Australian Researchers’ Mobility Portal

Tuesday 16th September 2008

Among the topics of the projects selected for funding in the frame of the first IRSES call, we can be point out the improvement of legume crops in Africa, resulting from a partnership between Pretoria in South Africa, Newcastle in the UK, and Ghent in Belgium; a second one is dedicated to the creation of a “health and food platform” aimed at cardiovascular protection and prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, while acquiring knowledge for designing and producing healthy food based on the “Mediterranean diet”; another gathers Turkey, France, Ukraine, Canada, the United States and the Republic of Korea for enhancing the sensitivity of biosensors thanks to the integration of nanomaterials in their structure… The enthusiastic response to the call, as well as the outstanding quality of the proposals received, despite the absence of FP7 information infrastructures in third countries and the novelty of the scheme, clearly demonstrates its relevance towards existing needs.

The International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES), launched in 2007 under the People programme of the 7th Framework Programme, supports medium-term partnerships between Member States/Associated country organisations and their counterparts outside Europe, and is the first Marie Curie scheme to address specifically European Neighbourhood Policy countries[1] and countries having a scientific and technology agreement[2] with the European Union. IRSES offers them the opportunity of reinforcing their cooperation in the sectors covered by the agreement.

Launched on 30 November 2007 with a fixed deadline of 28 March 2008, the first IRSES call for proposals can definitely be considered a master stroke: proposals were submitted from 23 Member States and from 22 third countries, involving 406 institutions in total. Out of the 73 submitted proposals, 59 were recommended for funding by the external independent experts from both the European Union and the partner countries, which means a total success rate equal to 81.9%. All these proposals, corresponding to a total funding of €12 million, will allow exchanges of over 800 researchers in and outside Europe, as well as several thousands “short” (up to one year) stays.

1 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian administered areas, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia)

2 Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Egypt, India, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Tunisia, Ukraine, United States