In the past few days, good news has arrived from Brussels to CZU. Petr Kheil was awarded the prestigious Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council. And this is not the only success at the European level.
In the first half of this year, CZU has also been awarded an MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship and will be involved in sixteen new consortium projects, in four cases as coordinator. The University also succeeded in two European Institute of Innovation and Technology programmes, becoming a member of EIT Climate and EIT Health. The CZU is currently involved in projects with a total budget of over 111 million EUR under the Horizon Europe programme. The CZU itself receives a total of approximately 11.8 million EUR from the programme.
For comparison, in the previous Horizon 2020 programme, the CZU was awarded eighteen projects over the entire programme period 2014-2020. Even so, the analysis of Czech participation in Horizon 2020, published in ECHO 3-4/2022, cites it as an example of long-term systematic support for international projects that are bearing fruit: "The progress of participation in the FP can be explained not only by the appropriate professional quality of the universities but also by a very well-developed internal system for supporting EU project investigators. An example of this is the INTER-EXCELLENCE programme project called "Office for support of international projects focused on Life Sciences within the European Research Area", which was implemented by the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague.
The project introduced a system of so-called field consultants (scouts), who provided specialized support to researchers in a given field of research about the topics of the FP work programmes, announced calls and their specific focus and addressed researchers for whom the topics were relevant. The aim was to persuade researchers to become more involved in international scientific cooperation, especially those who had not yet been involved in international projects to a sufficient extent. The participation of the CZU in H2020 was 36% higher than in the previous FP7." The introduction of expert consultants at universities could be one of the ways to increase interest in participation in FP projects, says Daniel Frank, author of the analysis and analyst at the Technology Centre of the CAS.