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South Asia launch of Horizon 2020

Photograph: David Daly, EU Ambassador in Colombo, speaking at the Horizon 2020 launch event in January 2014  

The European Union in collaboration with the University of Salford, UK, and University of Moratuwa today organised the launch of the 'Horizon 2020' programme for the South Asian Region. 

'Horizon 2020' is the EU flagship programme for Research and Technological Development. With an overall budget of EUR 80 billion (LKR 14,000 billion) over the period 2014-2020 the programme is one of the most significant in its kind. It is also most open to international cooperation. It aims to boost knowledge-driven economies through research and innovation and promises new breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas 'from the lab to the market'.

Priorities for funding include sciences, industrial leadership and global challenges. 

The programme that was launched in December 2013 in Brussels and now in South Asia aims at further boosting the participation of key researchers, academics and industries from the South Asia region.

Sri Lanka remains eligible for funding. In the context of previous programs, Sri Lankan researchers have participated in 10 collaborative projects. Participants from Sri Lanka have included the Ministry of Health and Nutrition, the Federation of Sri Lankan Local Government Authorities, the International Water Management Institute and the Universities of Colombo, Peradenyia, Moratuwa, Kelanyia and Sri Jayawardenepura.

In addition, 12 researchers from Sri Lanka have received individual research grants to European institutions. Furthermore, approximately 170 Sri Lankan students, researchers and University staff have benefitted from scholarships and fellowships under the EU Erasmus Mundus programme for higher education. Participation in the programme is by academic excellence.

EU Ambassador David Daly has reiterated that: "Many countries had accelerated their economic growth, development and industry competitiveness by paying close attention to research and innovation. With the Horizon 2020 funding, the goal is first and foremost to contribute to growth, jobs and a better quality of life. It has the potential to make a substantial contribution to reaching Mahinda Chintana's goal of making Sri Lanka a Knowledge Hub in the region. Investment in this field is an investment in our shared future and over the last few years numerous European and Sri Lankan academics have been increasingly working together through such programmes. With a simplified and more accessible Horizon 2020, I encourage researchers, universities, business including SMEs to sign up !"

The launch of Horizon 2020 has been organised with the financial assistance of the European Union received as part of the CASCADE (Collaborative Action towards Societal Challenges through Awareness, Development, and Education) project:

Materials presented at the event are available to download using the links below:

Press release by European Union’s Delegation to Sri Lanka and the Maldives


CASCADE project summary

Horizon 2020 societal challenges information sheet

Presentation of Horizon 2020
Denis Dambois, Head of Research and Innovation, EU Delegation

Pathways for Southern Asia via Horizon 2020, Opportunities for South Asian Institutions
Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga, University of Salford, UK

How to find partners & how to participate in a proposal
Vera Barron, Research and Development Manager, University of Salford, UK

In the Forefront of European Innovation: Case study, Presentation of the CASCADE project and its goals 
Part AProfessor Richard Haigh, University of Salford, UK 
Part BProfessor Samantha Hettiarachchi, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
Part C (available to download soon) - Hemanthi Goonesekera, Federation of Local Governments, Sri Lanka

Introduction to societal challenges of Horizon 2020
Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga, University of Salford, UK; Dr Champika Liyanage, University of Central Lancashire, UK

The Horizon 2020: Teaming up with the EU for Research Excellence South Asia Launch

Horizon 2020, the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, is right around the corner. The Programme begins in January 2014 and offers vast opportunities for funding and networking for organisations from the South Asian Region. On the 24th January 2014, the University of Salford, UK, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka and the European Commission, Directorate-General for Research are organising an event at Taj Samudra Hotel (Crystal Room) Colombo 3, Sri Lanka that will launch Horizon 2020 in South Asia, EU’s flagship Research Programme. 

Download the launch day information sheet and agenda

Download a registration form

CASCADE partners meet in Kandalama, Sri Lanka

The European Union organised the first meeting under the Collaborative Action towards Societal Challenges through Awareness, Development, and Education (CASCADE) project, held during the 3rd – 6th November 2013 at the Kandalama Heritance Hotel. The Project is funded under Horizon 2020, the new financial programme of the EU for Research and Development and with a budget of over €70billion for the period between 2014 and 2020.

The CASCADE project aims to provide the foundation for a future International Cooperation Network programme targeting South Asian Countries, which will promote bi-regional coordination of Science &Technology (S&T) cooperation. One of the key objectives of the 18-month CASCADE project is to assemble a regional position paper that identifies global challenges, research priorities and increases awareness on how to address common problems being faced.

In this context, the three day workshop in Sri Lanka has been platform where partners from various countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and their European colleagues) have actively engaged in constructive discussions on how to address prevalent issues in the disciplines of sciences' and humanities e.g. health, agriculture, maritime research, energy; climate action, resource management etc. This initiative involves a number of European and Asian research institutions, including the University of Salford (U.K.), the University of Moratuwa and the Federation of Sri Lankan Local Government Authorities.

Speaking on the occasion, the Science Counsellor of the EU Delegation in Delhi, Denis Dambois said "e.g. CASCADE is an excellent opportunity for raising awareness of the potential for EU-Southern Asia cooperation and stimulating regional and international participation. With the active contribution of countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the endeavour will be to pave the way for more advanced, inclusive and innovative societies"

Confirming the importance of a project of this nature, the project coordinator of CASCADE, Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga said "this initiative is truly forward thinking and has generated great interest in the participating countries. Sri Lanka with it wealth of natural resources will play a key role in shaping future policies. I am pleased to be given the responsibility of this project will have long lasting impact on the lives of people."

Download the event press release

Launch of CASCADE project

On 1st October 2013, a consortium of 17 organisations from the EU and South Asia began CASCADE, an 18 month project that aims to prepare the ground for a future INCONET programme that targets South Asian Countries and promotes bi-regional coordination of S&T cooperation, including priority setting and definition of S&T cooperation policies.

The project is led by the University of Salford from the UK but targets and has the participation of all South Asian countries specified in the call: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

During the project, the team will: compile a regional position paper that identifies global challenges and research priorities; map and develop an inventory of national and regional stakeholders related to global challenges; and, raise awareness on research & innovation priorities for fostering cooperation and towards building mutual understanding on how to address common global societal challenges. 

In November, the project team will meet in Kandalama, Sri Lanka to finalise the detailed workplan and begin collecting data from the South Asian target countries.


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