“Dear Presidential Adviser Deca, Dear Councilor of State Costreie, Dear colleagues and colleagues, Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for accepting our invitation to participate in this working meeting, necessary in order to complete the process of finalizing the strategy on Romania’s participation in European partnerships in the future framework program for research and innovation, Horizon Europe.
The year 2020 is a decisive one at the level of the Member States, for drawing up the distribution of EU funds on programs and components, but also for substantiating our country priorities, both political and financial, in the next programming period 2021-2027.
Today, the Ministry of Education and Research proposes a debate on Romania’s participation in the European Partnerships for Research and Innovation.
The European Partnerships are part of the future Framework Program and require political and financial commitment from each Member State. Topics covered include research applications in all areas: from health, transport, digitization, climate, energy, food, bioeconomy, agriculture and the environment to sustainable resource management.
The European Research and Innovation Partnerships offer the European Union the opportunity to maintain its role as a global leader in a number of areas, but it is clear that the Member States are called upon to join forces to make progress in those areas of common interest.
The Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, sent a letter to the Member States in July requesting their financial and political commitment to these partnerships. This letter, as well as material related to the 14 partnerships, which are the subject of today’s discussion, are included in the presentation folder of the event.
European partnerships are not a novelty. They took place in 2014-2020 with notable results from the scientific community, but also with the help of the Ministry of Education and Research, which made a series of efforts to financially support Romanian researchers.
For example: in Podari, Dolj County, through the European public-private partnership on bioindustry, Clariant builds a cellulosic bioethanol plant, with exclusively European funds, attracting 21 million euros from the budget of the Framework Program for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020 (2014-2020).
Another example: through the National Plan for Research, Development and Innovation for the period 2015-2020, using the ERA NET / ERA NET COFUND instrument, so far, 269 teams of Romanian researchers have been financially supported with a total budget of 152,642,825 lei and European funds amounting to 4,261,720 euros were attracted. ERA NET projects are a special tool through which ministries and funding agencies participate in competitions in the Horizon 2020 framework program, to give a chance to the scientific community in their countries of origin, in order to participate in transnational competitions, in the same under the conditions of the Horizon 2020 program.
Together with the Executive Unit for Funding Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI), the Ministry of Education and Research participated in Horizon 2020 competitions and won a series of ERA NET projects (64 projects), which generated research project competitions, on complementary fields, the contracting being carried out by UEFISCDI.
A third example is related to the Competitiveness Operational Program, through which, through axis 1, in the period 2014-2020, 11 projects were contracted with a Romanian partner, winner within the European public-private Partnership ECSEL (Innovation for electronic components and systems), worth 52 million lei, and 3 research projects worth 25 million lei, related to the European public-private partnership Clean Sky 2, in the field of air transport.
So, we already have some experience with these partnerships! The European Commission has explicitly requested that we consult the other ministries, precisely because they are topics of interest to both citizens and the public administration. At the same time, they show the role of research in substantiating political decisions in all areas.
I am convinced that following today’s meeting, the ministries and agencies present at this event will join us in their commitment to the European Commission, thus achieving what we all want, a real and fruitful collaboration for all!