European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu welcomed Romania’s Minister of Research and Innovation Serban-Constantin Valeca in Brussels to discuss the latest developments in the implementation of projects conducted on European funds.
Cretu underscored the need for careful monitoring of major strategic projects being implemented.
“In the case of all projects, particularly the likes of ELI-NP in Magurele, we have to avoid past problems and make sure the available funds are as efficiently used as possible,” Cretu is quoted as saying in a press statement released by the Representation of the European Commission in Romania.
Cretu hailed the earmark of 60 percent of funds under operational programme competitiveness for research and the fact that project contracting related to priority axis I – “Research, technological development and innovation in support of economic competitiveness and business development” is 60 percent for 2014-2020.
At the same time, she mentioned that all the payment applications for the area will be refunded by the European Commission only after the management and control authorities are appointed nationwide, the statement says.
At the meeting, Valeca unveiled the ALFRED, fundamental research project, saying it is a priority with the Romanian Government. Also discussed was the pay to Romanian researchers.
“The European Commission and I personally have paid utmost attention to this issue, and I am glad that a solution was found that facilitates the participation of any EU researchers in Horizon 2020 research projects,” said Cretu.
The European Regional Development Fund provides nearly 800 million euros in support of Romanian research under operational pogramme competitiveness, according to the press statement.
ELI-NP in a pan-European project under which Romania hosts the fundamental nuclear physics research component, with 257 million euros in total contributions from the European Regional Development Fund, 117 million of which were available for 2007-2013 and 140 million will be up for 2014-2020.
ALFRED is a basic research project designed to prove viability of lead-cooled fast reactors as a sustainable source of power. The project budget is estimated at 1 billion euros.When ancillary activities and infrastructure are factored in, the budget is expected to reach 1.7 billion euros.