1st EURAXESS Share Event in North America
EURAXESS Links North America is pleased to announce its first EURAXESS Share event that will be held in Omaha, Nebraska on the 4th June 2013. It will be a cross-disciplinary event targeting researchers at all stages of their career. Participants will be provided with information on funding and collaboration opportunities with Europe as well as EURAXESS. Fellows who have already successfully obtained an EU fellowship or grant will participate to better underline the EU mobility and research funding opportunities.
The registration for the event is now open until the 30th of May 2013 at:
EURAXESS LINKS Brazil launch events
EURAXESS Links Brazil will be officially launched at the National Council for Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq) in Brasilia on May 10, during the European Week 2013.
Ambassador Ana Paula ZACARIAS, Head of the EU Delegation to Brazil and Dr. Anna KARAOGLOU, responsible for the EURAXESS initiative, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission, as well as Mr Guilherme MELO, Deputy Director of the CNPq will participate to the event.
EURAXESS Links Brazil will also organize its first “EURAXESS Share” events in São Paulo on May 14 with the Institute for Studies Brazil-Europe (IBE) and in Rio de Janeiro on May 16 with two of the most important universities, UFRJ and PUC-Rio.
For further information on the network and its future activities in Brazil, Charlotte Grawitz and Paulo Lopes, the two Country Representatives, can be contacted at the following email: email@example.com.
Investing in Research and Innovation is a Sure Means to a More Competitive and More Resilient European Economy: Past Year Examples
In order to strengthen the European economy, the EU 2020 Strategy for growth and jobs gives research and innovation a prominent role. Since 2007, the main funding instrument to implement this policy has been the Seventh Framework Program for Research and Technological Development (FP7).
Through this instrument, the European Commission seeks to convert scientific breakthroughs into technologies and products that can transform sectors like energy or transport (often in partnership with major private actors from each field), but also to address the main challenges that affect our daily life, from our health to our environment.
By following the link below, you will see some examples of how research supported by the European Commission in the past year has the potential to make a real difference in our lives and in the future of the EU.
EU International Strategy for Research and Innovation
On 14 September 2012, the Commission adopted a Communication entitled 'Enhancing and focusing EU international cooperation in research and innovation: a strategic approach' (COM(2012) 497). The Communication sets out a new strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation, in particular with a view toward implementing the new European research funding program called ‘Horizon 2020’ (2014-2020).
The objectives are to:
• strengthen the Union’s excellence and attractiveness in research and innovation and its economic and
• tackle global societal challenges, such as food and energy security and climate change;
• support the Union’s external policies.
To achieve these objectives, the strategy will follow a dual approach:
• Horizon 2020 will be open to participation from entities from across the world, although the approach to providing funding from the Union budget to these entities will be revised. Through this general opening, European researchers will be free to cooperate with their third country counterparts on topics of their own choice;
• To complement the general opening, targeted activities will be developed where cooperation will be sought on particular topics and with well-identified countries and/or regions.
More details available in source: European Commission
Nobel Prize in Physics 2012 Goes to European Research Council Grantee
Professors Serge Haroche (Collège de France and Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France) and David J. Wineland (National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and University of Colorado Boulder (USA) were jointly awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems. Professor Haroche has received a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant from the European Research Council in 2009 for his project DECLIC, which explores the 'decoherence' of light in cavities, and is based at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, France). This project studies the process of decoherence and can thereby open the way to create, as well as to maintain access and to use pure quantum steady states. The research is a sequence of milestones; the first one was being able to preserve photons in a 'captive' state, but not absorbed by the surrounding matter. The next milestone was to enable the interaction with photons without destroying them. Destruction after interaction is typical of quantum states: it can be compared to finding glasses placed on the floor of a dark room by breaking them with a hammer; if they crack, it confirms the presence of glasses. The methods developed are similar to being able to push a glass with soft gloves and have someone next to you who catches it before it reaches the floor. The next milestone was to show that if this quantum-non-destructive measurement is repeated at a high enough rate on a prepared photon, it reaches a 'frozen' state ('quantum Zeno effect'). These methods have been used in his DECLIC project to build the first example of a 'closed quantum feedback loop' capable of maintaining a quantum system in a steady (and accessible) non-classical state. This is a pre-requisite for the practical technological use of quantum features (including in quantum computers).
The award follows that of Professor Konstantin Novoselov, who was the first ERC grantee to receive a Nobel Prize (Physics Prize 2010 for his work on graphene). In addition, the ERC is currently funding three researchers who were already Nobel Prize laureates when they won their ERC grants: American Professor James Heckman (2000 for Economics), German Professor Theodor Hänsch (2005 for Physics) and Frenchman Professor Jean-Marie Lehn (1987 for Chemistry).
Furthermore, the ERC's governing body, the Scientific Council, currently includes two Nobel Prize winners amongst its members, namely British researcher Sir Tim Hunt (Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine 2001) and German scientist Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine 1995).
Set up in 2007 by the EU, the European Research Council is the first pan-European funding organization for frontier research. It aims to stimulate scientific excellence in Europe by encouraging competition for funding among the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age. The ERC also strives to attract top researchers from all over the world to come to Europe.
New Name for EURAXESS Links Singapore: EURAXESS Links ASEAN
Following the announcement by Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn at the ESOF conference in Dublin in July 2012 of launching the EURAXESS LINKS ASEAN hub from Singapore to Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand in 2012 and more countries in 2013, the name of EURAXESS Links Singapore has been changed to EURAXESS Links ASEAN: http://ec.europa.eu/euraxess/links/singapore/index_en.htm
Survey on International Mobility Patterns of Researchers
The European Commission recently launched a large international study on the mobility patterns, career paths and working conditions of researchers (http://www.more-2.eu/). A first survey focusing on the opinions of researchers currently associated to a European university was launched in June 2012. This second survey looks beyond Europe and focuses on the international mobility of researchers to and from Europe and other places in the world. It targets both EU and non-EU researchers.
The survey asks about researchers' views, needs and experiences with international mobility. Which countries have respondents worked in as a researcher? What factors have played a role in their decisions to move country? Have they previously worked in Europe and if so, how does this compare to other parts of the world? Have they considered carrying out future research in Europe?
Your responses will help the European Commission to develop better policies that should improve the mobility opportunities, career prospects and working conditions of researchers.
The questionnaire should take no more than 15-20 minutes to complete. It will remain open till September 15th. All answers will be treated as strictly confidential and processed anonymously.
We invite you to participate in the survey: http://s.chkmkt.com/?e=21264&d=e&h=0B637FEC1B8E248&l=en
Important Information on the Upcoming ERC Calls: What's New?
A number of changes are envisaged in the upcoming ERC calls for proposals, of which some are important to note in advance for potential applicants.
Please note that at this stage the information below is indicative only. This is expected to be formally confirmed on 9 July 2012, at which time the European Commission is expected to adopt the ERC's next work program. Only the information that will be published on the Participant Portal should be considered official.
The main changes include:
- The introduction of the "ERC Consolidator Grant": The previous ERC Starting grant scheme will be divided into two separate calls:
- Starting Grant (StG): for researchers who have been awarded their first PhD at least 2 and up to 7 years prior to the publication date of the call.
- Consolidator Grant (CoG): for researchers who have been awarded their first PhD over 7 and up to 12 years prior to the publication date of the call.
A Consolidator grant is worth up to €2 million (under certain circumstances up to €2.75 million).
- Asingle deadline for each call, and not different deadlines for the three domains as in the past.
- The publication of the next Advanced Grant (AdG) call will be on 10 July (not in the autumn as in the past), with the deadline for applications in the autumn (not in the spring as in the past).
In sum, the planned publication dates and deadlines for all upcoming calls are as follows:
Starting Grant (ERC-2013-StG)
10 July 2012
17 October 2012
Advanced Grant (ERC-2013-AdG)
10 July 2012
22 November 2012
Synergy Grant (ERC-2013-SyG)
10 October 2012
10 January 2013
Consolidator Grant (ERC-2013-CoG)
7 November 2012
21 February 2013
For ERC grantees only (top-up grant):
10 January 2013
24 April and 3 October 2013
The call for the European Young Researchers' Award 2012 is now OPEN
About the Award
The European Young Researchers’ Award (EYRA), coordinated by Euroscience in collaboration with The European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers “Eurodoc” and Marie Curie Fellows Association “MCFA”, is granted to researchers demonstrating outstanding research performance and leadership. At the same time, the award aims to inspire early stage and experienced researchers to incorporate a European dimension and perspective into their research. The Award is granted each year but the prize-giving-ceremony is held every two years at the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) where the two recipients will present their work. The Award consists of a Certificate and a grant to cover travel and accommodation for the stay in the ESOF city (this year, it will be Dublin, Ireland: http://www.dublinscience2012.ie/)
- The research should be of demonstrably excellent quality (publications, prizes, prestigious grants etc)
- The research must have a clear European dimension, either because it is a collaboration of researchers in different European countries or it is a research project in one European country that addresses a research topic of European significance.
- The applicant should have demonstrated leadership in the research project; should have inspired students; and should have initiated outreach to wider audiences.
- Candidates should work in a European country, but are not required to have a European nationality.
- Researchers having successfully defended their first PhD with up to five years of experience after their PhD.
- The application should be in English.
Application procedure and documentation
- Cover page with First Name, Last Name, Scientific Field, Gender, Institution/Organization/University Postal Address, Country, Phone number and E-mail.
- Up to two pages A4 describing the research and its European dimension
- 1 page CV, including statement of prizes/awards already received.
The above mentioned documents should be included in a single pdf-file. In addition candidates must supply two letters in support of the nomination of no more than 1 page A4:
- describing why the candidate as a person deserves this award (leadership, inspirational role, outreach to wider audiences),
- commenting on the quality and relevance of the specific research and the publications,
- mentioning any specific circumstances that would make the award particularly appropriate.
These two letters should be from individuals well qualified in the field, at least one of whom not associated with the research project(s) itself. Please submit the PDF application electronically via email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org or PDF file on CD sent to the Euroscience address. Identify the nomination file as “surname_firstname_date”.
The deadline for sending in applications is 19 April 2012.
An international selection Committee will evaluate the applications and select the Awardee.
