EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Funding Awarded to Project on Sustainable Public Procurement


The project SAPIENS - Sustainability and Procurement in International, European, and National Systems - has been awarded a Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network (ITN) grant of €3.9 million (with a €606,000 for the University of Birmingham) by the European Research Agency (European Commission).

SAPIENS combines 10 universities from eight countries, including the University of Birmingham (Birmingham Law School) led by the University of Turin and non-academic partners in seven countries. At the heart of the project are 15 PhD projects on various multidisciplinary aspects of Sustainable Public Procurement linked to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The 15 postgraduate research students, two of which will be based in Birmingham under the supervision of IEL Director Professor Martin Trybus, will attend a common training programme, participate in common public engagement, dissemination and impact activities, and benefit from a number of relevant placements in public institutions, think tanks, lobbyists, and international organisations.  

The project will not only offer extraordinary global research and training opportunities to 15 Early Stage Researchers, but will also contribute to increasing the overall quality and innovation of doctoral training in Europe and beyond. The aim is to produce significant research results in law, economics, business studies and social science, make them openly available, facilitate the utilisation of that knowledge by policymakers, think tanks, business, and the legal and other professions, and to train a uniquely qualified cohort with professional prospects inside but also beyond academia. 

The project will run from 2021 to 2025 and will be managed from the University of Turin (Italy) led by the Network Coordinator Roberto Caranta assisted by a project coordinator, the Director of Training Martin Trybus (University of Birmingham), the Dissemination and Communication Lead Marta Andhov (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) and the Ethics, Open Science and Equal Opportunities Champion Małgorzata Koszewska (Lodz University of Technology, Poland). The team is completed by leading sustainability experts from Corvinus University of Budapest (Hungary), Tor Vergata University of Rome (Italy), Hasselt University (Belgium), University of Gävle (Sweden), Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca (Romania), and the University of Greenwich. Moreover, 18 partners, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation, George Washington University, Federation of Small Businesses, Fair Trade Advocacy Group, Stichting Fair Trade Advocacy Office, Eating City, as well as national agencies, public purchasers and lobbyists are contributing to the training programme.
This is already the second Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network grant involving the Institute of European Law after EUTIP (EU Trade and Investment Policy) 2017-2021:  which is led be IEL Director Martin Trybus from Birmingham.