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UCL Cities Partnerships Programme (Stockholm) celebrates launch of Horizon Europe

21 June 2021

CPP Stockholm's Research and Innovation Summit gathered partners in Stockholm for the launch of its three-year programme and Horizon Europe

Screenshots of speakers at the CPP (Stockholm) event

On 15 June 2021, the public launch event of the UCL Cities Partnerships Programme (Stockholm) kicked off its three-year programme of activities, under the theme of “Climate Change and Health in the City,” with a Research and Innovation Summit.

One hundred attendees joined the summit event, which coincided with the launch of Horizon Europe and brought together UCL and the “Stockholm Trio” of the Karolinska Institutet, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and Stockholm University. UCL shares an impressive track record in European research with the Stockholm universities, with 50 collaborative projects under Horizon 2020. In total, the four universities received over €850m in Horizon 2020 grant funding.

Professor David Price, Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation and Global Engagement), and Dr Catalina Turcu, Academic Director for CPP Stockholm and Associate Professor in Bartlett School of Planning, hosted the event on behalf of UCL. Professor Stefan Östlund, Vice-President Global Relations for KTH Stockholm, represented the Stockholm Trio. The panellists included a range of highly successful Horizon 2020 grant recipients, including:

From UCL:

  • Professor Rajiv Jalan, (Professor of Hepatology and Head of the Liver Failure Group, consultant hepatologist at the Royal Free Hospital and founder of Yaqrit Ltd)
  • Dr Maria Kamargianni (Associate Professor of Transport & Energy Head of MaaSLab, UCL Energy Institute)
  • Professor Richard Day, Professor of Regenerative Medicine Technology.

From the Stockholm Trio:

  • Prof Annica Ekman, Stockholm University Department of Meteorology
  • Dr Veronique Chotteau, KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health
  • Prof Ingrid Kockum, Karolinska Institute, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
  • Prof Roman Zubarev, Karolinska Institute
  • Dr Zahra Kalantari, Stockholm University / KTH Stockholm

Panellists reflected on the complexity of consortia forming, the importance of utilising project management support services, key recommendations for proposal writing, how to foster links between universities and SMEs, working within local contexts and cross-European priorities including the EU’s commitment to climate-neutrality by 2050 and the new Horizon Europe missions.

In addition, the attendees heard of the challenges universities face in the present climate; the value and significance of education institutions being questioned, while the value of collaborative research simultaneously being shown amid the global pandemic. Useful information and tips from research support offices at UCL and Stockholm were shared by Kimberly Cornfield, Head of European Research & Innovation at UCL, and Bjorn Kull, Head of Grants Office at Karolinska Institute.

Speaking after the event, Dr Catalina Turcu noted: “Under Horizon 2020, UCL collaborated with some 2400 organisations. That figure speaks to the breadth, depth and quality of our research community and relationships across Europe. UCL is deeply committed to continuing its long and successful history of impactful research with European partners - CPP Stockholm is one expression of that commitment. We look forward to working together with our Stockholm colleagues, and local public and private sector actors within Horizon Europe and building on our excellent record.”

One of the primary aims of the Cities Partnerships Programme is to increase the interaction between UCL and partner universities but also with public and private sector actors in both London and Stockholm. The event included a range of non-university participants, including:

The speakers identified the importance of involving key partners who can develop and mature an idea, materialise the outcome, and secure buy in from cities and private partners early on to ensure a project’s success. Participants noted that SMEs regard universities as “fantastic to partner with” in light of their experience and ability to deliver. As with Rome and Paris, CPP Stockholm will seek to cultivate new connections focussed on innovative and embeddable research that delivers bold solutions to societal issues.

The event, jointly organised with Research Services’ European Research and Innovation Office, will be followed by a series of practical workshops in November 2021, focussing on supporting individual researchers who are considering applying for Horizon Europe funding, particularly those seeking to co-ordinate a consortium for the first time.

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