See the list of jury members: Members of the Selection Committee - PDF (58.93 Kb)
Please note that the list of candidates will be published on Euroscience’s website (http://www.euroscience.org/about-us.html)
Call for Proposals: New Technology Venture Accelerator for French-based start-ups
The Office for Science and Technology of the French Embassy in the US (Boston section) just launched the call for proposals for its accelerator program, the New Technology Venture Accelerator. NETVA aims at facilitating and accelerating the development in the US of the French High-Tech Start-ups through an intensive entrepreneurial training and business development week in the United States. In addition to its traditional base, in Boston, in 2012 and for the first time, NETVA will extend to California. Thus, the laureates of the program will be given the opportunity to get immersed in one of the 2 most dynamic U.S. ecosystems: Boston or the Silicon Valley.
After a highly competitive selection process by a Franco-American jury in May 2012, the best French start-ups will be granted this accelerator week in the United States (in September 2012), preceded by a two-day preparation seminar in France given by entrepreneurs and experts of early stage start-ups internationalization.
NETVA is designed for high potential innovative France-based startups which need training and exposure to the US market to become global leaders. To be eligible for the program, a company has to be based in France, but can be owned by someone from any nationality.
The NETVA program already supported the development of 10 young French startups, providing them with 20 mentors, 130 individual meetings, 6 dedicated networking events and 10 days of strategy coaching.
If you are a US-based entrepreneur or a high-level business / technology professional interested to join the NETVA mentors community, please contact us.
Sponsorship opportunities are offered to US and European Companies.
Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF), Dublin, Ireland, 11-15 July 2012
The Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) is Europe’s largest general science meeting and is held in a leading Europe city every two years. ESOF 2012 will be hosted in Dublin, Ireland from July 11th-15th , 2012. ESOF is an interdisciplinary, pan-European meeting, which showcases the latest advances in science and technology; promotes a dialogue on the role of science and technology in society and public policy; and stimulates and provokes public interest, excitement and debate about science and technology.
Speakers will include: Mary Robinson (former president of Ireland and President of the Foundation for Climate Justice); Maire Geoghegan Quinn (European Commissioner for Research and Innovation); Jules Hoffnman (Nobel Laureate 2011); Craig Venter (J. Craig Venter Institute); Helga Nowotny (President of the European Research Council) and Bob Geldof (Human rights campaigner and former Boomtown Rat!).
ESOF 2012 will present:
- A Science program of seminars, workshops and debates on the latest science and technology.
- A Media programme to promote science communication.
- A Careers programme for young researchers.
- A Science-2-Business programme to link basic research with industrial applications.
- An Exhibition to showcase the best of European public and private research.
- A Science in the City program to engage with the general public.
- A Social program to ensure that delegate experience is socially, culturally and intellectually invigorating.
The event is unique in the diversity of delegates who attend. It attracts top researchers from the natural sciences and the social sciences; business leaders; senior EU and government officials; and international scientific media. They come to discuss the best of European science and to address all of the current major global scientific challenges, including Energy, Climate Change, Food and Health.
Participants come to learn at first-hand of the latest advances in science and technology; to participate in debates on important, contemporary issues for science and society; to contribute to discussions on European policy; to engage with and question the leading international researchers in their fields and to meet old friends and make some new ones. ESOF2012 will attract researchers from across Europe and beyond, thus providing fantastic networking opportunities.
Full information, including the program and registration details, is available at the ESOF Website: http://esof2012.org/
ESOF 2012 will be the headline event of 'Dublin City of Science' which will showcase over 160 events throughout the year. For complementary information on the activities taking place in Dublin-City of Science, see the following: http://www.dublinscience2012.ie/
Conference 'Destination Europe: Your Research and Innovation Opportunities', Cambridge, MA, 20 January 2012
We are pleased to announce the conference Destination Europe: Your Research and Innovation Opportunities which will be hosted by the European Commission on January 20th 2012 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
This high-level Conference will showcase Europe's vibrant and attractive science, technology and innovation culture; the excellent funding opportunities Europe provides for career development; and the challenging positions in world-class environments offered by European industry and research organizations. When we look at the picture of all of the opportunities available, both at national and European level, including the attractive opportunities for women researchers, it is truly impressive.
Presentations by high-level speakers, representing some of the major funding organizations and research intensive industries in Europe, will be illustrated by testimonials from researchers who have taken advantage of the opportunities offered to develop their careers in Europe.
Speakers will include: Maire Geoghegan-Quinn , the EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation; Professor Tim Hunt, Nobel Laureate; Professor Donald Dingwell, Secretary General of the European Research Council and many other inspiring leaders in the field.
The Conference is the first of a series of events planned for the USA and has been organized by the European Commission and the European Research Council, in consultation with EU Member States and the Strategic Forum for International Cooperation.
The target audience is researchers of all nationalities based in the US, opinion leaders and representatives from leading US universities; representatives from EU and national networks working in the USA, and members of the science diplomacy community and the media.
All are welcome. Participation is free but registration is obligatory. For full information: http://destinationeurope.teamwork.fr
Horizon 2020: Commission Proposes €80 Billion Investment in Research and Innovation, to Boost Growth and Jobs
Brussels, 30 November 2011 – The European Commission has today presented a package of measures to boost research, innovation and competitiveness in Europe. Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn has announced Horizon 2020, an €80 billion1 programme for investment in research and innovation. Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou has put forward a Strategic Innovation Agenda for the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which will receive €2.8 billion of funding under Horizon 2020. In parallel, Vice-President Antonio Tajani has announced a complementary new programme to boost competitiveness and innovation in SMEs, with an additional budget of €2.5 billion. The funding programmes run from 2014 to 2020.
Presenting Horizon 2020, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "We need a new vision for European research and innovation in a dramatically changed economic environment. Horizon 2020 provides direct stimulus to the economy and secures our science and technology base and industrial competitiveness for the future, promising a smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive society."
For the first time, Horizon 2020 brings together all EU research and innovation funding under a single programme. It focuses more than ever on turning scientific breakthroughs into innovative products and services that provide business opportunities and change people’s lives for the better. At the same time it drastically cuts red tape, with simplification of rules and procedures to attract more top researchers and a broader range of innovative businesses.
Horizon 2020 will focus funds on three key objectives. It will support the EU’s position as a world leader in science with a dedicated budget of €24.6 billion, including an increase in funding of 77% for the very successful European Research Council (ERC). It will help secure industrial leadership in innovation with a budget of €17.9 billion. This includes a major investment of €13.7 billion in key technologies, as well as greater access to capital and support for SMEs. Finally, €31.7 billion will go towards addressing major concerns shared by all Europeans, across six key themes: Health, demographic change and well-being; Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research and the bio-economy; Secure, clean and efficient energy; Smart, green and integrated transport; Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials; and Inclusive, innovative and secure societies.
Horizon 2020 is a key pillar of Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at enhancing Europe's global competitiveness. The European Union is a global leader in many technologies, but it faces increasing competition from traditional powers and emerging economies alike. The Commission proposal will now be discussed by the Council and the European Parliament, with a view to adoption before the end of 2013.
Funding provided by Horizon 2020 will be easier to access thanks to this simpler programme architecture, a single set of rules and less red tape. Horizon 2020 will mean: drastically simplified reimbursement by introducing a single flat rate for indirect costs and only two funding rates - for research and for close to market activities respectively; a single point of access for participants; less paperwork in preparing proposals; and no unnecessary controls and audits. One key goal is to reduce the time until funding is received following a grant application by 100 days on average, meaning projects can start more quickly.
The Commission will make major efforts to open up the programme to more participants from across Europe by exploring synergies with funds under the EU's Cohesion policy. Horizon 2020 will identify potential centres of excellence in underperforming regions and offer them policy advice and support, while EU Structural Funds can be used to upgrade infrastructure and equipment.
€3.5 billion will be devoted to a scaled up and expanded use of financial instruments that leverage lending from private sector financial institutions. These have been shown to be extremely effective at stimulating private investment in innovation that leads directly to growth and jobs. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will benefit from around €8.6 billion, recognising their critical role in innovation.
Horizon 2020 will invest nearly €6 billion in developing European industrial capabilities in Key Enabling Technologies (KETs). These include: Photonics and micro- and nanoelectronics, nanotechnologies, advanced materials and advanced manufacturing and processing, and biotechnology. Development of these technologies requires a multi-disciplinary, knowledge- and capital-intensive approach.
Under the Commission proposal, €5.75 billion (+21%) will be allocated to the Marie Curie Actions, which has supported the training, mobility and skills development of more than 50 000 researchers since its launch in 1996.
As an integral part of Horizon 2020, the EIT will play an important role by bringing together excellent higher education institutions, research centres and businesses to create the entrepreneurs of tomorrow and to ensure that the European 'knowledge triangle' is a match for the world's best. The Commission has decided to significantly step up its support for the EIT by proposing a budget of €2.8 billion for 2014-2020 (up from €309 million since its launch in 2008). The EIT is based on a pioneering concept of cross-border public-private-partnership hubs known as Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). Its three existing KICs, focused on sustainable energy (KIC InnoEnergy), climate change (Climate KIC) and information and communication society (EIT ICT Labs), will be expanded with six new ones in 2014-2020 (see IP/11/1479 and MEMO/11/851).
Funding for the European Research Council (ERC) will increase by 77% to €13.2 billion. The ERC supports the most talented and creative scientists to carry out frontier research of the highest quality in Europe, in a programme that is internationally recognised and respected.
International cooperation will also be further promoted in Horizon 2020, in order to strengthen the EU's excellence and attractiveness in research, to tackle global challenges jointly and to support EU external policies.
The Joint Research Centre (JRC), the in-house science service of the European Commission, will continue providing scientific and technical support to EU policy making on everything from environment, agriculture and fisheries through to nanotechnology and nuclear safety.
For further information MEMO/11/848
Programme for Business Competitiveness and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: IP/11/1476 and MEMO/11/852
European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT): IP/11/1479 and
Horizon 2020: http://ec.europa.eu/research/horizon2020/index_en.cfm?pg=home
Innovation Union: http://ec.europa.eu/innovation-union
Europe 2020: http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020
CIP programme: http://ec.europa.eu/cip/index_en.htm
EIT website: http://eit.europa.eu
NIH Announces 79 Awards to Encourage Creative Ideas in Science
On 20 September, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it is awarding $143.8 million to challenge the status quo with innovative ideas that have the potential to propel fields forward and speed the translation of research into improved health for the American public. These awards are granted under three innovative research programs supported by the NIH Common Fund: the NIH Director's Pioneer, New Innovator, and Transformative Research Projects Awards. The Common Fund, enacted into law by Congress through the 2006 NIH Reform Act, supports trans-NIH programs with a particular emphasis on innovation and risk taking. The NIH expects to make competing awards of approximately $10.4 million to Pioneer awardees, $117.5 million to New Innovators, and $15.9 million to Transformative Research Projects awardees in Fiscal Year 2011.
