Horizon 2020 can most certainly be considered the best opportunity for hundreds of researchers and businesses out there. If you have an innovative idea that you believe can shift the world as we know it then perhaps Horizon 2020 can be the right European framework for you. You can apply with your idea and you can request funding that will allow you to implement that idea. However, the right question is whether you should do this on your own or bring together a consortium of partners.
Who Can Apply?
Now, any natural or legal person such as companies, research organisations, universities and non-governmental organisations can apply for an Horizon 2020 proposal regardless of their place of establishment or residence. Of course, the applicant needs to possess the operational and financial viability to be able to carry out the research tasks that they propose. If you are the person/entity applying for Horizon 2020 funding but you are not able to undertake the financial management of the project then you are most likely not going to be able to get the funding. In this case, a consortium is a much more preferable option.
Just like every other EU programme, Horizon 2020 has many different calls that you can apply for. Each call focuses on a different action and each call can offer you the opportunity to be involved in different scientific fields.
In most cases, Horizon 2020 themes support collaborative research projects. In other words, there need to be at least three organisations from different countries participating in order for them to be able to form a consortium. At the same time, there is a number of opportunities that actually allow for a single participant to take action. Such opportunities are:
- European research Council research grants
- Marie Curie reactions
- SME instrument
These three actions usually are supported for a single participant so, if you are a researcher or an SME owner that has a great idea and wants to become a part of Horizon 2020 the right calls are actually out there waiting for you.
Now, regarding the eligibility criteria for funding, the very first thing you’re going to want think about is going to be the country of origin. The legal entities established in the following countries are the entities eligible to receive funding under the Horizon 2020 financial framework.
- Member states
- Associated countries including Switzerland and Ukraine for the Euratom program
- Third countries according to the annex
- International European interest organisations
The right answer to the question whether you are supposed to find consortium partners for an Horizon 2020 proposal or to actually go for it as a solo entity has to do with the amount of people you believe will be needed for the implementation of the proposal. In addition you will need to know exactly how the proposal is going to be formed.
Choose The Right Partners
If you are a scientist or a researcher and you want to conduct research in a particular field which can be done by you alone then yes, there is no reason to search for a consortium. If however you believe that there is a way for your research idea to actually have a much bigger extent, perhaps to the labour market or other fields then you will need a consortium. Try to find experts that will be able to provide you with their assistance in order for you to implement the idea aiming at the maximum impact possible.
If you truly believe that, there is a lot more to your research than just the original idea, make sure that, you are going to search and find the right partners . Having partners for an Horizon 2020 proposal can certainly be the right choice in multiple different cases. That is due to the fact that, a lot of partners can provide you with more possible project opportunities and of course, the know-how that you might not have.
Partners like the Institute of entrepreneurship Development for example will be able to provide you with targeted knowledge on the labour market and the business sector which you might not have. That could prove to be quite important for the evolution of your research idea. Find the right people or do it on your own but always focus on implementing your proposal to the maximum.