University of Ljubljana and the LERU-CE7 (League of European Research Universities and a group of Central-European universities) initiative are inviting you to the online seminar with the title:

»Through Widening DOCS (Disparities, Opportunities, Complementarities, Synergies) policies towards research excellence«

on 17 June 2021 between 10:00 and 15:25

In order to close the research and innovation gap and reduce the disparities in research and innovation performance between EU member states in the EU Framework Programmes, the European Commission developed the Widening Initiative. In Horizon 2020, this initiative was implemented through the Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation Work Programme, which included funding for projects in various schemes, such as TEAMING; TWINNING, ERA CHAIR and Widening Fellowships, to help research organisations and universities from widening countries build R&I capacity and network with other excellent research institutions in the EU. Some synergies with other funding programmes such as European Structural Funds already supported the Widening initiative in the previous funding period. The Widening Strategy 2.0 within the new European Research and Innovation Programme Horizon Europe has the ambition to improve on the previous successful strategies with a new approach combining innovative funding instruments, policy initiatives and synergies.

This LERU-CE7 online seminar will present the rationale for the Widening initiative with some best practises of the past and highlight the opportunities within the new EU Widening Strategy and expected complementarities and synergies with other European and national research and development programmes.

Download the program in pdf

To join us at this exciting and ambitious webinar, please register at


Thursday, June 17, 2021

Moderator: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Draško Veselinovič, President of the Management Board, Slovenian Business & Research Association in Brussels

10:00 – 10:05



10:00 – 10:05

Welcome from the host

Prof. Dr. Tanja Dmitrović,
Vice-Rector of the University of Ljubljana

10:05 – 10:20

LERU introductory words and LERU position on regional and sectoral disparities and recommendations for CE7 university policies 

Prof. Dr. Kurt Deketelaere, 
Secretary-General, The League of European Research Universities - LERU

10:20 – 11:20

1. EU Disparities (regional and sectoral) and Widneing projects supporting excellence throughout Europe

New Widening instruments have been introduced under H2020 to address and reduce the disparities in research and innovation performance between countries in the EU Framework Programmes, but large disparities between Member States persist. There are also large disparities between Widening regions.

10:20 – 10:50

Ms. Athina Karvounaraki,
Research & Innovation - Statistics and Indicators,
Common R&I Strategy & Foresight Service (unit G1)
DG R&I, European Commission

10:50 – 11:05

Prof. RNDr. Jana Klánová, Ph.D.
Masaryk University 

Prof. Dr. Martin Bobak,
CETOCOEN’s lead Principal Investigator at
University College London

11:05 – 11:20
11:20– 11:35


11:35 – 12:35

2. Opportunities (in Horizon Europe)

New EU framework programme Horizon Europe is introducing some new Widening instruments (Hop-On, Excellence Hubs, …) together with novel schemes for the strengthening of the ERA. There are also some new regions eligible for hosting the Widening projects. Some ERA calls will also address the importance of strengthening the science management and the research ecosystems in the Widening regions.....

11:35 – 12:05

Mr. Stijn Delauré,
Policy Officer, unit A3 ‘R&I Actors and Research Careers’,
DG RTD, European Commission

12:05 – 12:20

Ms. Sofia Karakostas,
co-head of the EU GrantsAcces,
University of Zurich

12:20 – 12: 35


12:35 – 13:05

Lunch break

13:05 – 14:15

3. Complementarities

There are other EU initiatives, programmes and Widening friendly calls foreseen to complement the Widening programme. This part of the seminar will shed light on these initiatives and open the space for discussions on how CE7 universities can prepare for them.

13:05 – 13:25

Mr. Stijn Delauré, 
Policy Officer, unit A3 ‘R&I Actors and Research Careers’,
DG RTD, European Commission

13:25 – 13:45

Mr. Marian Belko, 
Education Impact Officer, European Institute of Technology - EIT

13:45 – 14:05

Importance of the COST actions for strengthening collaborations and networks 

Dr. Ronald de Bruin, 
Director of COST Association - European Cooperation in Science and Technology


14:05 – 14:15


14:15 – 15:15

4. Synergies

Research and innovation performance correlates with the efficiency of national research and innovation systems. Besides the Widening Programme, there are many opportunities at regional or national level to increase research and innovation performance through synergies with European Structural and Investment Funds, national funds, Recovery and Resilience Facility and other funding sources in the new financial perspective 2021-2027. An important part of the synergies is also an investment in research infrastructure in Widening regions.

14:15 – 14:30

Mag. Tanja Vertelj,
Secretary, Science Directorate,
Ministry for education, science and sport of Slovenia

14:30 – 14:45
14:45 – 15:00

Dr. Václav Velčovský, Ph.D., 
Vice-Minister for International Affairs, EU and ESIF, 
Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of Czech Republic

15:00 – 15:15

Prof. Dr. Anu Noorma,
Director General of the Estonian Research Council and professor at University of Tartu

15:15 – 15:25

Final discussion on what is needed at CE7 universities and how the synergies could be improved or added to the present models