Non-US nationals are eligible to apply for the Pioneer and New Innovator Awards, as long as they are affiliated with a U.S. institution.
Non-US nationals are eligible to apply for the Transformative Research Projects Award, including applicants who are affiliated with U.S.- based and non-U.S. institutions.
For more information on:
- The Pioneer Award: http://commonfund.nih.gov/pioneer
- The New Innovator Award: http://commonfund.nih.gov/newinnovator
- The Transformative Research Projects Award is at http://commonfund.nih.gov/T-R01
The National Institute of Health (NIH) press release: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/sep2011/od-20.htm
Results of the 2010 Starting Grant Competition: The ERC Awarded over €670 million to 480 Emerging Research Leaders
The European Research Council (ERC) is supporting some 480 early-career researchers over the coming five years with grants worth up to €2 million each. In this fourth 'ERC Starting Grant' competition, just over €670 million is allocated for top talent to carry out their pioneering research in any domain throughout Europe. The projects selected cover a wide variety of topics from studying the exceptional properties of biological nanomaterials to the health impact of exposure to traffic noise and the role of economic media in financial crises.
In this Starting Grant call, the number of applicants has significantly increased; from 2873 last year to 4080 this year, which represents a 42% rise. The estimated total budget for the call is an increase of almost 15% from last year. The success rate (12%) slightly decreased. The average age of selected researchers is about 37 and 21% are women. Furthermore, a total 38 different nationalities are represented this year with German, British and Italian researchers taking the lead (see statistics below). The UK, Germany and France host the greatest number of successful applicants. The selected candidates will be based in universities or research institutions situated in 21 countries throughout Europe.
This year 17 researchers are moving from the United States to Europe with their grant, out of which 14 are returning Europeans, two are American and one is Canadian. An international strategy is currently under preparation as the ERC seeks to increase the share of researchers coming from overseas.
The ERC grants are open to all fields of research. In this call, 46% of applicants were selected in 'Physical Sciences and Engineering', 35% in 'Life Sciences' and 19% in 'Social Sciences and Humanities'. The selected projects ranged from understanding how economic media interpret financial crises in the second half of 20th century, to analyzing new routes and behaviors of traffickers of cultural goods and exploring the exceptional properties of biological nanomaterials (e.g. spider silk, bones) in order to use them for other purposes.
ERC website: http://erc.europa.eu
New FP7 Calls Targeting Research Cooperation Between EU and U.S.
The new Work Programs for 2012 of the 7th Framework Program (FP7) were published on 20 July 2011. With the key objective of strengthening competitiveness, this year’s calls make available nearly 7 billion Euro for joint research projects covering a vast range of scientific disciplines, public policy areas and commercial sectors. This funding shall contribute to advance scientific boundaries, increase European competitiveness and help solve global societal challenges such as climate change, energy and food security, health and an ageing population.
The Seventh EU Framework Program is open to organizations from outside Europe, this year’s calls for proposals have a particular focus on stimulating cooperation with the U.S. Currently open FP7 calls (filtered by research themes) specifically targeting research cooperation between EU and the U.S. can be found here: EU&USA 2012 BILAT.pdf
For more information about the calls and the rules of participation, please go to the BILAT-USA program website: http://www.euussciencetechnology.eu/news/show?id=197
The biggest ever calls for proposals launched on 20 July 2011
The latest European Commission calls for proposals for research and innovation projects under the Seventh Framework Program for Research and Technological Development (FP7) have been launched. The calls in total are worth €7 billion, up by 9% from last year.
The Commission adopted the 2012 work program on 19 July, and most of the calls were formally launched on 20 July. Deadlines for application are spread over the period leading up to the turn of the year and decisions on allocating the funding to individual projects will be taken in 2012.
The work program and full set of associated documents is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/fp7/index_en.cfm
Information about the new calls is available on CORDIS under:
EU Releases 7 Billion Euros for Research and Innovation - 19 July 2011
The European Commission today launched a 7 billion euro research and development fund aimed at tackling the biggest societal challenges facing Europe and the world. Universities, research organizations and industry will be among more than 16,000 funding recipients with special attention given to small and medium sized enterprises.
"Today, Europe is again showing its commitment to putting research and innovation at the top of the political agenda for growth and jobs," said Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. "EU-wide competition for these funds will bring Europe's best researchers and innovators together to tackle the biggest issues of our time, such as energy, food security, climate change and our aging population."
The funds will be released under the EU's 7th Framework Program for Research which has a total budget of 53 billion euros for 2007-2013. It is expected to generate 174,000 jobs in the short term and nearly 450,000 in the long term. The majority of the calls for proposal will be published on July 20, and will be open to U.S. participants.
Information about the new calls is available on CORDIS under:
Poland takes over the Presidency of the EU
On 1 July, Poland took over the rotating presidency of the European Union Council from Hungary and announced its main priorities for the next six months.
Poland will preside over the meetings of the EU Council, which represents the member states, and set its political priorities for the coming six months. It is the first of the three countries of the “trio presidency”, composed of Poland, Denmark and Cyprus that share a common strategic program.
In the field of education, the Polish Program emphasizes the need to develop further Europe’s intellectual capital as a source of growth, and highlights mobility and modernization of universities as two key themes. Openness towards neighboring countries is also highlighted in the Presidency Program, which underlines that a “declaration on the development of educational contacts between the EU Member States and the Eastern Partnership countries, and their importance in enhancing the EU’s position in global development processes, will be drafted and presented in the second half of 2011”.
More information on the Polish Presidency is available here.
Europeans Ponder Names for the Common Strategic Framework for Research
In closing remarks at a conference on the future of EU-funded research and innovation programs last week in Brussels, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and
Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn revealed that three names - DISCOVER 2020, HORIZON 2020, and IMAGINE 2020 - have been short-listed for the Common Strategic Framework (CSF).
“We want the CSF to mark a clear departure from business as usual,” she said June 10. “We’re not simply moving from the 7th to the 8th Framework Program. And what better way to demonstrate this shift than with a new name?”
Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn said 1,600 suggestions had been submitted and explained that the year 2020 had been added to them to “show clearly that the Common Strategic Framework will be designed to support the research and innovation objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy.”
Voting on the names closes June 17. “I’m convinced that research and innovation have a bright future in Europe,” said the Commissioner. “The Common Strategic Framework is one of the key elements to building this future, and I’m looking forward to working with all of you to build this future together.”
(Source: Federal Technology Watch - 13 June 2011)
To vote for one of the three short-listed names, go to: http://ec.europa.eu/research/csfri/index_en.cfm?pg=younameit
Compete for the EU Health Prize for Journalists!
As part of its "Europe for Patients" campaign, the European Commission has launched a prize to stimulate and reward high-quality journalism that raises awareness of healthcare and patients' rights issues.
Journalists can compete for the prize by submitting their articles that have appeared in print or on-line between 19 July 2010 and 24 July 2011. The final submission date is 24 July 2011.
A finalist for each EU country will be selected by a national jury chaired by the European Commission and composed of journalists and public health experts. These national finalists will then compete at the EU level for cash prizes: €6000 for the winner, €2500 for the second prize and €1500 for the third prize. In addition, a special prize of €3000 will be awarded for the best article on "smoking cessation".
All national finalists will be invited to Brussels for a media seminar on EU health issues followed by a prestigious award ceremony hosted by the EU Health Commissioner John Dalli.
To participate and for more information, visit the website
EU-Funded Breakthrough in Malaria Treatment in the Run Up to World Malaria Day
Brussels, 19 April 2011
Ahead of World Malaria Day (25 April), EU-funded researchers have discovered that drugs originally designed to inhibit the growth of cancer cells can also kill the parasite that causes malaria. They believe this discovery could open up a new strategy for combating this deadly disease, which, according to World Health Organization statistics, infected around 225 million and killed nearly 800 000 people worldwide in 2009. Efforts to find a treatment have so far been hampered by the parasite’s ability to quickly develop drug resistance. The research involved four projects funded by the EU (ANTIMAL, BIOMALPAR, MALSIG and EVIMALAR) and was led by laboratories in the UK, France and Switzerland with partners from Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden, along with many developing nations severely affected by malaria.
Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "This discovery could lead to an effective anti-malaria treatment that would save millions of lives and transform countless others. This demonstrates yet again the added value both of EU-funded research and innovation in general and of collaboration with researchers in developing countries in particular. The ultimate goal is the complete eradication of the global scourge of malaria and collaborative work across many borders is the only way of confronting such global challenges effectively."
Cancer drugs to kill malaria parasite
Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes. In the human body, the parasites reproduce in the liver, and then infect and multiply in red blood cells. Joint research led by EU-funded laboratories at the Inserm-EPFL Joint Laboratory, Lausanne, (Switzerland/France), Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular parasitology, University of Glasgow (Scotland), and Bern University (Switzerland) showed that, in order to proliferate, the malaria parasite depends upon a signalling pathway present in the host's liver cells and in red blood cells. They demonstrated that the parasite hijacks the kinases (enzymes) that are active in human cells, to serve its own purposes. When the research team used cancer chemotherapy drugs called kinase inhibitors to treat red blood cells infected with malaria, the parasite was stopped in its tracks.
A new strategy opens up
Until now the malaria parasite has managed to avoid control by rapidly developing drug resistance through mutations and hiding from the immune system inside liver and red blood cells in the body of the host, where it proliferates. The discovery that the parasite needs to hijack some enzymes from the cell it lives in opens up a whole new strategy for fighting the disease. Instead of targeting the parasite itself, the idea is to make the host cell environment useless to it, by blocking the kinases in the cell. This strategy deprives the parasite of a major modus operandi for development of drug resistance.
Several kinase-inhibiting chemotherapy drugs are already used clinically in cancer therapy, and many more have already passed phase-I and phase II clinical trials. Even though these drugs have toxic side-effects, they are still being used over extended periods for cancer treatment. In the case of malaria, which would require a shorter treatment period, the problem of toxicity would be less acute. Researchers are proposing therefore that these drugs should be evaluated immediately for anti-malarial properties, drastically reducing the time and cost required to put this new malaria-fighting strategy into practice.
The next steps will include mobilizing public and industrial partners to verify the efficacy of kinase inhibitors in malaria patients and to adjust the dose through clinical trials, before the new treatments can be authorized and made available to malaria patients worldwide.
Since 2002, the EU has invested nearly EUR 180 million in malaria research through the EU's Framework Programs for Research (FP6, 2002-2006, and FP7, 2007-2013).
