European Research Executive Agency Reports Significant Interest in Widening Participation Calls

A large number of applications have been submitted to the Horizon Europe Teaming for Excellence and Twinning Western Balkans calls for research funding.

The European Research Executive Agency (REA) has reported a significant number of applications were submitted to the recently-closed ‘Teaming for Excellence’ and ‘Twinning for Western Balkans’ Call Topics under Horizon Europe.

The two Call Topics are part of Horizon Europe’s ‘Widening Participation and Spreading Excellence’ strand, which itself is part of the ‘Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area’ part of the Horizon Europe Work Programme. The strand is chiefly concerned with helping to build the research and innovation capacity of Member States, Associated Countries and Outermost Regions that underperform in terms of R&I performance.

The Teaming for Excellence call helps to sponsor centres of excellences in order to support institutional building. These centres serve as models that stimulate excellence, generate new investments, and initiate reforms of national research and innovation systems.

The Teaming for Excellence call closed on 5 October and received 116 applications, with the combined request for funding exceeding €1.5 billion, well in excess of the €180 million allocated to the call in the 2021 Work Programme.

REA is in the process of selecting 12 projects for funding, which are expected to receive between €8 and €15 million per project. The results of proposals submitted to the call will be communicated by the end of February 2022, and successful applicants will have until 8 September 2022 to submit a full proposal.

In addition, the Twinning Western Balkans call aims to foster networking activities between research institutions from Western Balkan countries and leading counterparts from EU Member States or Associated Countries.

The Twinning Western Balkans call closed on 5 October and received 128 proposals, with the requested contributions totalling over €173 million. Again, this is well above the €21 million allocated in the Work Programme. A total of 14 projects will be selected under the call, with estimated EU contributions of between €0.8 and €1.5 million per project. Results will be announced by January 2022 and the grant agreement for successful proposals must be signed by the end of June 2022.

Applicants can apply for other opportunities offered through the ‘Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area’ strand of Horizon Europe via the Commission’s Funding and Tenders Portal.