Funding News

Last week we presented you with a broad overview of the different types of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). Today we’ve picked one of the five MSCA schemes for a closer examination: Innovative Training Networks. We’ve been involved in Innovative Training Networks since Horizon 2020’s inception with ClickGene and have recently helped secure funding for the Train2Target project, which is also managed by accelopment.

The three types of Innovative Training Networks

As we’ve previously detailed in a blog post, there are three types of Innovative Training Networks: European Training Networks (ETN), European Industrial Doctorates (EID) and European Joint Doctorates (EJD). Each ITN sets the goal to train a new generation of researches and as of this month 100,000 excellent researchers have taken part in MSCA. As with the other types of MSCAs, the programme is open to all domains of research and innovation. At accelopment, we’ve supported ITNs in the area of lifesciences, chemistry and materials.

With ITNs, the mobility criteria is an important factor: Researchers participating cannot have lived or worked for more than 12 months in the country of their future host organisation

European Training Networks (ETN)

There is still some lingering confusion when it comes to the descriptions of Horizon 2020 programmes. An ETN used to be one of the schemes under FP7 but has now been replaced with ITN. An ETN is made up of at least three partners, though experience tells us there are generally many more, from in and outside academia. Generally, a consortium will consist of 6-10 partners from academia and industry along with additional associated partners. During the course of an ETN, Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) are presented with a unique research platform to train the necessary scientific and transferable skills to research and develop innovative strategies.

European Industrial Doctorates (EID)

European Industrial Doctorates are a partnership of at least one academic partner and one partner from outside academia. Participating researchers are enrolled in a doctoral programme and is jointly supervised by the academic and the non-academic partner. It is a requirement that the researchers spend at least 50% of their time in the non-academic sector. An EID’s goal is to award researchers with a doctoral degree from the academic partner.

The advantages of having an academic and a non-academic partner are plentiful: The researcher can integrate scientific excellence with business innovation in their career, the academic partner can strengthen their innovation capacity with commercial exploitation of their research and the non-academic partner can increase the research potential and competitiveness of European companies.

European Joint Doctorates (EJD)

With the aim of promoting international, intersectoral, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration, an EJD requires at least three academic organisations to form a network and jointly supervise research fellows. A successful completion of an EJD results in the award of joint, double or multiple doctoral degrees.

EJD have many benefits for researchers and universities or researcher institutions. The main one being that the researcher received a unique research and training opportunity and the academic partner can build and strengthen networks, thus gaining invaluable expertise.

ITN and accelopment

Beginning with FP7, accelopment has a long history with supporting ITNs and our success hasn’t halted with the transition to Horizon 2020. Working as a subcontractor, accelopment’s costs are covered by the funding and not the consortium. Our roles include writing the proposal, advising partners during contract negotiations, managing the project and controlling the dissemination. All of the mentioned roles are currently being carried out in four running ITNs: Train2Target, PEARRL, EXCILIGHT and ClickGene.