Organisation, Tasks and Objectives: The Bavarian Research Alliance GmbH (BayFOR) is a private company to support Bavaria as a centre for science and innovation within the European Research Area. It was set up at the end of 2006 on the initiative of the Bavarian universities and universities of applied sciences to strengthen their networking at regional, national and international level and help them prepare to meet the requirements for European research funding. To achieve this, BayFOR supports and advises Bavarian scientists and stake- holders from the private sector in the competition for regional, national and European re- search funding. It is a partner institution in the Bavarian “Haus der Forschung” (House of Research) (www.hausderforschung.bayern.de/en).
Areas of Activity: BayFOR’s Information and Support Center for EU-funded R&D Projects connects Bavarian stakeholders from science, academia and the private sector at European level and assists them with acquiring EU funding. The focus is directed at the current EU Framework Programme (FP7) and the forthcoming Framework Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020”. Scientific experts provide subject-specific information and offer strategic advice and active support for initiating projects, setting up international research consortia and submitting proposal applications. Upon successful evaluation, BayFOR is able to provide support during contract negotiations with the European Commission and if required BayFOR provides support with project management throughout the project duration. The key thematic areas include environment & energy, food & agriculture, health research & biotechnology, information & communication tech- nologies, nanosciences, new materials and production, transport and aviation, social sciences, economic sciences, humanities, aerospace, security and education. Furthermore, BayFOR’s EU Liaison Office in Brussels represents the interests of Bavarian universities at European level. It increases their visibility and acts as their intermediary establishing contacts with European institutions. This considerably enhances the prospects of Bavarian applicants succeeding within the European Research Area. Another aim is to increase the participation of Bavarian enterprises – particularly SMEs – in funding programmes. As a partner in the support net- work for SMEs “Enterprise Europe Network” (EEN), BayFOR acts as an interface between academic research and the industry.
Recently, BayFOR has been commissioned by the Bavarian State Ministry of Sciences, Research and the Arts to operate the Bavarian University Funding Programme for the Initiation of International Projects (BayIntAn). The efforts are aimed at initiating or strengthening transnational collaborative research involving Bavarian universities and universities of applied sciences.
BayFOR also coordinates the joint activities of the Bavarian Research Associations and sup- ports their networking efforts at European level.
Finally, the Scientific Coordination Office Bavaria-Québec/Alberta/International within BayFOR provides support for bilateral and multilateral research projects from these regions.
Expertise: The BayFOR staffs brings along profound knowledge of the FP 7 project management procedures and therefore is well suited to accomplish its assigned tasks. It is e.g. engaged in several FP 7 projects. Since 2008 BayFOR is regional partner in the Bavarian consortium of the EC-funded CIP-Program (DG Enterprise) reorganising the Business Support Network for the benefit of SMEs (EEN - Enterprise Europe Network).
Key project tasks: The Bavarian Research Alliance is highly incorporated in WP 7 and 8. In Detail BayFOR is assigned to the administrative and financial management of the project in close contact with the coordinator.