The EU also contributes to the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) which aims to accelerate the development of new or improved drugs, vaccines and microbicides against HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Established in 2003, this successful ongoing European and African collaboration focuses on clinical trials as well as capacity building in sub-Saharan Africa. To date, 10 clinical trials on malaria costing EUR 69 million have been financed under EDCTP with EUR 35 million support from the EU.
Article on the research: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21371233
European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT): Commission Consults on Future Strategy
The European Commission today launched on 14 April 2011 a public consultation on the future strategy of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) following the success of its initial phase. The consultation will feed into a 'strategic innovation agenda' for the EIT which the Commission is due to propose by the end of this year. The agenda will outline the Institute's main priorities until 2020, focusing on the Institute's mission and objectives, funding and future themes. The European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou, who is responsible for the EIT, will announce the consultation at a conference in Budapest.
"With the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, we are pioneering a new collaboration between higher education, research and business. The Commission is keen to listen to the views of our partners before finalizing our proposal on the future strategy. The idea of it is to build on the lessons learned from the Institute's first phase and to prepare the way for expanding the EIT. The Institute has the potential to become a powerful motor of innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe," declared Commissioner Vassiliou.
The EIT has an administrative headquarters (in Budapest), but operates from 16 sites throughout Europe, from Barcelona to Stockholm, through cross-border public-private partnerships known as 'knowledge and innovation communities', or KICs for short. The KICs bring together excellent higher education institutions, research centers and businesses. To date, three KICs have been created, focusing on sustainable energy (InnoEnergy KIC), climate change (Climate KIC) and information and communication society (EIT ICTLabs).
The consultation complements a broad debate on the future of EU research and innovation funding (see Commission Green Paper "From Challenges to Opportunities: Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation funding", 9 February 2011).
The consultation is open for comments from 14 April. The deadline for feedback from interested parties is 30 June. Based on the results of this process, as well as an independent evaluation and also a proposal from the EIT itself, the Commission will present the strategic innovation agenda by December 2011.
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is an autonomous EU body stimulating world-leading innovation, through the pioneering concept of knowledge and innovation communities. The EIT has received €309 million from the EU budget for the period 2007-2013. The chief executives of the KICs recently signed seven-year partnership agreements with the EIT. The agreements include an initial grant of up to €10 million for each KIC. This will rise to an average of €20 million for each KIC in the following year. The KICs can now start rolling out educational programs with EIT-labeled Masters' and PhDs, research projects and help set up new businesses. The InnoEnergy KIC alone plans to educate and train almost 2,000 students and mid-career professionals over the next three years and to launch 20 companies.
New Funding Initiative for Researchers Holding ERC Grants
The European Research Council (ERC) has launched a new funding initiative entitled “Proof of Concept”, under which grants of up to EUR 150 000 will be made available to researchers already holding ERC grants, to bridge the gap between their research and the ‘earliest stage of a marketable innovation’.
ERC grant holders can thus apply for additional funding to “establish the innovation potential of ideas arising from their ERC-funded frontier research projects”.
These grants will be used for activities such as technical validation, market research, clarifying the intellectual property rights position and strategy, or investigating commercial and business opportunities. The aim is to support grant holders in preparing a "package" to be presented to venture capitalists or companies who may be interested in investing in the technology, and taking it through the early commercialization phase.
The first ERC Proof of Concept call was published on 29 March with deadlines in June and November 2011. The total funding available in the first call is EUR 10 Mio and the scheme is expected to continue in 2012. The call is open to all Principal Investigators benefitting from a currently ongoing ERC grant or a grant that ended less than 12 months before the publication date of the call. The funding is for up to one year per grant.
For more information, visit the ERC website.
The European Union Adopts its First Pilot Partnership Under EU 2020 Flagship Initiative
On 9 March, the European Council endorsed the proposal from the European Commission to launch an innovation partnership on active and healthy aging.
The objective of this initiative is to increase the life expectancy of Europeans by an average of two years by 2020 by bringing together actors from public and private sectors. Gathering key stakeholders from both the demand and supply side to work on research, innovation and standardization issues, this partnership aims at enabling EU citizens to lead healthy, active and independent lives as well as improve social welfare and health-care systems. It could also be an opportunity to identify potential barriers to innovation as related to healthy aging, and boosting market to overcome them.
EU-Funded Research Projects Discover New Antibiotics Against Resistant Bacterial Infections
This year's World Health Day focuses on the growing threat of potentially deadly infections developing resistance to antimicrobial drugs – especially to antibiotics. On this occasion, the European Commission is presenting the promising results of two EU-funded international research projects which provide new hopes to help and treat people. In the European Union alone, it is estimated that drug resistant infections cause more than 25,000 deaths and €1.5 billion in extra healthcare costs every year.
A new substance to tackle drug resistant tuberculosis
The project NM4TB, which gathers 18 research teams from 13 countries, discovered a novel class of substances, called benzothiazinones (BTZ) that could be used in the treatment of tuberculosis and drug resistant tuberculosis. These substances act by preventing the bacteria that cause tuberculosis from constructing their cell wall. This discovery represents an important breakthrough in the battle against tuberculosis as the most advanced compound of this new class, BTZ043, is also effective against extensively drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB).
Exploiting genetic resources to find new antibiotics
18 research teams from 9 European countries and the Republic of Korea joined forces in the project ActinoGEN to discover and develop new antibiotics by exploiting the genetic resources of a group of bacteria called actinomycetes. Previous studies on the genomes of actinomycetes suggested that these bacteria had the potential to produce many new antibiotics. The researchers identified one entirely novel lead antibiotic by exploring the bacterial species Streptomyces ambofaciens, and engineered additional antibiotics by combinatorial biosynthesis. The project has generated 8 patents.
A wide array of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi, are becoming resistant to drugs that are used to treat infections. This resistance, which is called antimicrobial resistance (AMR), is a major obstacle to the treatment of infectious diseases worldwide. Faced with the extent of AMR, and the dwindling number of effective antimicrobial drugs, the World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that it considers AMR to be one of the greatest threats to human health.
Tackling AMR requires investing in research and innovation. The EU has prioritized research in this field, supporting numerous research projects with a total amount of approximately €300 million since 1999. Priorities include developing novel medicines and therapies, defining the optimal use of existing antimicrobial drugs, developing diagnostic tools, monitoring the spread of resistance and basic research on pathogenic organisms. EU-funded projects have helped to better understand resistance mechanisms and to identify novel antimicrobial compounds that may lead to future drugs.
For more information, please contact Charlotte Gugenheim (email@example.com), Communication Officer, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission.
NIH Launches Training Institute on Dissemination and Implementation Research
Although experts know the best evidence-based strategies to treat many conditions, health care providers do not always practice those strategies.
How to conduct research to close this gap (called dissemination and implementation health research) will be the subject of a five-day training session that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will hold Aug. 1-5, 2011.
The sessions, the first NIH Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health, will feature a faculty of leading experts from a variety of behavioral and social science disciplines.
- designing for dissemination and implementation;
- design, measurement and evaluation;
- global health;
- participatory approaches to dissemination and implementation;
- addressing health disparities;
- cost effectiveness and economics and dissemination and implementation in the context of health care reform.
Applications are being accepted through April 15, 2011.
For more information: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/apr2011/od-04.htm
IMI Announces a New Total of 23 Unique Projects to Boost Drug Innovation
Brussels, 8 March 2011
The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), currently the largest public-private partnership in the biopharmaceutical sector, launches its second wave of research projects which address key areas including cancer, immune-mediated diseases, infectious disorders and electronic health. With 23 projects now up and running, over €450 million is now committed by the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) on a uniquely large scale. IMI is shaping the current and future research and development of innovative drugs in Europe.
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science said: "By speeding up drug development across Europe, the investments made by the IMI will ultimately save and improve lives, as well as making a major contribution to the Innovation Union and to growth and jobs."
With a budget of €172 million, 8 new IMI projects are being launched in March and April. The project consortia include 21 EFPIA members represented by 65 EFPIA teams who are working together with partners from 103 academic teams, 23 SMEs and 2 patient organizations.
Roch Doliveux, CEO of UCB and member of the Board of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Association (EFPIA) says, ’The industry has reached an inflection point where public private partnerships, based on open innovation networks, will improve the efficiency of the pharmaceutical companies in bringing safe, efficacious, cost-effective treatments to patients. EFPIA considers IMI as a key instrument to implement the new business models which will ensure the sustainability of pharmaceutical industries across Europe.’’
The 8 new projects deal with health concerns, identified by scientific priority and industry needs, will develop new patient treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and infectious diseases.
PREDECT, ONCOTRACK, QUIC-CONCEPT all focus on developing better tools for diagnosing and treating lung, prostate, ovarian, breast and colon cancers and are covered by IMI's 'efficacy' pillar along with RAPP-ID and BTCure which aim to facilitate the development of novel diagnostic tools related to infectious diseases and rheumatoid arthritis. DDMoRe, OPEN-PHACTS and EHR4CR fall under IMI's 'Knowledge Management' pillar in developing new methods dedicated to common standards and sharing data on common platforms for more efficient drug-development and patient treatments for the future. The projects will run for between 36 – 60 months. Detailed factsheets are available in the Press Pack and on the IMI website.
Ruxandra Draghia-Akli, Director Health in the Research & Innovation DG of the European Commission says, 'It is encouraging that IMI is launching 8 new innovative projects in areas as different as cancer or diagnostic tools for infectious diseases. Results from IMI projects that have been selected from the first call already demonstrate how this novel public-private collaboration is delivering results that can make a difference in how drugs are developed, for the benefit of patients in Europe and worldwide.'
The first-wave IMI projects, now up and running for around one year, are already providing tangible benefits, delivered through the constructive engagement of industry competitors, academia, patient groups and SMEs. These first contributions are made possible by the collaborative spirit of scientists from industry and academia along with SMEs, patient organizations and regulatory agencies who form the IMI project consortia.
Michel Goldman, Executive Director of IMI says, 'The uniqueness of what IMI is doing to facilitate innovation in the biopharmaceutical sector is the scale of the collaborative research now being undertaken and it’s changing how drug development happens. It is clear that IMI is performing a vital role in working towards finding better solutions for patients across Europe.'
IMI is fostering a new environment of collaboration and innovation to shape the future of the biopharmaceutical sector in Europe.
The 8 new projects are:
Development of future curative treatments for early intervention against rheumatoid arthritis
Establishment of standards for common tools to enhance modeling and simulation technologies
Identification of new models to predict the response of patients to cancer treatments.
