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Commission confirms plans for Horizon Europe office in Kyiv

Image: EU

Mariya Gabriel says office will create “stronger ties” between EU and Ukrainian R&D

The European Commission has confirmed that it intends to open a new office in Kyiv to coordinate Ukrainian participation in the EU’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme.

Having first set out the aim last year, on 2 February the Commission announced that it planned to open the office by the middle of 2023.

The announcement came as part of a high-level visit to Kyiv (pictured) by Commission politicians, who discussed topics including R&I cooperation with Ukraine’s government.

EU research commissioner Mariya Gabriel said the new office in Ukraine would “support its participation in the programme, safeguarding the country’s R&I capacity and creating stronger ties between the EU and Ukrainian R&I communities”.

‘Remarkable’ participation

Ukraine joined Horizon Europe as an associate member in June 2022. As part of its support for the country in response to the Russian invasion, the EU has waived Ukrainian financial contributions to the programme for three years.

The war has damaged around 15 per cent of Ukraine’s R&I infrastructure and affected about 40 per cent of its scientific workforce, the Commission said.

Nonetheless, it added that the country’s participation in Horizon Europe had been on a par with pre-war levels, with Ukraine having attracted a “remarkable” €13 million in funding up to January.

Need to rebuild

The office in Kyiv will be hosted by Ukraine’s National Research Foundation and will organise events on cooperation opportunities, training on drafting competitive proposals, and assistance for Ukrainian teams looking for collaborators in other countries.

“We need to protect and nurture Ukraine’s scientific knowledge and innovation capacity, as these will be key to rebuild their country,” said Gabriel.

The announcement came as a Commission assessment of Ukraine’s candidacy to join the EU warned that the country needed a strategy to retain its researchers.