Reflections on Horizon 2020 and Marie Curie
By Ingemar Pongratz
Ingemar Pongratz from Fenix Scientific AB / Pongratz Consulting has participated in several meetings focused on Marie Sklodowska Curie projects, part of Horizon 2020, organized by the European Commission, NCP’s and other stakeholder throughout 2015 and it is interesting to note that there seems to be a rather interesting view on the role of industry.
In most workshops the important role for industry as a partner in different types of Marie Curie actions is highlighted and many workshops state over and over again that industry and in particular SME play a critical role in Marie Curie projects.
However, it is rather strange that at many of the workshops, SME and Industry are not taking part. Does it mean that this sector in not interested?
I had a couple of discussions with SME owners and there seems to be consensus that the structure of Marie Curie is interesting. The SME representatives are also well aware of the purpose of Marie Curie actions to provide training and improve the career opportunities for researchers.
In general the feeling among these SME’s owners is that this is OK, and they do not see this as a major issue. In fact, many SME are interested to collaborate with Universities and they see Marie Curie projects as a natural way in.
So where is the problem?
In one of the Marie Curie workshops I participated, University representatives expressed suggestions such as “Industry should pay to join these projects” or “Is it advisable to involve industry in Marie Curie?” I do not believe this is the European Commission position, however the feeling that the Academic Community does not see the possible contribution of industry and SME as valuable may clearly be part of the answer why industry and SME are better represented in Horizon 2020 Marie Curie projects.
Clearly, it will be important to educate Universities and other organizations that industry are very important participants and should therefore not be excluded from Marie Sklodowska Curie projects in the future. Clearly, Industry participation should be a very important evaluation point in future Marie Curie proposals as well.