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Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) academics, as well as researchers and innovators from across the region had the opportunity to receive valuable insight into the European Union’s main research and innovation funding instrument, Horizon 2020, in an information session presented by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) at NMMU today. 

The session was organised by NMMU’s Innovation Office, as Director Jaci Barnett is NMMU's LEAR (Legal Entity Appointed Representative) for Horizon 2020 calls.

“Many researchers, including our EU counterparts, are unaware that South Africa is eligible to apply for Horizon 2020 funding,” said Jaci Barnett. “Projects need to be in collaboration with EU partners so we need to get the message out that SA researchers are eligible for funding.”

The aim of the session was to provide information to researchers and innovators on calls in key thematic areas that are currently open for submission of proposals, as well as on how to join the necessary research consortia with EU partners.

Themes specific to some of NMMU’s main research areas were discussed and included Biotechnology and Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture, Marine and Maritime and Bio-economy; Climate Action, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials; Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy; Information and Communication Technologies (ICT); and Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) on Skills, Training and Career Development.

Presenters included DST representatives and Horizon 2020 National Contact Points Toto Matshediso, Dr Bongani Ndimba, Kogi Iyer, Peacemaker Dlamini and Bheki Hadebe.

“The huge turnout to the session is a positive indication that the promotion of H2020 and DST support instruments is becoming a reality. We hope that from this session, a few excellent proposals can be submitted for funding”, said Toto Matshediso, DST’s Deputy Director of Strategic Partnerships.

The session provided a comprehensive overview of current and forthcoming Horizon 2020 opportunities, as well as the national support mechanisms in place. 

CAPTION: Photographed at the EU Horizon 2020 Information Session held at NMMU on Monday are: (from left to right) Toto Matshediso (Deputy Director of Strategic Partnerships, DST), LeonĂ© Nowell (EU Frameworks Project Manager, NMMU Innovation Office), Bheki Hadebe (DST) and Jaci Barnett (Director, NMMU Innovation Office).