Researchers and innovators from Armenia will now have full access to Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation funding programme, under the same conditions as their counterparts from EU Member States and other associated countries.
The agreement associating Armenia to Horizon 2020 was signed yesterday by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Levon Mkrtchyan, Armenian Minister for Education and Science.
Commissioner Moedas said: 'EU research, science and innovation is open to the world for collaboration. Armenia is now the 16th country associated to Horizon 2020, the world's largest public funding programme for research and innovation. This will bring new and different expertise and ideas, and enrich our international research cooperation.'
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: 'Through Horizon 2020, research institutions and the private sector in Armenia will have a unique opportunity to access funding for cutting edge research and development. The opening of Horizon 2020 to Armenia is a concrete example of the EU's commitment to further enhance its relationship with Armenia.'
This Agreement allows for Armenia's enhanced cooperation with the EU in research and innovation, which are vital for successful and modern economies. It shows the commitment of the Union to develop the scientific and innovation capacity of its partners associated to the programme. It also represents another step towards reaching the EU goal of opening research and innovation to the world.
Armenia has until now been able to participate in Horizon 2020 only as a third country. This means its entities have not counted towards the minimum number of participants required for a project, and have not had access to some important parts of the programme such as support to innovative businesses. Its representatives have not had access to key policy bodies.
Thanks to this agreement, its research institutes, universities and individual researchers will now have access to all opportunities offered by Horizon 2020 in diverse areas, from fundamental science to demonstration projects, on an equal footing with researchers and organisations from EU Member States and other countries associated to the programme. Armenian SMEs and businesses will also be able to benefit from increased support to develop new ideas and bring products and services to the market.
With a budget of €77 billion for 2014-2020, Horizon 2020 is the largest multinational programme dedicated to research and innovation. Until now, Armenia participated in Horizon 2020 as a third country. Association covers the years 2016-2020 and opens up new opportunities to the country's universities, research institutions and enterprises.
In the Seventh framework programme (2017-13), which preceded Horizon 2020, Armenian organisations participated in 35 signed projects. In Horizon 2020, they already participate in five projects.
The EU is strongly supporting Armenia and will allocate between €140 - 170 million via the Single Support Framework (SSF) in the years 2014-2017. The focus of the assistance is on private sector development, public administration reform, and justice. In addition, support is being provided for the implementation of EU-Armenia agreements (such as Horizon 2020) and for civil society.
Download this press release in Armenian.
Source: European Commission
For more information on Armenia-EU cooperation in science, technology and innovation please also visit the website of the Horizon 2020 National Information Point of Armenia.