership, where it got 8 projects and about 2 million euros.
Moreover, there are other types of cross-sectional projects, such as “Science with and for Society” (SWAFS) and “Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation” (SEWP), in which the UB got four projects for more than 750.000 euros. The UB has outstood in the European Research Council (ERC) calls, where it obtained fifteen projects and 21.5 million euros, and in the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions, with 55 projects and 12.7 million euros.
Out of all these calls, about 20% of the projects have been led by researchers of our university, among which women have played an important role: 40% of the proposals have been led by women researchers, and there are no significant differences in gender regarding aspects such as coordination and success rates, although women researchers obtained amounts of money 27% higher than those obtained by men researchers.
The good results of the UB are distributed around the different campuses, but those in the faculties of Physics, Biology and Economy and Business do stand out, as well as those from the Departments of Condensed Matter Physics; History and Archaeology; Economics; and Quantum Physics and Astrophysics as particularly active and successful when obtaining funds.
“This is an excellent journey which we are sure will go on when the current HORIZON 2020 gets replaced on December 31, 2020, by the new HORIZON EUROPE, which will come with new directions and a stronger funding”, notes Àlex Aguilar, vice-rector for Outreach and Internationalization of the UB.