Research and Innovation at European level
The ZHAW participates successfully in the European research support programmes and conducts research on current issues in international networks comprising partnerships between industry and academia.
The eighth generation of European Union framework research programmes, Horizon 2020, runs from 2014 to 2020. Horizon 2020 is built on three pillars: Excellence in Science, Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges. Acquiring EU funding is highly prestigious, and involves building up research networks with academic partners and the private sector in one’s own country and abroad. Vital expertise is gained through cooperating in international research networks. This expertise makes a huge contribution to the innovative strength of the ZHAW and the Zurich region.
The Euresearch network is commissioned by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI to provide information on participation opportunities and procedures in European research cooperation. UAS4EUROPE represents the specific interests of the universities of applied sciences at EU level.
The ZHAW’s EU research strategy focuses on steadily increasing the number of EU projects in which it participates, thereby boosting the funding it receives. Researchers at the ZHAW have been participating in EU projects since the sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The projects cover a wide range of disciplines and topics: energy, information and communications technologies, transport, biotechnology, security and many more.
The role of the private sector
“Horizon 2020 offers many opportunities for businesses as well. Besides receiving direct financial contributions to their own research and innovation projects, they can also forge valuable strategic partnerships when developing new technologies and applications.”
Dr. Florian Berner, Company Advisor, Euresearch Office Zurich UAS
Horizon 2020 for SMEs and corporations
Horizon 2020’s focus on the private sector is greater than ever before. Corporations and SMEs are welcome partners in all projects. They enrich existing consortia and make an important contribution to the application of fundamental research.
No matter whether corporation, SME or start-up – you can take part in Horizon 2020 in a variety of roles:
- With your own research or development project: The best possibilities here are the instruments without set topics of the European Innovation Council (EIC), such as the SME Instrument or Fast Track to Innovation. These programmes support market-oriented innovation projects by providing grants to cover part of the project costs.
- As a consortium coordinator: You head an international group of universities, businesses or other organisations working together in an R&D project on a topic defined by the European Commission. Direct experience in applied research is required, and the administrative workload involved in this position should not be underestimated.
- As part of a consortium: Here there are various ways of participating. You are directly involved in an R&D project, either a) heading a section of the project, b) contributing your specific skills and knowledge, c) providing some new, important technology or expertise or d) testing the research findings in a practical application.
- Research Fellowship Programme: The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Research Fellowship Programme provides fellowships to individual researchers in industry. For example, they might meet the salary costs of international PhD students or post-doctuoral researchers in your company (post-docs).
- There are further specialised programmes: e.g. the Horizon Prizes, the Future and Emerging Technologies programme, the Coordination and Support Actions, and the Joint Technology Initiatives led by the private sector. An overview of all programmes can be found on the Euresearch website under Companies.