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Dragon-STAR Plus Business Tour to Shenzhen, China: Travel Grant Scheme

The Dragon-STAR Plus project team is organising a business tour to Shenzhen, China, via a Travel Grant Scheme.

This will support European organisations interested in participating in the High-Tech Forum and Brokerage Event running alongside the China Hi-Tech Fair 2016, which will be held in Shenzhen on 16th to 21st November 2016.

The aim is to support technological and research collaboration between Chinese and European organisations in the ICT and Green Technologies sectors.

The 5-day programme will include participation in the China High-Tech Forum, workshop on EU-China cooperation on ICT and green technologies, B2B meetings, visit to the Hi-Tech fair and visits to local leading companies in Shenzhen. The Dragon-STAR funding will provide support for accommodation for seven nights (including breakfast) at the Wyndham Grand Shenzhen Hotel for each European organization seeking co-operation with Chinese organisations. It is expected that a minimum of ten European organisations will benefit from this scheme.

The Travel Grant Scheme from Dragon-STAR funding is designed to provide support for accommodation for 7 nights (including breakfast) at the Wyndham Grand Shenzhen Hotel, for each European organisation seeking co-operation with Chinese organizations, with the 5 day programme including:

  • Participation in the China High-Tech Forum
  • Workshop on EU-China cooperation on ICT and Green Technologies
  • B2B meetings
  • Visit to the Hi-Tech fair
  • Visits to local leading companies in Shenzhen

Key Dates are as follows:

August 5th – September 15th 2016 1st Call open
September 8th 2016 Final deadline for applying to SEZ for Confirmation of Pre-check (only applicable to research collaboration applicants)
September 15th, 2016 Final deadline for application
September 16th – 25th, 2016 Evaluation
September 29th, 2016 Final selection by the Project Evaluation Committee
September 30th, 2016 Applicants informed of selection results
October 28th, 2016 Signing of the Grant Commitment and delivery all original documents to SPI
November 16th – 21st, 2016 Business tour to Shenzhen, China
December 21st, 2016 Final deadline for receipt of Narrative Report

Further information and the call documents are available here:

UK Treasury Announcement confirms EU funding guaranteed beyond the UK leaving the EU

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, and the Treasury, have released a statement confirming that EU funding will be guaranteed beyond the date the UK leaves the EU.

The statement from the Treasury has been welcomed in a follow-up statement from Research Councils UK, and in press releases from Innovate UKUniversities UK and HEFCE.

Key projects supporting economic development across the UK will be given the green light, ending uncertainty over their future following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

The Treasury assures that “where UK organisations bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis for EU funding projects while we are still a member of the EU, for example universities participating in Horizon 2020, the Treasury will underwrite the payments of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.

As a result, British universities will have certainty over future funding and should continue to bid for competitive EU funds while the UK remains a member of the EU.

EU conference for stakeholders from the field of education

The international conference on ‘Fostering and Developing Talent’ will be held on 12 and 13 September 2016 in Bratislava, Slovakia as part of the Slovakian EU Presidency. The conference will provide a platform for discussions centering on what is needed to continue to support and boost talent with a particular focus on education and training. A number of sessions are organised as part of the conference and will cover, amongst other things, the following topics:

  • Working with talents in the field of primary education, including early childhood education and care;
  • Talent and excellence in vocational education and training;
  • Social inclusion and promotion of talent;
  • Higher education and science;
  • Art and creativity;
  • Identifying and developing talent;
  • Linking talent with practice.

The conference is aimed at representatives of EU institutions and bodies, relevant national policy makers, stakeholders from the field of education and support of talents and talented individuals, organisations working with talent, businesses developing suitable environments to support talent, and other stakeholders in the area of the fostering and development of talent. Attendance is free of charge, but registration is mandatory and open until 31 August 2016.

MSCA – Innovative Training Networks Information Event in London

The UK Research Office (UKRO), in its capacity as UK National Contact Point for the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), is holding an information event for organisations interested in applying to the 2017 MSCA Innovative Training Networks (ITN) call (deadline 10 January 2017).

The event will take place at University of West London on Wednesday, 12 October 2016.

Aim of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks

ITN scheme supports joint research training and/or doctoral programmes, implemented by European partnerships of universities, research institutions, industry (incl. SMEs) and other non-academic organisations. The research training programmes are intended to provide doctoral students with excellent research skills, coupled with experience outside academia, hence developing their innovation capacities and employability prospects.

Aim of the event

The event aims to provide participants with an in-depth overview of the ITN scheme. Participants should gain a clear understanding of the proposal format for the scheme and the key issues relating to planning, writing and submitting proposals. There will also be ample opportunity to ask questions.

Who should attend?

The event is aimed at staff at UK academic and non-academic organisations, including industry, who are planning to submit a proposal to the ITN 2017 call.


If you would like to attend, please visit the events page and register for the event. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendance is free of charge thanks to the support from University of West London, but registration is mandatory. Please note that tea and coffee will be available at the event, but lunch will not be provided, though participants will be informed of local lunch options. Further information on the venue will be provided to delegates once they have registered.

Continuity of government support for EU Research funding

Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, has written to HEFCE Chief Executive Professor Madeleine Atkins about research collaboration with Europe. The letter confirms the Government’s support for Horizon 2020 projects.

Details of the government decision are given in a letter about EU funding commitments from David Gauke, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, to David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. It sets out steps the Treasury is taking to address the uncertainty for recipients of EU funds.

Download the letter from Jo Johnson to Madeleine Atkins

Download the Letter_from_Jo_Johnson_to_Madeleine_Atkins_August_2016 as PDF (181 KB)


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