- The Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) is the agency that supports fundamental and strategic scientific research at the universities of the Flemish Community in Belgium. Funding is granted following an inter-university competition and evaluation by both national and international experts. The FWO also stimulates (inter)national cooperation and encourages international mobility by giving researchers the opportunity to gain experience in or work as members of international research groups or by attracting researchers from abroad.
- The FWO has been appointed as a National Contact Point (NCP) within the European Union's Framework Programme “Horizon 2020”. As NCP, the FWO has the objective to ensure that the Flemish research community is timely and adequately informed about upcoming calls. The FWO also supports researchers in the preparation and follow-up of their application. The main goal is to increase the participation and success rate of the Flemish researchers in Horizon 2020.
- For Horizon 2020 the FWO has accepted to act as NCP for the following programmes: European Research Council (ERC), Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), Future and Emerging Technologies (FET), European research infrastructures (RIs), Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies (SC6), Joint Research Centre (JRC), Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation and Science with and for Society (SwafS).
- The FWO gives personalised support on the spot and in proposers’ own language. Moreover, the FWO act as an information hatch between the researchers, the European Commission and the European Liaison Officers (ELO) in the universities and other scientific institutes.
- FWO assist researchers with issues related to the programme:
- Guidance on choosing thematic priorities and instruments
- Advice on administrative procedures and contractual issues
- Training and assistance on proposal writing
- Distribution of documentation (forms, guidelines, manuals etc.)
- Assistance in partner search
- One of the main tasks as NCP is to inform and raise awareness of H2020 funding opportunities. The FWO receives targeted and early information on new calls and initiatives. The FWO aims at disseminating this information to the Flemish research community in a timely and adequate way. In that respect, the FWO organises several information sessions with participation of staff members of the European Commission.
- Other communication tools are the FWO website and newsletter. For Horizon 2020 the FWO has created a brochure explaining the NCP tasks of the FWO which has been disseminated widely among the Flemish research community. The FWO also sends targeted mailings. Beside these collective actions, the FWO offers individual services to applicants by supporting and helping them with specific questions in a customer-friendly way.
- Last but not least, FWO has set up a partnership with the Flemish universities and research centers to provide them with strategic information in order to help them to have all necessary information to support their researchers.