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Strengthened focus on gender equality in Horisont Europa

The European Commission is committed to promoting gender equality in research and innovation. It is part of the European Commission's Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025, which sets out the Commission's broad commitment to gender equality in all EU policy areas.

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In the research sector, there are still a number of structural barriers to gender equality in research and innovation, and specific measures are needed to overcome remaining gender gaps. The European Commission addresses these structural barriers through the main funding instrument Horisont Europa, which is a continuation of the previous framework program for research and innovation Horizon 2020 (2014-2020).

There are three main focus areas where gender equality is strengthened in Horisont Europa;

  • Having an equality plan ( GEP) in place is now an eligibility criterion for certain categories of legal entities from EU countries and associated countries.
    Read Vinnovas GEP here
  • Integrating the gender dimension in research- and innovation content is now a standard requirement that is evaluated according to the excellence criterion, unless the subject description explicitly states otherwise.
  • To increase the gender distribution throughout the program with an objective of 50% women in Horisont Europa-related boards, expert groups and evaluation committees, and that the gender balance in research groups is seen as a ranking criterion for applications that have been awarded the same points.

In addition, special funding will be set aside for gender and intersectional research, development of inclusive gender equality policies and investments to strengthen women who are innovators. The overarching goals are to improve the European research and innovation system, create equal working environments where all talents can flourish and better integrate the gender dimension in project to improve research quality and societal relevance of the knowledge and technology and the innovations that are produced.

The GENDERACTIONplus project is to promote gender equality within ERA - financed through Horisont Europa

In June 2022, the three-year project GENDERACTIONplus began. It is a consortium funded by Horisont Europa that will promote gender equality within the European Research Area (ERA), in line with ERA's new policy agenda:

ERA and the new policy agenda

The project has 26 project participants and 14 associated partners from 21 countries. Of these, 18 are national authorities (or institutions supporting them), 19 research and innovation funding organizations (or institutions supporting them) and 3 expert organisations. The participants must share experiences, develop new knowledge and develop policy proposals for the European research area.

Vinnova leads a Community of Practice

Vinnova participates in GENDERACTIONplus and has been entrusted with leading one of the project's two groups, the so-called Community of Practice (CoP), with 19 representatives from research and innovation funding organizations (RFOs). Den CoP, who leads Vinnova, works with four thematic areas:

  • Intersectionality and inclusion,
  • Gender and gender dimensions in the content of research and innovation projects,
  • Equality plans according to Horisont Europa's new eligibility requirements, so-called Gender Equality Plans (GEP). Equality plans are the main instrument for promoting institutional change within ERA's new policy, which also includes work against gender-based violence in higher education.
  • Gender bias in the funding process for research and innovation.

Building on previous project

GENDERACTIONplus is based on experiences and results from the following Horizon 2020-funded project:

The GENDERACTIONplus project is financed by the European Union's research and innovation program Horisont Europa under grant agreement no. 101058093.

However, views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Varken Europeiska Union or the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Last updated 26 January 2023

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