11.8 billion Euros for 2014-2020: the European Commission has formally adopted the UK partnership agreement on the 29th October.


The European Commission (EC) has adopted Partnership Agreements with six Member States on the 29th October, including the United Kingdom. The UK Partnership agreement allocates €11.8 billion of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) for key thematic investments during the period 2014-2020. The UK government is now waiting for a formal response from the European Commission to its Operational Programmes.

The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) covers the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF), the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The funds are concentrated on a limited number of priorities for a better impact on growth and jobs in the UK: research and innovation, ICT, competitiveness of enterprises and low carbon economy represent more than 80% of the total allocations.

Both the European Commission and the United Kingdom are expecting to increase the number of innovative enterprises, including the number of collaborations between SMEs and academic institutions in the UK. Superfast broadband, low carbon economy, sustainable land management, inactivity levels, higher level training and skills are also within the main targets of the UK Partnership Agreement.

Within the ESI Funds Growth Programme, England is being allocated €3.6 billion of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), €3.3 billion of European Social Fund (ESF), and €3.4 billion for Rural Development.

The ERDF and ESF Operational Programmes, which are breaking down the investment priorities and objectives of the Partnership Agreements into concrete actions, are due to be adopted by the European Commission in the next few months. Applications will then be able to be submitted to the relevant Managing Authorities of the programmes for applying to these funds.

To find out more:http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/newsroom/detail.cfm?id=1796&LAN=EN&lang=en

Latest news on the Health for Growth Programme


With a proposed budget of €446m the general objective of the Health for Growth Programme is to:- ‘work with the Member States to encourage innovation in healthcare and increase the sustainability of health systems, to improve the health of EU citizens and protect them from cross-border health threats’.

It is proposed that the programme will focus on the links between economic growth and health, and will concentrate on finding and applying innovative solutions to improve the quality, efficiency and sustainability of health systems.  It will support actions aimed at developing human capital and exchanging good practices in the following areas:-

  • Contributing to innovative and sustainable health systems;
  • Increasing access to better and safer healthcare;
  • Promoting good health and preventing disease;
  • Protecting citizens from cross border health threats.

The Programme will be managed by the Directorate General for Health and Consumers.  It will be delivered according to priorities set out in annual work programmes.  Funds will be made available in the form of:-

  • Grants for joint actions (transnational partnerships)
  • Grant to projects
  • Operating grants
  • Direct grants to International Organisations
  • Public procurement

The opportunities available to apply for grants for joint actions and projects and public procurement tenders will be of interest to the university.  The Programme will offer opportunities for HEI involvement in activities aimed at increasing the uptake of results from FP7 (and its successor Programme Horizon 2020) research; to participate in expert networks; to undertake research and analysis and in providing some training and staff development for health workers.

Publication of the first calls for proposals is expected in April or early May 2014.


Erasmus Charter for Higher Education 2014-2020

Staffordshire University submitted an application for an Erasmus Charter for Higher Education for the years 2014-2020. If the Unviersity is successful, it will mean the University is eligible to apply for funding under the new EU programme for education, training, youth and sport supports –Erasmus for All. The University had the same status for the 2007-2013 Lifelong Learning Programme.

The Erasmus for All programme has not yet been adopted by the European legislators. However, the Commission published the call for proposals in order to allow for a smooth implementation of the Programme as soon as its legal basis has been adopted.

The Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) provides the general quality framework for European and international cooperation activities a higher education institution (HEI) may carry out within the Programme. 188 UK institutions have applied for an ECHE under this call, with a total of 4,577 applications submitted in total across the EU.  A published list of institutions selected will be provided in December, we should be informed of our individual application result in November.  Further information is available at http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/funding/2014/call_he_charter_en.php.