Russia and European Union Allocate 12.5 Million Euros to Fight Against Viruses

The European Union and Russia have announced three new joint projects devoted to the fight against human immunodeficiency viruses, hepatitis, and triggers of tuberculosis as part of Horizon 2020, the largest EU research program. The program representatives spoke about their plans for 2018-2020 and cooperation with Russia during a recent seminar held at NUST MISIS.

As Richard Burger, head of the Department for Science and Technology of the Delegation of the European Union to Russia, said — „Only organizations registered in European Union countries, as well as countries’ associate members or undeveloped countries, get full financing. In other cases, the funding comes from the authorities of the countries as part of so-called ‚mirror’ competitions, which are when contests are declared as part of both Horizon 2020 programs and an appropriate program within their country. These cases include, for example, the USA, Canada, Australia, China, and of course, Russia”.

In Russia, the Federal Targeted Program „Research and Developments 2014-2020”, which is being implemented by Russia`s Ministry of Science and Education, has become the main partner of Horizon 2020. Magomed Mintsaev, Deputy Head of the Department for Science and Technology at Russia`s Ministry of Science and Education, said the corresponding contest will start as part of the 2.2. ФЦПИР program in the near future.

According to Richard Burger, the Russian participants in the program can receive financing directly. The program provides „exception cases”, which he described as when the contributions of a participant from an industrialized country is necessary for the successful implementation of a project and there is no replacement for the participant.

„To our surprise, the Russian participants very often fall under this category”, Richard Burger, added.

The Russian participants will have a chance to expand their opportunities to implement projects during the Horizon 2020 program in the coming three years thanks to the addition of the Excellent Science area. This area will provide support for the most promising ideas and open access to advanced research infrastructure for scientists and research groups.

„The seminar was held at NUST MISIS because our university serves as the national contact point on the ‚research infrastructure’ subject area for EUs framework programs. These contact points have become elements of support between the Russian Federation and the European Union, and they help Russian research organizations, universities, and small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in projects of the framework program”, Mikhail Filonov, NUST MISIS Vice-rector of Research & Development, said.

Horizon 2020 is EU`s Eighth Framework Program for Research and Innovation. As Filonov noted, NUST MISIS has experience with Horizon 2020 already, having participated in both the sixth and seventh framework programs. In those research projects the University helped to coordinate and support the work (for example, in the field of nanotechnologies). Currently, as part of the Horizon 2020 program, NUST MISIS is participating in the EFEVE project associated with the development of advanced materials for new technologically flexible, economical, and universal processes for the creation of heavy-duty and lightweight components. BILAT —RUS-ADVANCED is another example devoted to the further development of a bilateral partnership with Russia in the field of research and innovation.

„The RICH — network project — can be distinguished among the Horizon 2020 projects: both European contact points in the field of ‚research infrastructure’ and tubing pipes of third-world countries, including our contact point, are participating in this project. We plan to continue to participate in Horizon 2020 projects in the future, and first of all, NUST MISIS is planning to participate in the continuation of the RICH project. We will consider the possibility of the University`s participation in competitions as part of the ‚research infrastructure’ subject area in the field of nanotechnologies and the power industry”, — emphasized Filonov.