Over the years, Sweden has been successful in the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. In the Seventh Framework Programme, which ran from 2007-2013, Swedish stakeholders received about 4 percent of the total budget. In Horizon 2020, which is the eighth Framework Programme, this figure dropped slightly to 3.3 percent in the first round of calls. Statistics and detailed information on Swedish participation in Horizon 2020 can be found in VINNOVA’s 2015 Year Book (in Swedish).

Picture taken at an information meeting about the national advocacy platforms for Horizon 2020 in 2014.

To further strengthen Sweden’s position in the European research programmes, the national coordinating body EU-Sam (which involves the Swedish research funding bodies – the Swedish Research Council, VINNOVA, Forte, Formas, the Swedish Energy Agency and the Swedish National Space Board) decided to launch calls to finance national advocacy platforms. VINNOVA has been responsible for managing the calls and funding of the advocacy platforms, and several rounds of calls have taken place since 2013.

The initiative has been entirely bottom-up, with actors within so-called Swedish areas of strength being encouraged to define and organise themselves. The purpose of the national advocacy platforms is to stimulate cooperation between Swedish stakeholders that have common visions, goals and needs in order to be able to position Swedish areas of strength at a European level with a clearer and single voice.

The overall aim of the national advocacy platforms is to influence different parts of Horizon 2020’s future work programmes to ensure that future funding calls reflect Sweden’s areas of strength. The hope is that more Swedish stakeholders will participate in successful project consortia and that an increasing share of EU research funding ends up in Sweden. To date, some thirty advocacy platforms have received funding for a period of two years to work on concrete advocacy activities, adapted to meet the requirements of each area of strength.

National advocacy platforms for increased participation in Horizon 2020: