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EU Project Pill II: Horizon Europe Participation of Associated and Other Third Countries

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This EU Project Pill will address the EU RDI international cooperation framework and the legal and financial implications of involving third countries in Horizon Europe proposals.  In particular we will make clarity about the different funding frameworks and agreements the EC establishes with third countries (associated countries, bilateral agreements and regional dialogues).

A unique aspect of Horizon Europe is the concept of Associated Countries, non-EU countries that are part of the European Research Area (ERA) and contribute to the programme’s budget, gaining the opportunity to participate under conditions similar to those of EU MS. Their participation plays a crucial role in the overall framework, given that scientific research and innovation are increasingly global endeavours, demanding collaboration beyond the conventional geographical and political barriers. 

In this module we will better understand the different international cooperation frameworks that regulate the relationship between the European Union and third countries. We will make clarity about the difference between associated countries and associated parties, and the related admin and financial implications. 

The session will then offer deeper analysis of some regional cooperation dialogues with a focus on research and innovation opportunities. 

Hexagon Date: 3 July 2024, 10:00-12:15 CET

Background information 

Over the past few years, EBN has significantly expanded its international activities through numerous EU-funded projects, and our community is growing beyond Europe, including Turkey, the Western Balkans, the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America. Post-Brexit, we have also engaged in discussions with our UK members regarding their participation in EU projects. Most of our members are involved in supporting their clients’ internationalization, and EU-funded projects are a valuable resource for exploring new markets and establishing partnerships. This session aims to address these dynamics by focusing on Associate and Other Third Countries’ participation in HE. 

Target audience

The primary audience for this session includes project managers and internationalisation managers within our EU|BICs (Business Innovation Centres, Incubators, Accelerators, Entrepreneurship Support Organizations), primarily based in the EU, but also beyond. The session aims to provide a clear overview of the different cooperation frameworks available under HE and their technical implications. It will also help our community understand how HE can support their own and their clients’ internationalization strategies. 

  • EU|BIC project managers
  • Client companies of EU|BICs
  • Non-members



10:00 – 10:10Welcome and introductionEBN
10:10-10:30How is the European Commission facilitating international cooperation in research and innovation? Understanding the EC global approach to R&I and the different cooperation and funding agreements (Association to HE; Bilateral Cooperation; Regional Dialogues) André Barbosa, Senior Consultant at EU|BIC Associate EurA AG 
10:30 – 10:50Operational aspects of involving international partners in HE proposals and projects > legal and financial implications  Reesi Lepa, Associate Partner, Innovation and Startup Lead
Sander van der Molen, Partner at EU|BIC Associate Civitta 
10:50– 11:00Pause
11:00-12:00Focus on different regional RDI dialogues
The Africa Union- EU Innovation Agenda.  Dr Vincenzo Lorusso,  Policy Officer – DG Research and Innovation, Unit F.2 International Cooperation II –  Science, Technology and Innovation cooperation with the African Union and bilateral cooperation with Rwanda, Nigeria and South Africa 
The long-term strategy for cooperation with the Western Balkans: Agenda on Innovation, Research, Education, Culture, Youth and Sports.Bernhard Fabienk,  Senior Expert – DG Research and Innovation, Unit 04 Horizon Europe Association  
The EU-LAC Digital Alliance.
Claudia Pablos Lorenzo, External Consultant – DG for International Partnerships (DG INTPA) – Directorate B for Latin America, the Caribbean and relations with all Overseas Countries and Territories: Unit B2 for Mexico, Central America, Caribbean and Regional Operations 2, Digital sector. 
12:00-12:15Final dynamic and conclusions EBN 


Bernhard Fabianek, European Commission, DG Research & Innovation (DG RTD) 

Bernhard Fabianek joined the European Commission, Brussels, Belgium, in 1996. He worked in the areas of photonic technologies, high-speed networking, GÉANT, e-Infrastructures, and high-performance computing. 

Later he coordinated the developments in the area of Physical Sciences and Engineering. 

Since 2020 he is Senior Expert for the Western Balkans in the Horizon Europe Association unit. He coordinates the ‘Western Balkans Agenda on Innovation, Research, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport’ 

Dr Vincenzo Lorusso,  European Commission, DG Research & Innovation (DG RTD) 

Vincenzo Lorusso works as a Policy Officer at the European Commission, DG Research and Innovation (DG RTD), where he is in charge of Research and Innovation cooperation with the African Union, multilaterally, and, bilaterally, with Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa. He chairs, from the EU side, the “AU-EU Innovation Agenda Working Group of the High-Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Science, Technology and Innovation”. He also acts as a sherpa of the Governing Board of the “Global Health European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership 3 (EDCTP3) Joint Undertaking”. 
Prior to joining the European Commission, Vincenzo worked for eight years in the pharmaceutical industry as Head of Research and Innovation for infectious parasitic diseases, while also co-supervising MSc and PhD projects focused on Public Health and Rural Development in Africa, through an Honorary Research Fellowship at the University of Salford, UK.  
Vincenzo’s educational background combines a blend of life sciences and social sciences, including a Master in International Development and African Studies (Sciences Po, Paris), which followed a PhD with in Public Health and Rural Development in Africa, and particularly in Nigeria (University of Edinburgh, UK), and a first degree as Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (University of Bari, Italy). He also holds a High-Level Executive Diploma in Diplomacy & Health (The Graduate Institute, Geneva).  

In his spare time, Vincenzo makes hip-hop / reggae / afrobeat music and slam poetry (with lyrics in several languages) and writes on his blog “Between Africa and Japan”.  

Training fees

  • Free for EU|BICs and EU|BIC Associates and their client companies
  • €120 (ex VAT) for non-members

Hexagon Date: 3 July 2024, 10:00-12:15 CET

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