18 March 2011

University of Copenhagen successful in obtaining EU funding

Grants and funding

The European Commission has for the first time ever published an official top 50 list of the organisations receiving the most funding from EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The University of Copenhagen is number 25 on this list and has received a total of 47,3 million euros for 115 different research projects.

EU flag outside BruxellesThe newly published list is dominated by research organisations, which comprise of larger research institutions, making the University of Copenhagen's placement all the more noteworthy. For example, number one on the list is the French research organisation Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. In comparison with other more classic university institutions, the University of Copenhagen places high on the list.

The first of these types of universities on the list are prominent universities such as Cambridge University, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Oxford University, which place five, six and seven respectively. The only other Danish organisation on the list is DTU, which places 28.

Great success with EU focus

The University of Copenhagen’s placement on the list shows a great success with focusing on gaining more EU funding. The University’s researchers have for example been able to get assistance for their applications from the University’s own EU Office. Deputy Director of Research & Innovation at the University Anna Haldrup believes it is possible to climb even higher up on the list.

“The impressive placement is obtained through a limited amount of researchers who have worked closely with our EU Office. I am convinced that we can be even more successful and obtain even more EU funding for research. Therefore, we will establish new initiatives to identify possible candidates and research coordinators for EU projects,” says Haldrup.

To motivate even more researchers to seek EU funding, Haldrup is planning on strengthening internal information and put a focus on the possibilities of obtaining research grants from the EU.

“We must become better at telling the successful stories internally, and learn from each other in relation to EU funding applications. It is not as hard, as rumour has it,” says Haldrup.

More projects

The 115 research projects from the University of Copenhagen, which have received EU funding, are very different. They range from a project relating to a dark material in the universe to language technology. The cross-disciplinary I-REDD+ project will for example study if the expected reduction in CO2 emissions in reality can be achieved. The project is a direct extension of the declaration of intent from the COP 15 meeting in Copenhagen and the COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico, which declare that developing countries can receive money for stopping deforestation and forest degradation, as well as increasing forest areas.

Project I-REDD+ is headed by Associate Professor Ole Mertz from the Department of Geography and Geology, and project’s purpose is to develop better methods for monitoring carbon stock in forests and evaluate what effect protecting a forest with carbon materials will have on the local population’s life conditions. The project has 14 partners spread out in nine different countries, and the collective funding from the EU totals approximately three million euros. I-REDD+ stands for Impacts of Reducing Emissions for Deforestation and Forest Degradation and Enhancing Forest Carbon Stocks.

The Commission’s report is based on the Interim Evaluation of the Seventh Framework Programme, and the data was collected spring 2010. Since then, KU has had over 180 projects accepted, and the collective funding has reached over 70 million euros.