With the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020” starting next year, the Saarland has launched the information campaign “Route 2020”. The initiative was officially kicked off with an opening event at Max-Planck-Institute (MPI) for Software Systems in Saarbrücken on 3 July 2013. More than 230 representatives from science, industry and politics attended the event. The major goal of “Route 2020”, which has as its motto “Heading for new horizons”, is to inform and support local entrepreneurs, universities and research institutions in successfully participating in the upcoming funding programme (expected total budget: 70 billion EUR).

“Companies and research institutions in Saarland are well positioned in the area of research and development with strong pan-European partnerships. This makes them well-equipped for benefiting from EU funding opportunities and implementing even more successful research projects in the future”, Prime Minister of Saarland Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer underlined the importance of European research funding for the economic and scientific landscape of the region.

Apart from the Prime Minister, Dr Georg Schütte, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and Herbert von Bose, Director “Industrial Technologies” of the Directorate-General Research and Innovation of the European Commission, cast a glance on the upcoming “Horizon 2020” programme from a political and strategic point of view.

“EU research campus”: LipiDiDiet presents its activities
After the initial speeches, speakers and visitors had the opportunity to convince themselves of the successful participation of entrepreneurs and researchers from Saarland in the 7th framework programme by visiting the so called “EU research campus”, an exhibition in the foyer of the MPI. The team of LIPIDIDIET had a stand on the research campus and provided visitors with first-hand information on the project´s activities. Coordinator Prof. Tobias Hartmann outlined the project’s overall aim to develop a lipid-based diet that is able to delay or prevent Alzheimer’s disease and to stabilize cognitive function in the healthy elderly.

The event programme was rounded off with a workshop delivered by Dr Andre Schlochtermeier, Head of the EU Office of the BMBF, and Jörg Scherer, Managing Director of Eurice GmbH. The two rather practice oriented presentations provided participants with further information on structures and thematic areas of “Horizon 2020”.

In view of the first calls for proposal expected by the end of this year, four specific information events are envisaged for October and November covering the following fields of research: “Life Sciences”, “Information and Communication Technologies” and “Industrial Technologies”. People interested in joining these workshops may register online: http://route2020-saar.de/workshops/