Development of new models for novel treatments of breast, prostate and lung cancer
Identification of specific imaging biomarkers to improve cancer drug development
Development of a point-of-care test for rapid detection of microbes
Development of an open access innovation platform dedicated to drug discovery using a semantic web approach
Development of a electronic health records platform to support R&D projects on innovative medicines
IMI runs a €2 billion research program aiming to speed up the discovery and development of safer and more effective drugs for patients and to reinvigorate the biopharmaceutical sector in Europe. The main goal of this innovative funding scheme is to focus on collaborative research efforts which will produce new solutions to some of the most relevant health issues facing Europe today.
In these 23 IMI projects 225 different research groups from 23 major pharmaceutical companies affiliated to EFPIA are collaborating with 298 academic teams drawn from across Europe. The partnerships include 47 SMEs and 11 patient organizations and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
The partners within the project consortia cross traditional industry and geographical boundaries, co-operating to deliver real results through 'working smarter ' to offer concrete solutions to solving health problems across a range of diseases and disorders. The diversity of European expertise is evident across the 23 projects - most European member states are represented, demonstrating Europe's ability to act together to move towards a future of innovation excellence.
The first wave of 15 projects have already produced some concrete output. The IMI NEWMEDS project include the biggest database ever compiled on schizophrenia - with more than 10,000 patients included - and pioneer mechanistic studies combining genetic and imaging approaches through the participation of 9 pharmaceutical companies, 7 academic teams and SMEs.
The IMI U-BIOPRED project, which has 35 participants drawn from across 13 European member states, has developed an international consensus statement on the classification of patients with severe asthma and produced a new algorithm for use in clinical research.
IMI Education and Training Programs, PharmaTrain, EMTRAIN, Eu2P and SafeSciMET have now successfully launched new European standards for graduate and post-graduate courses in medicines research through the extensive collaboration of 85 public and private partners, including 4 regulatory authorities.
IMI also provides a new forum for a balanced dialog with the regulatory agencies and patients' organizations, seen in practice in the IMI PROTECT project where the EMA coordinates efforts to develop innovative pharmacovigilance tools based on patient-reported outcomes. The IMI SAFE-T project has already initiated a dialog with the Food & Drugs Administration (FDA) and the EMA about the strategy to be followed to qualify biomarkers for drug safety in clinical trials.
IMI's third wave of projects which are under construction will cover key areas for the development of innovative medicines for conditions including autism, tuberculosis, diabetes and research on safety of drugs and vaccines. More information on the Call 3 topics is available on the IMI website: www.imi.europa.eu
New Report on European Participation in U.S. Federal Science & Technology Research Funding Programs
A new report by the Link2US project has been released, that looks at key issues EU-based researchers/institutions face when applying to and participating in the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding programs. NIH is the largest U.S. program in which there is direct funding of EU-based researchers/institutions.
The report, European Participation in U.S. Federal Science & Technology Research Funding Programs: Survey of Researchers and Institutions on National Institutes of Health Grant Funding, surveyed researchers and institutions in the EU, through their grant administrators, who received direct NIH awards during U.S. fiscal years 2003-2010.
For more information please visit the website at:
European Commission On-line Consultation on the Modernization of Higher Education
Europe 2020 - the EU's strategic agenda for growth - stresses the vital role of the European higher education sector in developing human capital and driving research and innovation in the knowledge economy. As part of its efforts to help develop higher education in Europe, the European Commission plans to adopt a new Communication on the modernisation of higher education in the third quarter of 2011. This will provide strategic direction for the development of European higher education in the next ten years, including in the areas of education, research and innovation. This new Communication will review progress towards the objectives set out in the 2006 Communication on modernisation higher education and propose action to respond to the challenges of the new decade.
To help prepare the new Communication, the European Commission is currently undertaking a wide-ranging consultation with stakeholders in European higher education. As part of this, I would like to invite you to complete a short online questionnaire, asking for your views on priorities for higher education, including its research and innovation dimensions, in the period up to 2020.
The questionnaire will take around 10 minutes to complete. You can complete it in English, French or German, through the following links:
The questionnaire will be open until 15 March 2011. I would like to thank you in advance for your contribution
A New “Degree Qualifications Profile”
The Lumina Foundation for Education, Inc. released last month a Degree Qualifications Profile. The Degree Profile, drafted collaboratively by four noted experts, is a baseline set of reference points for what graduates should know and be able to do with the degrees they’ve earned. It lays out a series of specific learning outcomes in five broad categories — outcomes that students must achieve to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, regardless of their field of specialization. In December the drafters met in Indianapolis to review the comments received and to make revisions to the working draft. The Foundation will now release the proposed Degree Profile – what they are calling a “beta version” – for broad discussion; for testing, implementing, and improving.
At its core, the Degree Profile is an effort to create a practical tool that all stakeholders can use to clearly define — and thus begin to ensure — high-quality, college-level learning. Though it is certainly designed to help institutions meet quality standards, it is by no means an effort to promote standardization. In fact, the Degree Profile is meant to facilitate and encourage the institutional diversity that has long been a strength of the American higher education system.
You can obtain a copy of the full document here: www.luminafoundation.org/publications, and are invited to help Lumina shape this “beta” version through testing.
An email address for questions and comments on the Degree Profile has been setup at the following address: DegreeProfile@LuminaFoundation.org.
Public consultation: The external dimension of the EU energy policy
The Communication "Energy 2020 - A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy" recognized the need to strengthen the external dimension of the EU energy policy as one of the key priorities in the coming years.
A public consultation was launched on 21st December with the deadline for submission of the 21 February to seek interested parties' views (inside and outside EU) on possible priorities and possible new initiatives in the field of external energy policy. "Research and Innovation" is one of the important aspects to be addressed in this context.
Public Consultation on Space Infrastructures and Space Exploration
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on a possible future action for the protection of space infrastructures and for space exploration. The objective of the public consultation is to obtain the views of the public, as well as concerned stakeholders.
All citizens and organizations are welcome to contribute to this consultation. You can submit your contribution to the consultation until 28 February 2011, via the following link:
New EU-US Transatlantic IPR Web Portal
The new EU-US Transatlantic IPR web portal has been launched:
The web site contains a section on EU and US IPR tool kits for different world regions http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/initiatives/ipr/country-toolkits/index_en.htm
Erasmus Mundus Open for European Students
EU Students Encouraged to Apply for Erasmus Mundus Programs
The Erasmus Mundus program offers scholarships to students and to doctoral candidates from all over the world to follow Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses and Joint Doctorates. While the program has been operating for a number of years, it is only since the 2010 selection that students from the EU have been eligible for these scholarships. EU citizens are encouraged to apply for Erasmus Mundus Master and Doctoral programs.
Candidates wishing to enroll in an Erasmus Mundus Joint Program at masters or doctoral level in the academic year 2011/2012, will have to apply directly to the consortium or consortia of their choice during the period November 2010 – January 2011. Applicants should note that each consortium is responsible for designing and implementing its own selection procedure, criteria and timetable. As a result, the scholarship/fellowship application deadline will vary from one consortium to another. Applications are made direct to the consortium.
Erasmus Mundus Joint Program consortia will have to submit their list of candidates proposed for an Erasmus Mundus scholarship/fellowship to the European Commission by 28 February 2011 and the applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application by April 2011.
On the Erasmus Mundus website, you can consult a range of FAQs for students, as well as the Erasmus Mundus Program Guide.
If after having consulted the information contained on the website, applicant students or doctoral candidates have additional questions concerning the Erasmus Mundus scholarship/fellowship scheme, they can address them to the Erasmus Mundus Unit in the Executive Agency for Education, Culture and Audiovisual.
Erasmus Mundus National Structures in EU countries can also provide information on Erasmus Mundus.
15th EUROPEAN CAREER FAIR @ MIT, Boston, 22 January 2010
Submit your resume NOW at www.euro-career.com!
Deadline for submission: Friday December 3, 2010
Registration is free!
ECF 2011: What to expect?
- January 22, 2011 - Career Fair Day with exhibits and presentations by representatives from industry, academia and research.
- January 23 – 24, 2011 - Interviews for selected candidates. ECF-affiliated seminars on career development, opportunities and other activities.
ECF 2011: Why should you attend?
- It's big! The ECF is the largest career fair of its kind in the US with more than 130 companies and over 4000 participants.
- Variety! ECF aims to represent the full breadth of the European job market, whether you are looking for a job in industry or in the non-profit sector.
- Diversity! ECF welcomes candidates from all backgrounds and all levels of experience.
- Interviews! Our searchable database allows employers to view your resume, and schedule interviews with selected candidates.
- Networking! You will have the opportunity to connect with many employers and other candidates on the day of the Fair.
Submit your resume today!
For more information visit our website at http://www.euro-career.com
Visit us also on Facebook http://goo.gl/azp2 and
Best of luck and see you at the ECF 2011.
The ECF 2011 organizing team.
EU Consultation on International Cooperation in Higher Education From 2014 On
The current Erasmus Mundus program will run until 31 December 2013. To prepare the new program, we need to start thinking now, in the light of the experiences of existing programs in the higher education field but also in the light of the EU's new policy objectives (Europe 2020).
This consultation therefore looks to the future, focusing on strategic questions for the design of what could be a new EU program for international cooperation in higher education from 2014 on. Through these questions the Commission wants to find out about the needs, ambitions, objectives and preferences of everyone concerned.
The consultation is not an evaluation of the current Erasmus Mundus program. A detailed interim evaluation of the program will be launched separately to identify the main strengths and weaknesses of the existing program and to propose improvements in the way it is run. This will also feed the Commission's proposal for a new program.
Contributions are particularly sought from:
- Authorities from non-EU partner countries which may or may not already participate in the Erasmus Mundus or other international cooperation programs;
- Higher education and training institutions, bodies working in the field of post-secondary education and individuals (notably scholars, teachers, students and trainees) for whom the current or similar programs are designed (whether they have taken part in the program or not);
Please access the consultation page at:
NIH Announces New Program to Accelerate Research Independence
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) intends to invest approximately $60 million over the next five years in the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award (EIA) program to help junior investigators leapfrog over traditional post-doctoral training and move into independent academic positions at U.S. institutions, directly upon completion of their graduate research degrees. The NIH expects to issue up to 10 awards in fall 2011. To apply for these awards, exceptional junior investigators must identify a host institution. Alternatively, institutions may actively recruit exceptional junior scientists to apply for these positions. These awards will be very selective, and each institution may only submit two applications. EIA recipients will receive up to $250,000 in direct costs per year for up to five years for research that complements and enhances an institution's research program. The deadline for submitting Early Independence Award applications is Jan. 21, 2011.
