Since it published the first calls for the Horizon 2020 programme, the EU commission has been busy organising events to give more information on particular calls.

As the European Library is interested in being involved in new projects (particularly on how publishers and libraries can work together on usage data), I attended the event related to some of the specific elements of the call on the ICT call related to big data.

Over 500 delegates registered; a significant proportion were from university research departments.

The EU project officers went through the calls and it soon became apparent there was significant adjustment from FP7, the previous EU research call.

There was very much a focus on embedding research within business, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). Research for research sake was nowhere to be seen. The EU project officers were clear about the need for impact

Most projects would either be  ‘Research and Innovation’ or just ‘Innovation’. In this case innovation is defined in a business context rather than a knowledge context; ie its about innovation in products and services, rather than ideas. Projects that resulted in research publications would be frowned upon. 80% of the pre-proposals one EU officer had read did not have a sufficiently strong business case to get funding.

Of course, this only a slice of the Horizon 2020 funding. Other aspects will be focussed on pure research, or related research infrastructures. But within the context of these ICT-focussed calls, those applying from universities and related organisations will need to work much more closely with commercial partners if they wish to get project funding.