Attitudes to the EU are divided and uncertainty is great concerning the number of people who will vote in the EU parliamentary elections on 25 May. For Lund University, however, Sweden’s membership in the EU has brought substantial benefits. Lund is one of the Swedish universities that rake in most millions for research.
The EU’s latest three framework programmes for research cover fourteen years, from 1999 to 2013. Over this period, Lund University has so far received a total of approximately EUR 248 million, i.e. just over SEK 2.2 billion. This is more than the cost of building the Turning Torso (SEK 1.8 billion) but less than the final cost of the MAX IV laboratory (SEK 3 billion).
“Lund University is one of Sweden’s major actors within the EU framework programmes and they are our second-largest single external source of research funding”, says Magnus Edblad, at the University’s Research Services, which help researchers to apply for grants from the EU.
Perhaps even more important than the millions for research are the numerous contacts with researchers, companies and other organisations abroad that arise from the EU cooperations”, continues Edblad. In the fifth framework programme that ran from 1999 to 2003, Lund University took part in a total of 207 projects, 244 projects in the sixth framework programme and in the latest one – the seventh – the University is active in 310 projects.
What will LU’s future involvement be in European projects?
“Well, now it’s all about finding partners and applying for funding within the new framework programme, Horizon 2020, which strongly emphasises cooperation between academia and wider society along with innovation, i.e. how to extract the benefits from research findings”, says Magnus Edblad.
Lund University has just approved specific rules of procedure for projects conducted within Horizon 2020, regulating who has the authority to sign various types of agreements, etc. The rules of procedure can be found among the University’s other rules and regulations.