Symposium on Transatlantic EU - U.S. Cooperation in the Field of Large Scale Research Infrastructures: Sparking off sustainable dialogue and cooperation
The Symposium on Transatlantic EU - U.S. Cooperation in the Field of Large Scale Research Infrastructures was held in Rome on October 1, 2010. Organized by the BILAT-USA Project in cooperation with the European Commission and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the Symposium brought together high level experts and representatives from the European Commission and NSF as well as leading representatives of Research Infrastructure projects in Europe and the U.S. Participants from the EU and the U.S. have expressed the need to strengthen the systematic exchange of information and experience, and have identified a number of areas that provide opportunities for future collaboration.
At the end of the symposium, there was mutual agreement that the experiences and ideas discussed during the plenary and parallel sessions had seriously boosted awareness, knowledge and commitment on both sides to improve transatlantic cooperation on large scale research infrastructures. Based on the outcomes of the parallel sessions various follow up activities, such as thematic workshops, will be organized in 2011. Additionally, the Symposium Report will provide future perspectives not only in cross-cutting areas such as management of and access to research infrastructures , but also in various thematic topics such as the cyber-infrastructure, e-infrastructure, cyber-security, environment, particle physics and astronomy, as well as biological and medical sciences, which were covered during the parallel sessions.
For further information and documentation, please visit the symposium’s web-site: http://www.euussciencetechnology.eu/home/risymposium
Purpose & Scope: The purpose of the EU-U.S. symposium on Large Scale Research Infrastructures (LSRI) was to increase mutual understanding and raise awareness on planning and management processes of the LSRI in Europe and in the USA. The symposium brought together major LSRI funding organizations, representatives from the European Commission and the U.S. National Science Foundation as well as related experts and scientists to discuss how LSRI are developed and managed, the priorities and strategic perspectives for development of LSRI, ongoing initiatives at the EU Level, national level in Europe and in the USA, as well as good practice examples on selected topics of mutual interest including recommendations for tackling challenges to trans-Atlantic cooperation.
The full-day event was organized in plenary sessions in the morning followed by 4 theme-specific parallel sessions in the afternoon (see attached Agenda).
The purpose of the plenary sessions was to highlight and discuss the opportunities and challenges faced in LSRI development and management by EU and U.S. The specific objectives include:
- The reflection on current trends in LSRI in Europe and in the U.S.
- The enhancement of dialogue and the knowledge exchange between major stakeholders in EU and U.S.
The objective of the parallel sessions was to promote good knowledge sharing practices in the selected thematic fields, to identify obstacles to collaboration, and to contribute towards developing new strategies and modalities in future collaboration that address these issues. Parallel sessions provided overviews of the selected projects supported by EU and U.S. and presented the results of these projects as well as shared experiences and lessons on transatlantic cooperation. Based on the presentations and discussions, suggestions and recommendations for addressing issues to further strengthen the collaboration within these themes will be drafted.
Agenda: Please find it attached
Date & Place: Rome, 1 October 2010
Organized by: BILAT-USA Project
For Questions & Further Information:
Ms. Sabine Herlitschka (Project Coordinator)
Ms. Berna Windischbaur (Project Manager)
6th Annual French American Competition for Innovative Entrepreneurs
Retis, the French innovation network, launched on October 7, 2010, the "Young Entrepreneurs Initiative" (YEi) competition for innovative entrepreneurs interested in creating their ventures in France.
Between six and ten entrepreneurs will receive customized support from YEi and its transatlantic partners. Not only they will access the YEi's broad network of prestigious incubators, mentors, and investors but also benefit from a one-week mission to France to meet their potential partners.
Application deadline: December 31, 2010
WHO CAN APPLY?
Any individual residing in the United States, regardless of age, nationality or professional situation, whose project encompasses the creation of an innovative company in France.
The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics Goes to European Research Council Grantee, Prof. Konstantin Novoselov
Professor Konstantin Novoselov has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics "for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene". Professor Novoselov was awarded the ERC Starting Grant in 2007 for his project on the same material.
Aged 36, Professor Novoselov, Russian and UK citizen, is one of the youngest Nobel Prize winners. He received both an ERC grant and now, together with his colleague Prof. Andre Geim, the Nobel Prize for his studies of "Graphene", a one-atom-thick crystal with unusual quantum conductive properties. It is tipped for a number of future applications in electronics and photonics. This prestigious award demonstrates once more the trust and support the ERC gives to young top researchers and is also a recognition of the type of work funded by the ERC, focused on research at the frontier of knowledge.
After the news was announced by the Nobel Committee on 5 October, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, said "I am thrilled that the Nobel Prize for physics has gone to the holder of a European Research Council grant. My warmest congratulations to Professor Novoselov and to his colleague Professor. Andre Geim. Europe can be proud of them and of their work. This is a first for the European Research Council, and I hope more Nobel Prizes will follow as a result of this valuable European investment in the best scientists and in their innovative research in Europe."
ERC President Professor Helga Nowotny and ERC Executive Agency Director, Jack Metthey, wrote to this new Nobel Laureate: "On behalf of the European Research Council, we warmly congratulate you on the award of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics and we are proud of the support the Starting Grant Scheme provides to you. Today's announcement is truly exceptional in its recognition of the achievements of a scientist early in his career and a clear signal of the outstanding quality of the emerging generation of European scientists. It is also a good example of how funding frontier research supports work with enormous potential
Visit of NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco with the Joint Research Centre’s Director General Dr. Roland Schenkel
A delegation from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) met with JRC representatives on 22 September 2010 to discuss current collaborations and the potential for future collaborations between the two organizations. NOAA is a federal scientific agency within the U.S. Department for Commerce and a world leading authority on environmental issues. The delegation was lead by Dr. Jane Lubchenco who is the current Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere within this department, and NOAA's Administrator.
The JRC's Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) and Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) currently collaborate with NOAA on a variety of topics including tsunami modeling and tropical cyclone forecasts for early alert/warning systems, as well as activities in the field Earth observation, such as flood forecasting and work on the Global Climate Observing System. Discussions at the meeting proved fruitful and, in addition to the one current formal agreement between the two organizations, NOAA's participation in the International Ocean Color Coordinating Group (IOCCG) managed by the JRC, the two organizations now hope to establish more formal collaborations in the future.
Joint Research Centre: www.jrc.ec.europa.eu
New Call for Proposals - ERC Starting Grants
New opportunities for early-career top researchers from anywhere in the world:
€661 Million for new "ERC Starting Grant" call
On 20 July 2010, the European Research Council (ERC) announced its fourth call for proposals for the "ERC Starting Grants", open to early-career top researchers of any nationality, working - or moving to work - in host institutions in Europe. The total budget for this call amounts to €661 million, which is an increase of just over 25% from last year's call. This brings the ERC budget earmarked for early-career researchers to the same level as its funds available for senior researchers ("ERC Advanced Grants").
Deadlines by domain:
- Physical Sciences & Engineering (ERC-2011-STG_20101014):
14 October 2010, 17:00:00 (Brussels local time)
- Life Sciences(ERC-2011-STG_20101109):
09 November 2010, 17:00:00 (Brussels local time)
- Social Sciences & Humanities (ERC-2011-STG_20101124):
24 November 2010, 17:00:00 (Brussels local time)
New Calls for Proposals under the 'Cooperation', 'Capacities', 'People' and 'Ideas' Programs of the Seventh Framework Program (FP7).
The European Commission's Directorate-General for Research has published a series of calls for proposals under the 'Cooperation', 'Capacities', 'People' and 'Ideas' Programs of the Seventh Framework Program (FP7).
The calls come under a wide variety of themes and topics, including:
- food, agriculture and fisheries,
- 'Future Internet',
- 'the ocean of tomorrow',
- information and communication technologies (ICT),
- automotive-related topics, including ICT, green technology and power storage technologies,
- joint initiatives with third countries, such as Russia and Japan,
- strengthening cooperation with Europe's neighbors and joint science and technology centers in third countries,
- nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies;
buildings and energy efficiency,
- the GALILEO satellite system,
- ecological innovation,
- international staff exchanges, Marie Curie Initial Training Networks, Marie Curie Industry-Academia pathways,
- Starting Independent Researcher Grants,
- Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs)
- security research,
- building regional research potential,
- research benefitting small and medium enterprises,
- science and society,
- socio-economic sciences and humanities,
- future and emerging technologies.
The budgets vary from call to call as do conditions for eligibility and deadlines.
To see the full details of the call, please consult the following web address:
To see the official call announcement in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ No C 196 of 20 July 2010), please click: here
New call for proposals planned to be published on 20 July 2010 - ERC Starting Grants
This grant competition is targeted at early-career research leaders, of any age, with 2-12 years of experience after their PhD. The researchers can be of any nationality as long as they are working, or moving to work, in Europe.
The competition is open to proposals in any field of research (from Socials Sciences and Humanities to Life Sciences and Physical Sciences). The available call budget is 660 Mio Euro.
An email alert will be sent out on 20 July to announce the call and its deadlines. The three deadlines will be throughout this autumn (depending on scientific domain).
More on the ERC Grants
Background:Set up in 2007, the European Research Council (ERC) aims to stimulate scientific excellence in Europe by supporting the very best, creative researchers. The ERC funds both top senior scientists ("ERC Advanced Grants") and younger, early-career research leaders ("ERC Starting Grants"). Scientific excellence is the only selection criterion in the ERC's peer reviewed grant competitions. The ERC operates according to an "investigator-driven", or "bottom- up", approach and there are no thematic priorities.
The ERC has a total budget of € 7.5 billion (2007-2013) and is the newest, pioneering component of the EU's 7th Research Framework Program.
From July 1st, Robert-Jan Smits is the new Director-General of DG RTD
Robert-Jan Smits is Director-General of DG Research. His previous assignment was Deputy Director-General of DG JRC where he was responsible for Programmes and Stakeholder Relations, Resource Management, and three Institutes, being the Institute for Energy, the Institute for Environment and Sustainability and the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies.
Before that Mr. Smits was Director for the European Research Area: Research Programmes and Capacity at DG RTD, where his responsibilities included: Joint Programming, coordination of national research programmes, cooperation with intergovernmental research organisations (EIROforum, EUREKA, COST), Research Infrastructures, Regions of Knowledge, Research Potential and the relations with the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Robert-Jan Smits was born in 1958. He has degrees from Utrecht University in The Netherlands, Institut Universitaire d’Hautes Etudes Internationales in Switzerland and Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy in the United States of America.
