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Participation of Associated Countries in Horizon 2020: Example of Ukraine

September 29, 2016

Association to Horizon 2020

As of September 2016, there are 16 countries associated to Horizon 20201. Being associated to Horizon 2020 means that a third country can formally participate in the programme and is expected to provide a financial contribution on the basis of an International Agreement concluded between individual non-EU countries and the European Union. The participation conditions are the same as for the EU Member States and organizations and researchers from associated countries enjoy the same rights within the Horizon 2020 framework.

Agreement on the Association of Ukraine to Horizon 2020

On March 20th, 2015, Ukraine and the EU signed the Agreement on the Association of Ukraine to Horizon 2020 which enabled researchers, business and innovative companies and individuals from Ukraine to fully participate in Horizon 2020.

According to the Agreement2, Ukraine’s financial contribution to the Horizon 2020 is set on an annual basis proportionally and in addition to the amount available within the EU annual framework for the Programme’s realization, management and operation. The coefficient defining Ukraine’s contribution is calculated on the basis of Ukraine’s GDP in market prices and the sum of EU Member States’ GDP in market prices. The ratio is calculated based on the annual Eurostat data. It is important to underline that, in order to promote Ukraine’s participation, the parties agreed on the possibility to secure a part of Ukraine’s financial contribution (up to 50%) through the external aid instruments provided by the EU, as per Ukraine’s request. The total contribution is EUR 35,579,782.09 and the first payment of EUR 5,002,872.87 for 2015 is to be paid out in several instalments over 2016-20203.

Ukraine’s performance in the Programme

The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine compiled statistical data analyzing Ukraine’s performance in Horizon 2020 over 2014-20154:

  • 394 project proposals were submitted and 42 were approved;
  • The largest number of proposals (91) covered the Societal Challenge “Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective societies”;
  • At the same time, the highest number of approved proposals related to actions (13);
  • Projects on societal transformations, energy, environment and bio-economics enjoyed a relatively high success rate as well (19 were supported).
  • The overall success rate is around 10%, which is lower than the EU average (14%).
  • Research institutes and private companies enjoy higher success rate (13.43% and 10.6% respectively), while SMEs do not actively participate in the Programme.
  • While higher educational establishments are leaders in submitting proposals, their success rate is rather moderate -7.61%.

The CORDIS data on projects starting in 2016 shows that Ukrainian organizations take part in 21 projects. Horizon 2020 First Results5 reveal that Ukraine is among the top ten countries in terms of share of eligible applications as well as signed grant agreements (see charts below).

Future cooperation opportunities

Ukraine has demonstrated positive participation and success trends within Horizon 2020 compared to FP7 and, therefore, formal participation in the Programme during 2016-2020 will be beneficial for the country’s economy, R&I potential boost and new partnerships across Europe. Additionally, it will encourage increased R&D funding in Ukraine as in 2013 the GDP ratio spent on R&D was two times smaller compared to the EU average (0,83% vs. 2%6).

Ukraine has chosen Horizon 2020 as the first EU programme for participation after the start of the provisional application of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement7. The Association of Ukraine to Euratom and Training Programme followed on June 27th, 2016. In addition, on September 13th, 2016, within the financial instrument InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility supported by Horizon 2020 framework “the European Investment Fund (EIF) and ProCredit Bank Ukraine signed a loan guarantee deal that will offer small and medium-sized companies in Ukraine easier access to risk capital for the development of innovative ideas”8. These agreements open a wide range of cooperation opportunities for businesses, academia and innovators in Europe contributing to technological advances and scientific discoveries as well as tackling existing societal challenges.

By: Liliya Levandovska

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