On 22 June 2017, researchers have called on MEPs to reform the audit culture, reimbursement systems, and evaluation criteria.
Research lobbyists gathered on Wednesday to give the European Parliament an appraisal of the €77 billion Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and to issue a plea for reform. Some of these ideas were a re-think of the way Horizon 2020 beneficiaries get rewarded for their research, a reduction in book-keeping requirements, and an extra leg-up for countries struggling to win any grant money at all.
Responding to the comments, Commission officials defended Horizon 2020 against charges that it is not a straightforward programme, but conceded that reimbursing researchers cost could be improved.
The rules that come along with a grant still overwhelm accountancy departments, three years into the programme. Companies participating in the Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs), have to keep three sets of accounts: one for EU officials, another for member states, and a third set in which they are required to record their in-kind contributions.
All of the requirements place a particular strain on small and medium-sized business, and increase the likelihood of mistakes. On the side of the EU, the Horizon 2020 reimbursement system can also be prone to error.
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