Mapping the Future of the EU-US Strategic Partnership: Policy and Research Perspective
The proceedings of the conference are now available on the web. The conference was intended to provide a forum for dialogue between research and policy across the Atlantic in a time where the European Union is defining its new roles and modes of operation following the entry into force of the Lisbon treaty and President Obama's Administration entered its second year facing complex and difficult choices and challenges.
European Space Agency solicitation for proposals - Parabolic Flights
European Space Agency has for 25 years provided opportunities for research during Parabolic Flights that provide weightlessness repeatedly in periods of about 20 seconds. For more than 10 years the A300 aircraft has been used providing large volume and excellent environment for research in wide variety of areas.
The A300 has now been certified for flying parabolas that provides, in addition to microgravity, reduced gravity levels of 0.16 g for approximately 23 s and 0.38 g for approximately 30 s. These gravity levels correspond to Lunar and Martian gravity levels.
This will allow for research related to partial gravity characteristics in a variety of scientific fields in physical sciences (e.g. fluid and soft matter physics), life sciences (cell, plant and animal biology, human physiology) and technology.
In particular in life sciences, investigations can be conducted on organ systems, as well as opportunities to understand how humans, small animals, cells and plants are affected by a low gravity environment similar to those on the Moon and Mars. Many issues of relevance for the preparation of future human space exploration that includes stays on the surface of planetary bodies can also be investigated.
ESA is soliciting for proposals that take stock of the possibilities that are provided by the Parabolic Flight program specifically for reduced gravity levels of 0.16g and 0.38 g.
Please visit http://www.esa.int/parabolicflight for further information on the ESA Parabolic Flights and on how to prepare and submit research proposals.
Proposals for reduced gravity levels of 0.16 g and 0.38 g should be received before 31 August 2010.
Call for Proposals - Getting to Know Europe: Local and Regional Communities and the European Union
The Delegation of the European Union in Washington, DC, invites proposals for programs that promote a greater knowledge, within local and regional communities in the United States, of the European Union (EU), its international role, and the value and significance of the EU-US transatlantic partnership.
All activities should be targeted at local and regional audiences in the US, with applicants expected to bring together a range of local and regional groups and to propose a package of events. Constituencies to be engaged may include but are not limited to local and state governmental officials, students and teachers, business people, the NGO community, and other elements of civil society.
These activities should explain what the EU is and what it does, to raise awareness about EU policies and institutions, the EU’s role as an international actor in the economic and political field, and the value of the EU-US relationship. Activities can include conferences, competitions, publications and other information products, study visits or town twinning arrangements with EU counterparts. All activities must take place between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012.
To find out more, go to: http://www.eurunion.org/eu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3743
Application Deadline: 13 September 2010
EU, US Nanotech Research: A Coordinated Call for Proposals Has Been Launched
A coordinated call has been launched by the European Union (EU) and US for research proposals within the framework of their cooperation on the environmental, health and safety (EHS) impacts of engineered nanoparticles.
The initiative is a coordinated effort by the European Commission (EC) and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Center of Environmental Research (NCER) with the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
EPA as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, NSF, and NIFA, are seeking applications proposing research to provide data that improves the scientific understanding of the fate/transport and behavior of engineered nanomaterials.
Fostering international research collaboration is one aim of the solicitation. It is encouraged and will be evaluated as part of the peer review evaluation.
It’s anticipated that about seven awards, in the form of grants or cooperative agreements, will be made. EPA will fund up to three awards ($1.8-million); NSF will fund up to two awards ($1.2-million); and USDA/NIFA will fund no more than two awards ($1.2-million). There will about $4.2-million total available for all awards.
Potential funding per award will be up to a total of $600,000, including direct and indirect costs, with a maximum duration of four years. Cost-sharing is not required.
For more details, visit: <www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/2010/2010_star_nano.html>
On the European side, the deadline for proposals on modeling toxicity behavior of engineered nanoparticles under the EC’s 7th Framework Program (FP7) is expected to be extended to Jan.28 2010 to give researchers time to develop solid proposals with research teams from both sides of the Atlantic.
The maximum possible funding request under the EC’s FP7 program is 1-million euros and the overall indicative budget is 6-million euros. Proposals require coordination with a US project funded by one of the listed US federal agencies. While the FP7 project and US grant will be legally separate, they will be coordinated closely.
(SOURCE: Federal Technology Watch - 16 Nov 09)
New Book Examines Academic Collaboration between the U.S. and Europe
A new book has been released by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and Freie Universität Berlin on collaborative degree programs. The volume is a result of a project that was conducted under the Atlantis program. It focuses mainly on joint and double degrees at bachelor and masters level. However, many of the issues outlined in the book could also be of relevance for joint PhD programs.
The new book released on November 2 by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and Freie Universität Berlin features practical recommendations for developing and delivering collaborative degree programs between U.S. and European universities. The publication, Joint and Double Degree Programs: An Emerging Model for Transatlantic Exchange, features articles and insights from higher education administrators and practitioners on both sides of the Atlantic who are seeking to equip their students with the international experience, perspective and skills to succeed in today's global economy.
As professional collaboration with colleagues and customers in other countries increases across sectors, colleges and universities around the world are looking to joint and double degree programs as a way to offer their students meaningful international experiences. The diverse language and cultural fluencies they obtain will help prepare them for successful careers, whether in business, government or academia.
The new book and a related survey are part of a project sponsored by the "European Union-United States Atlantis Program" jointly administered and funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) and the European Commission's Directorate General for Education and Culture. The project was launched in cooperation with several leading U.S. and European institutions including IIE and the State University of New York in the U.S., and Freie Universität Berlin, the Franco-German University, and the Latvian Rectors' Council in the EU.
- Read about the Transatlantic Degree Programs project: www.iienetwork.org/?p=TDP
- Buy the book: www.iiebooks.org
- see full press release: www.iie.org
IIE Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education
The Institute of International Education recently announced a new Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education, to assist colleges and universities in developing and sustaining institutional partnerships with their counterparts around the world. See announcement: www.iie.org
Open Doors 2009
IIE released new data in international educational exchange from Open Doors 2009 on November 16, 2009.
See http://www.opendoors.iienetwork.org for more details.
New EU-US Energy Council to boost transatlantic energy cooperation
A new EU-US Energy Council was launched on 4 November 2009 in Washington. The meeting brought together the Commissioners for Energy, Andris Piebalgs, External Relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Research, Janez Potočnik, with the US Secretary of State, Hilary Rodham Clinton and US Secretary for Energy Steven Chu to launch the EU-US Energy Council. The EU-US Energy Council will provide a new framework for deepening the transatlantic dialogue on strategic energy issues such as security of supply or policies to move towards low carbon energy sources while strengthening the ongoing scientific collaboration on energy technologies.
"The Energy Council is a timely initiative in the context of growing global concerns on energy security and the important role that the energy sector has in climate change. Elevating these discussions between us to a political level underscores the importance we both attach to this area of our relationship", said Commissioner Piebalgs.
"I want to see energy security and climate change centre stage in all our partnerships around the world, and it is the right moment to step up our cooperation with the US. As two of the greatest consumers of energy, we have a responsibility to work together to find solutions to some of the most challenging questions of our day", said External Relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner.
Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik added "Scientific cooperation to foster development of low carbon energy technologies will be a key pillar of this new EU-US Energy Council. The inclusion of research in this bilateral cooperation is also a political recognition of the importance of science to address our common challenges."
With the Energy Council, the European Union and the United States aim to deepen their bilateral energy cooperation and to address the growing challenges of global energy security, sustainability and climate change.
The European Representatives in the Energy Council will be the EU Commissioners for External Relations, for Energy, and for Science and Research, as well as the EU Presidency. Their counterparts on the US side will be the Secretaries of State and of Energy. It will meet annually, alternately in the EU and US, and report to the EU-US Summit.
The work of the Council will be structured through working groups of senior officials from both sides that will focus on three specific areas: Energy Policies, Global Energy Security and Global Markets, and Energy Technologies Research Cooperation.
The EU and the US agreed to develop strategic cooperation on energy and energy security, presented in a joint declaration at the EU-US Vienna Presidential Summit on 21 June 2006. The establishment of the EU-US Energy Council moves this bilateral energy cooperation up a gear, on the basis of more structured bilateral cooperation.
Examples of energy cooperation between the EU and the US to date include the initialling of a new Energy Star EU-US Agreement on the coordination of energy-efficient labelling programs for office equipment, and cooperation on the development of energy technologies such as hydrogen or the ITER project for nuclear fusion.
European Commission Adopted a Communication Paving the Way Towards a Public-Private Partnership on the Future Internet
The European Commission proposed on 28 October 2009 an EU-wide internet innovation strategy linking governments and different industry sectors across Europe. The strategy aims to improve key infrastructures to the European economy and society by making them better able to process massive amounts of data in their daily tasks. It calls on Europe's governments and its ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) sector to take advantage of the increasing demand for innovative applications of the internet to make existing infrastructures like healthcare systems, energy grids or traffic management 'smart'. To do this, it will launch a partnership between public authorities and major ICT players with a budget for 2011-2013 of €300 million available for projects to be selected in the near future, to complement the €200 million yearly ICT support to ongoing research for underlying internet technology.
Click here to access the Communication paving the way towards a public-private partnership on the Future Internet.
More information on the Future Internet sub-site on Europa web site.
"Challenging Futures of Science in Society - Emerging trends and cutting-edge issues" - Important FP7 Report Available On-line
The MASIS (Monitoring Science in Society Activities in Europe) Expert Group report "Challenging Futures of Science in Society - Emerging trends and cutting-edge issues" is accessible on line, on the Science-in-Society portal in the EUROPA server:
This is a forward-looking collective reflection on new developments and ideas at the interface of science in society (SiS), as dealt with by FP7 (Seventh Framework Program) , in the Capacities Specific Program. It contains the hypothesis for a European Model of SiS, and argues that the EU can play a leading role within the globally-observed trend towards contextualization and opening up of science to wider publics. The analyses provided are addressed to both researchers and policy makers and can be considered as an input to the full realization of the European Research Area, the Lisbon Strategy and the implementation of the Ljubljana Process.
ERC Released Updated Guide for Applicants
The European Research Council (ERC) has released an updated version of its Guide for Applicants to Grant Schemes. The guide provides revised practical information to interested applicants in preparing and submitting an application for an ERC grant. Additionally, it also gives readers a holistic view of the ERC peer evaluation process while presenting the key features of the ERC grant agreement as well as the management of ERC grants.
