Politicians and researchers in Belgium have backed the call for the next EU Framework programme to have ring-fenced funding for collaboration across the world.
The Belgian position paper for the development of Framework 9, which was published on 9 May, said that Belgians “would welcome a dedicated international part inside the programme, with its own committee, focused on target regions and countries”. The research and innovation focuses of this instrument would be determined through negotiations with each target region or country, the paper said.
Belgium’s call echoes that of the Austrian Framework 9 think tank, which said in its position paper that projects which win funding from the programme should be able to apply for an additional 5 to 15 per cent of their project budget to fund collaboration with countries outside the EU. This idea had a mixed reception, with Lidia Borrell-Damián, director for research and innovation at the European University Association, saying that issues like gender balance might deserve some of the money instead.