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Slovenian Research Agency is reinforcing bilateral and other international activities

European and Multilateral Co-operation

In accordance with the European Research Council (ERC) announcement to launch »ERC Fellowship to Visit ERC Grantee Programme« earlier in 2016, ARRS has been among first six European agencies to introduce the National - ERC Fellowship call. ARRS-ERC Fellowship is to be published by the end of November 2016. The budget earmarked for visits in 2017 stands at 240.000 euros, enabling approximately 20 visits to be funded. The main objective of the ARRS-ERC Fellowship call is to strengthen the participation of researches in ERC calls by enabling superior quality of research exchange at world renowned researchers and in state-of-the art scientific environments.

Five years ago, in 2011 ARRS established the ERC Complementary scheme in order to strengthen multilateral scientific co-operation in the European Research Area. The idea behind the instrument is fairly simple – to act as a safety net. Applicants from Slovenian research organizations, who were positively evaluated in ERC calls for proposals but not selected for funding, can submit an adapted project. It needs to preserve the main idea of the original ERC project but shall be contextualised in objectives and scope of work. The Agency offers co-financing for up to 3 years and grant projects with up to 200.000 EUR annually. In 2016 ARRS co-finances 12 such ERC Complementary Scheme adapted projects, three of them were adopted in 2016.

Special attention is given to Lead Agency projects. ARRS has the Lead Agency agreement with Austrian FWF, Belgian region of Flanders FWO and Hungarian NKFIH. By date the ARRS co-financed five joint scientific projects with FWF, 11 with FWO and 13 with NKFIH. The Lead Agency instrument is using a simple application procedure for joint research projects where one - the Lead Agency conducts the peer-review procedure. Based on the positive outcomes of recent years, ARRS is strongly considering widening of this form of international co-operation.

As for the Horizon 2020 calls for proposals, ARRS supports the participation of Slovenian research organizations by offering contribution to costs of application, when application reaches more than 65% in the evaluation process. In 2016 ARRS co-financed 414 applications under the Horizon 2020 mechanism.

Bilateral Co-operation

Special attention is given also to the bilateral co-operation with countries outside the EU and to neighbouring countries (i.e. Western Balkans region). In this regard, bilateral scientific co-operation enables exchanges among Slovenian researchers and their colleagues in 12 countries: Austria, Croatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, France, Turkey, India, Japan, Russia, Argentina and the United States. Two bilateral co-operations have been revived and calls launched in 2016 - with Hungary and German DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).

ARRS has co-financed 443 researchers’ exchanges in 2016 marking an increase in regard to 2015 with 12 countries and 390 interchanges.

In addition, ARRS strives to reinforce activities with top research organizations, for example the French Alternative Energies and the Atomic Commission (CEA/FRANCE). In the period 2015–2017 ARRS co-finances seven scientific projects with the CEA and in the period 2016–2018 additional six project have started their work. Currently the next call for proposals is under preparation and is to be lunched in the beginning of December 2016 with a closing date in the beginning of February 2017.

Date: 17.11.2016