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Commission launches research support in Ukraine


EU investment in innovation and tech is said to be key to “victory of Ukraine”

The European Commission has launched three research and innovation initiatives within Ukraine, in support of the country amid its ongoing war with Russia.

The Commission said it was opening a Horizon Europe office in Kyiv, focused on supporting Ukrainian researchers in obtaining and executing grants from the EU research budget.

It also announced a European Innovation Council action to support the deep-tech sector, as well as a European Institute of Innovation and Technology hub to cultivate a community of innovators.

Since the beginning of the invasion in February 2022, the war has destroyed more than 15 per cent of Ukraine’s research infrastructure and affected about 40 per cent of the scientific workforce.

Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth, spoke at the launch, saying that “We know innovations and tech solutions will lead to the victory of Ukraine.”

The EU’s research programme, Horizon Europe, has already supported 328 organisations in Ukraine with €45.3 million.

“The resilience of your R&I sector, even under Russia’s aggression, demonstrates the importance of enhanced cooperation,” Ivanova told Ukrainians.

The European Innovation Council is awarding startup grants of up to €10,000 for business consultancy, as the first part of the ‘seeds of bravery’ action launched by the Commission.

The ‘seeds of bravery’ programme, with a budget of €20m, will support Ukrainian deep-tech startups in becoming eligible to apply for the EIC’s EU-wide Accelerator programme, worth up to €17.5m per startup.

Ivanova also promised that the relationship between Ukrainian researchers and the EU “will not be a one-directional relationship”, saying that the EU could learn much from Ukraine. Among other things, women’s involvement in research in Ukraine is almost double that of the EU.

Ivanova said that the Commission would continue to support Ukrainian researchers for “as long as it takes”.