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Horizon 2020 and its impact on university research strategies Univ.-Prof. Dr. Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik Vice-Rector for Research and Career Development.

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Presentation on theme: "Horizon 2020 and its impact on university research strategies Univ.-Prof. Dr. Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik Vice-Rector for Research and Career Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Horizon 2020 and its impact on university research strategies Univ.-Prof. Dr. Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik Vice-Rector for Research and Career Development University of Vienna

2 What is a university research strategy? Two approaches The „key research area“ approach Policy driven Top-down Critical mass in one field Output oriented Risk: everybody wins the same and loses the same! The „profile“ approach University based Bottom-up Critical mass by interdisciplinarity outcome oriented Risk: non-mainstream, open end

3 How to define a research strategy The „key research area“ approach Ranking Bibliometry Grants and prices Problem: The research for tomorrow is designed according to what is highly acclaimed today. The „profile“ approach High risk, high gain Quality before quantity Solving problem capacity Problem: The research of tomorrow is designed according to the problems of today. Output and outcome uncertain.

4 Background

5 What’s new?

6 Horizon 2020 is a research strategy! By combining three forms of research it goes for the „research profile“ approach: Interdisciplinary, intersectoral and international It defines the problems in accordance with the Europe 2020 strategy: Europe needs innovation, economic growth and jobs. It also allows for „pure“ curiosity driven research. (ERC)

7 The implicit paradigm shift of the Horizon 2020 societal challenges strategy The Horizon 2020 societal challenges strategy is problem and outcome oriented and not performance or output oriented. As it is problem oriented, it prioritizes interdisciplinary research to excellence in one discipline. As it is problem oriented, it prioritizes applied and translational research to fundamental research. Problem solving capacity is the indicator of success.

8 The implicit paradigm shift of the Horizon 2020 innovation strategy The industrial leadership program goes for intersectorial collaboration and strongly favors research with technology transfer potential. It pushes for more research in industry and puts pressure on research institutions to favor applied research. Innovation is not an accidental by-product, but an intentional aim of research.

9 Making the implicit paradigm shift explicit! Before the shift Thematic based Output orientation Linear approach in proposal design After the shift Challenge based Re-orientation towards innovation and societal needs Outcome orientation Synergistic approach in proposal design

10 Three ways to look at Horizon 2020 For Horizon 2020 and its implicit research strategy to become reality three stakeholders have to be taken in account: The inventors of Horizon 2020 The applicants The referees The implicit research strategy of Horizon 2020 needs responsive applicants and cooperative referees in order to become true.

11 How responsive are potential applicants? Interdisciplinarity is of high risk for researchers as journals seldom accept publications based on interdisciplinary research. Most funding agencies fund mono-disciplinary research. Intersectoral research collaborations slow down the publication of research results. Chances are high that applicants do not want to follow the Horizon 2020 paradigm shift.

12 June Sept Dec Health, demographic change and wellbeing9,7% Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research & the bioeconomy 5% Secure, clean and efficient energy7.7% Smart, green and integrated transport8.23% Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials 4% Inclusive, Innovative and Reflective Societies1.7% Secure Societies2.2% Horizon 2020 – Societal Challenges Societal Challenges

13 Example 1: Embedding SSH None of the societal problems can be solved without the support of society. Interdisciplinarity therefore implies embedding SSH into research in all societal challenges except for those which exclusively address problems within the scope of SSH. SSH researchers often are unexperienced with EU projects. Non-SSH researchers fear the intrusion of SSH cultures into their research.

14 Example 2: Output versus Outcome The system of science and research is output oriented. Research assessment is output oriented. Reputation and renumeration are output based. Outcome has no assessment system (yet).

15 For which option will the referees go? Referees can either go for or against the Horizon 2020 strategy. As the Horizon 2020 strategy was invented with the participation of the scientific community, the selection of referees can prioritize those who support the Horizon 2020 strategy. However, as outcome oriented assessment strategies are new, referees might tend to stick to conventional assessment procedures.

16 What does this mean for a university strategy? Universities need to prioritize which of the three options of Horizon 2020 fits best their respective research profiles. Universities need to define incentive structures according to the growing certainty of how the implicit paradigm shift becomes the reality of Horizon Universities need to participate in the consultation procedures of Horizon 2020 to influence to which degree it wants the paradigm shift become true.

17 Thank you for your attention! Univ.-Prof. Dr. Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik


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