On June 7, 2018, a conference was held in Warsaw to sum up the 20 years of Poland’s participation in the EU research programmes, entitled: “20 years of Poland in the EU Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation. Horizon 2020 – a new opening.”

The event was organised by the National Contact Point for Research Programmes of the EU and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland. The day before, there was the Gala of Crystal Brussels Awards 2018 for outstanding achievements in the EU framework programmes over the last 20 years. The conference gathered about 300 participants: representatives of universities, scientific institutions, businesses, NGOs, and the public administration.

“We gathered the main players on the Polish research and innovation market and, pursuant to the summary of prior achievement of the teams, we discussed how to start the new period of Poland’s active participation in the final years of Horizon 2020 and in the next Horizon Europe Framework Programme, assumptions for which were presented by the European Commission representative immediately following the official presentation of the proposal for the new programme by Commissioner Moedas in Brussels. The significance of the Conference is clear: we have to change Poland’s situation in the EU Framework Programmes, and we are on the good way to achieve it,” says Zygmunt Krasiński, Director of the National Contact Point for Research Programmes of the EU.

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The inauguration session entitled “Poland in the EU Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation – where are we heading?” was opened by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Science and Higher Education of Poland, Jarosław Gowin.  According to the Minister, we do not use Poland’s scientific and research potential well enough. The Deputy Prime Minister expressed his hope that Polish scientists should acquire at least three times more money from the 9th Framework Programme than from the existing programme so that the money we pay into the EU budget for research should return to the Polish science and then translate to the developing of the entire country. According to Jarosław Gowin, triple increase of such share is an ambitious goal. The Minister, however stated he believes this goal can be achieved, among others pursuant to the new solutions offered by the 2.0 Law, and owing to the strive for scientific excellence among many Polish scientists.

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Marek Prawda, Director of the European Commission Delegation in Poland, spoke on behalf of the European Commission. He said that the new programme, Horizon Europe, is to “provide support of greater intensity to states which used the previous framework programmes to a limited, too small extent.” Marek Prawda added that Polish scientists are capable of acquiring greater funding from the EU.

Via the Internet, the audience could also hear the statement of the Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Trade, Research and Energy (ITRE), Professor Jerzy Buzek [link to the recording].

The main objective of the conference was the strategic discussion on how to use the new opportunities (including the new terms for remuneration in H2020, introduced by the CE in response to the questions from the NCP) in order to increase Polish participation in Horizon 2020 in the period 2018-2020, and how to prepare for active participation in the new Framework Programme – Horizon Europe.  This session was moderated by Małgorzata Misiewicz from the European Commission Directorate General Research and Innovation. The first speaker was Krzysztof Nalepa from the European Commission Delegation in Poland, presenting the assumptions for the new 9th Framework Programme: Horizon Europe.  He was followed by Vice-Rector for Science and International Relations of the Medical University of Łódź, Lamy Group expert, Professor Lucyna Woźniak, who discussed the recommendations of the High Level Group regarding the support for research and innovation in the European Union. This part of the event was summarised by the Director of the National Contact Point for Research Programmes of the EU, Zygmunt Krasiński: “A precondition for the development of scientific excellence and innovation is as broad as possible participation of Polish entities in the EU Framework Programmes,” he stressed.

The conference included three parallel sessions with main themes of active participation in the Framework Programmes in synergy with national programmes:  “European Research Council – how to Develop Polish Scientific Excellence?”; “European Innovation Council – how to Strengthen Polish Breakthrough Innovations and Industrial Participation?”; “Missions – European Union’s Response to Priority Civilizational Challenges”.

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The conference was covered with honorary patronage of: the Ministry of Enterprise and Technology and the Ministry of Investment and Development.

Strategic Partner and the Strategic Sponsor of the event: KGHM Polska Miedź S.A.

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Partners included: National Science Centre, National Centre for Research and Development, Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange, Polish Academy of Sciences, Main Council of the Research Institutes, The Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland, Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, Industrial Development Agency, Patent Office of the Republic of Poland, National Council of EU Research Managers (KRAB), TOP 500 Association, National Contact Point for Financial  Instruments of the European Union Programmes.

Media patronage by: Polish Press Agency – PAP Science in Poland, and “Forum Akademickie” – Academic Forum.