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European funding The newly created TrentinoSalute4.0 Joint Research Unit

03/08/2020 By

The TrentinoSalute4.0 board approved in recent months the collaboration agreement for the establishment of a Joint Research Unit called TrentinoSalute4.0-JRU.To learn more about it, we invited Oscar Mayora, head of the working group that literally “hunts” for European funding and operates within the eHealth Unit of FBK, to our microphones.

Dr. Mayora, what does the TS4.0 Joint Research Unit do?

It is a working group, a permanent partnership between a number of legal bodies that work together in activities aimed, among other things, at further increasing European funding connected to specific research lines and projects. In our case, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, the Trento Province Healthcare System and the Trento Province Goivernment are part of the JRU, therefore the actors of the competence center for the development of TrentinoSalute4.0 digital health.

Finding research funding is not easy. How does your joint unit work?

When we talk about European projects there are research, industrial, domain – in our case, health – partners, very complementary to each other,  which must represent different nations in Europe. Therefore, participating through a Joint Research Unit allows you to bring together multiple actors representing a single project beneficiary, without having to increase the number of partners. At the same time, it allows you to use all locally available resources more effectively.

Has the Covid-19 emergency changed the availability and disbursement of European funds?

Obtaining funding is always hard. With the emergency, the situation has changed a bit and the funds have been allocated in a way that is a little different compared to what had been planned. There are more resources to deal with emergencies like the present ones which, being a global problem, however, attract many more competitors.In general, in the past three years, since 2017, we have been lucky because the results achieved – i.e. the funding obtained – were above the general average. We managed to achieve 30-35% success: it means that for every 10 projects we submitted, 3 or 4 have obtained funding. The average usually fluctuates between 5-8% at most. We hope to be able to have this average in the future too, but they are very difficult rates to maintain in the long run.