NCP - National contact point
FWO and Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship have been appointed National Contact Points (NCPs) within the European Union's research and innovation framework programmes 'Horizon 2020' and 'Horizon Europe'. National Contact Points are national structures established and funded by the governments of the 27 EU member states and countries associated with research framework programmes. Since summer 2021, NCP Flanders is also the contact point for the 'Digital Europe' programme.
Horizon Europe, the ninth framework programme for research and innovation for the period 2021-2027, was launched in spring 2021. The total budget for this period was set at €95.5 billion, and is meant to contribute to the following key objectives:
- strengthening and expanding the excellence of the Union's research
- boosting key technologies and solutions in support of EU policies and the United Nations' sustainable development goals
- stimulating the market to create breakthroughs and ecosystems to promote innovation
- optimising strengths & potential for a more innovative Europe
The previous research framework programme, Horizon 2020, ran from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of around €77 billion. Horizon 2020 officially ended on 31 December 2020, but many of the projects launched under this programme period continue well into this decade.
The new Digital Europe framework programme for the period 2021-2027 does not fund research but focuses, with its €7.5 billion budget, on the rollout and wide use of digital technologies in five key areas:
- High-performance computing
- Artificial intelligence, data and cloud
- Advanced digital skills
- Promoting the deployment and wide use of digital technologies across the economy and society.
The NCP advisors act externally under NCP Flanders. NCP Flanders tries to inform the Flemish research community and other interested parties in a timely and appropriate manner about the opportunities under Horizon Europe and Digital Europe. They act as an information link between researchers, the European Liaison Officers (ELO) in the Flemish universities and other research institutions, other parties interested in the framework programmes and the European Commission. In addition, NCPs provide personal support to potential applicants, such as research institutions, companies and government authorities, in preparing and following up on their applications. The main objective is to increase the participation and success rate of Flemish applicants in the framework programmes.
Researchers in Flemish universities and other higher education and scientific institutions can also contact their European Liaison Officers (ELO) for information on and support with the framework programmes.
All information on Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe, Digital Europe and the activities of NCP Flanders can be found at NCPflanders.be.