The guide is based on experiences gained from preceding calls and on the legal documents setting the rules and conditions for the ERC grant schemes. ERC grants are aimed at supporting frontier research projects, covering various fields.
You can access the guide from the ERC website
Erasmus Mundus: 63 New Masters Courses and Joint Doctorates Added to the Program
The European Commission has selected 50 Masters Courses and 13 Joint Doctorates to be added to the courses available under the EU's Erasmus Mundus Program for stronger European co-operation and international ties in higher education. The new courses involve 296 universities from Europe and 70 partner universities from a range of countries around the world. With the 50 newly-selected Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses, students starting their studies in the academic year 2010-2011 will be able to choose from among 116 Masters offering scholarships. The program has also selected 13 Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorates, a new element within the second phase of Erasmus Mundus, which kicked off this year.
This first call for proposals under the Erasmus Mundus program's second phase (2009-2013) was launched in February 2009. It prompted 182 applications for Masters Courses and 135 for Joint Doctorates from universities in Europe and their partners around the world.
New: Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorates
A major new element in this call for proposals was the selection of 13 Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorates, which together involve 65 EU universities and 12 universities from outside Europe. These doctoral-level training and research programs will also offer fellowships covering up to three years of doctoral activities. The selected Doctorates cover a wide spread of disciplines in natural sciences, life sciences and humanities. Students will join these courses during the 2010-2011 academic year.
Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses
The selected Masters Courses will operate for a period of five years. 231 European universities in 26 countries  are participating in the courses selected. The countries most prominently represented are Germany (31 universities), France (26), Spain (25), Italy (22), and Sweden (21). The courses offer a number of Erasmus Mundus scholarships to top-ranked students from "third countries" , and to "scholars" (academics) to teach or carry out research. The 50 new Masters Courses treat a wide variety of disciplines: the most popular area is engineering and technology, followed by social sciences, mathematics, natural sciences and agriculture.
This was the first selection year under which Masters applications could include universities from outside the EU as full partners in their consortium. As a result, 58 universities from non-EU countries - around 15% - are involved in the selected Masters courses. India, the US, Canada, Switzerland and China are the most-represented. Consortia with partners in third countries can also offer scholarships to European students or scholars to spend periods of study, teaching or research in one of the partner universities outside the EU.
The 50 newly-selected Masters Courses include 19 renewals: under this call for proposals, existing Masters Courses that had reached the end of their first five-year cycle were able to re-apply in competition with applications for new projects. 34 of these 36 projects re-applied, and 19 were selected. These 50 new Masters Courses join the 66  ongoing courses to bring the total of Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses offering scholarships in the next academic year (2010-2011) to 116.
Erasmus Mundus has been in operation since 2004, when the first 168 students and scholars were awarded scholarships to attend one of the first 19 Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses. In the six years up to and including the academic year 2009-2010, over 7800 students and more than 1600 scholars have been selected to study or research/teach under an Erasmus Mundus Masters Course scholarship. (SOURCE: RAPID Press Release, 6 Aug. 2009)
Lists of the selected courses [a more detailed description of all the courses, including links to the individual course websites, will be available in September]
EACEA: Erasmus Mundus [for more information and other opportunities for scholarships under the program]
European Commission: Erasmus Mundus [a general introduction to the program, Erasmus Mundus community news etc]
 In the 2009 call for proposals, universities were able to submit applications as co-ordinator of a consortium if they were from one of 30 eligible countries: the 27 EU Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
 All countries outside the 30 eligible countries mentioned above.
 One of the 67 projects which had not yet reached the end of its cycle nevertheless submitted a proposal under the 2009 call; this was selected as one of the 50 new Masters Courses.
New Resource on Research and Funding Opportunities in Germany
The new homepage of the German Federal “Research and Innovation“ Funding Advisory Service provides clearly structured information on funding opportunities, access to all documents concerning applications, details of current or completed Federal Government research projects and access to the research reports of projects that have been granted funding.
You will find there information about
- the research and funding structure of the Federal Government, Federal States and the European Commission
- R&D funding programs and the persons to contact
- the exploitation of research results and funding for patent applications
- technology-based start-up companies
- research and innovation funding for SMEs
- funding for young scientists
- international scientific and technological cooperation
To access the Federal “Research and Innovation“ Funding Advisory Service website, please go to: http://www.foerderinfo.bund.de/en/
Modernized EU staff selection methods promise an improved service and transparency for candidates
The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) took its first practical and very visible steps towards modernized and streamlined selection methods that are to become fully operational next year. For the first time, notices of competition are published in all 23 official languages. Prospective candidates are encouraged to take some voluntary interactive tests even before filling in the application form. This allows them to assess for themselves whether they are ready to take a selection competition. A clearer application form and on-line help for filling this in make the process much easier for candidates. Also, EPSO has launched a new, more intuitive layout of its website and a new brand and logo - under the slogan "EU career - smart choice". This emphasizes the wide range of attractive opportunities on offer from the EU institutions
There is growing recognition among the EU institutions of rapid improvements in performance, responsiveness and transparency now being achieved by the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO). Having convinced its stakeholders, EPSO's efforts in the coming months will focus on steadily improving the service it offers to candidates and on its marketing and advertising of competitions to specific target groups to ensure that sufficient candidates of the desired profile actually apply.
There is currently an acute shortage of candidate linguists applying to work as conference interpreters and translators and of suitably qualified applicants in more general fields, where citizens' awareness of European careers opportunities is lower.
A number of the EU institutions have expressed their appreciation of developments, as shown by the following comments:
Siim Kallas, Vice President of the European Commission: "This launch is the first practical step in EPSO's ambitious program for modernizing and streamlining its selection methods, making sure that we have a ready supply of the right people to come and work for us".
John Speed, Chairman of EPSO's Management Board and acting Secretary General of the European Court of Auditors: "EPSO has taken up the challenge to modernize selection procedures for the EU institutions and it is very encouraging to see the speed with which our plans are being brought to fruition".
Harald Rømer, Secretary General of the European Parliament: "Without EPSO we could not have dealt efficiently with the challenge of Enlargement in the field of recruitment. I greatly welcome its modernization plans and the speeding up of the recruitment process in order to meet future needs, while taking into account the diversity of the Institutions."
Roger Grass, Registrar of the Court of Justice and former Chairman of the Management Board of EPSO: "Since its creation a few years ago, EPSO has used all its resources to organize successfully, to the benefit of all the institutions, the numerous open competitions needed as a result of the enlargements of the EU in 2004 and 2007. This task has now been achieved and the action program established by EPSO, which from now on will be able to concentrate on increasing effectiveness, responsiveness, transparency and openness, is therefore to be welcomed."
Martin Westlake, Secretary General of the European Economic and Social Committee: "We have to be able to attract the right people for the right jobs, both for the sake of the European Union and its institutions but also for the sake of the candidates joining us. Modernizing the way the EU's institutions select staff is an important step in the right direction".
David Bearfield, Director of EPSO: "We must actively promote awareness of the many different careers opportunities we have to offer, in order to attract Europe's brightest and best to come and work for the EU".
The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) website: http://www.eu-careers.eu/
On 18 July 2008, EPSO announced a development program (IP EPSO/08/01) for modernizing its approach to selection of candidates. Complementing this is a strategy to attract good candidates from all over Europe. From 2010, candidates will be tested on the basis of competence rather than knowledge. The time lag between a candidate's initial application and taking up employment will be cut from over 15 months today, to just 5-9 months. This will be achieved by organizing competitions in annual cycles, from 2010. The first very visible and concrete steps towards implementation of this development program have been coordinated for simultaneous publication today.
The recent improvements in administrative procedures and transparency achieved by EPSO have also been noticed by the European Ombudsman. In a letter received from Mr Nikiforos Diamandouros in December 2008, EPSO was cited as one of "six star cases which illustrate how a constructive response to the Ombudsman's criticisms and suggestions can help promote a culture of service, thereby serving Europe's citizens better and winning their trust."
EIT recently published a call for experts
Dear EURAXESS Links USA Member,
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has published a call to establish a database of prospective independent experts to assist the institute with tasks in connection with the evaluation and implementation of Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs).
Applications from high level professionals are expected in a number of areas of expertise such as management of innovation, IPR and patenting, research, innovation in higher education etc.
To submit your application, please go to http://eit.europa.eu/experts.html
Web service for the Practical Guide to EU funding opportunities for Research and Innovation
CORDIS provides a full web service for the “Practical Guide to EU” funding opportunities for Research and Innovation. The service is available at http://cordis.europa.eu/eu-funding-guide/home_en.html
Supporting your ideas
Finding sources of funding
Combining different options
Understanding the roles of authorities
Checklist for funding – home page
Checklist for funding – step 1
Checklist for funding – step 2
Checklist for funding – step 2 (page 2)
Checklist for funding – step 3
Checklist for funding – step 4
Checklist for funding – step 5
Checklist for funding – step 6
Annexes – annex 1
Annexes – annex 2
Annexes – annex 3
Annexes – annex 4
Annexes – annex 5
Council’s conclusions concerning a European partnership for international scientific and technological cooperation
The last Competitiveness Council adopted recently conclusions concerning international scientific and technological cooperation. The Council encouraged Member States to establish a dialogue at the European level on the coordination of their international S&T cooperation policies and activities. The Council also invited the Member States and the European Commission to form a European Partnership based on the consultation and sharing of information in the field of international S&T cooperation. The objective of the Partnership will be to identify common priorities, which in turn could lead to coordinated or joint initiatives, and positions vis-à-vis third countries, and within international fora.
To access the document, please go to: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/intm/104442.pdf
New video launched to introduce CORDIS services
CORDIS, the Community Research and Development Information Service is the official source of information on the seventh framework programme (FP7) calls for proposals; it offers interactive web facilities that links together researchers, policymakers, managers and key players in the field of research.has launched a video highlighting the service and its component parts to European science and industry. A new video has been recently launched to introduce CORDIS services. Hosted on YouTube and AthenaWeb, the video combines an overview of CORDIS with on-location footage of projects and research funded by the European Commission.
The video can be accessed at: http://cordis.europa.eu/guidance/home_en.html
More information about CORDIS can be found at: http://cordis.europa.eu/home_en.html
“The Chemical Party” – a new Marie Curie promotion video awarded several prestigious prizes
The new video, published in May 2008, by now has reached the 1 million hit mark on You Tube and EU Tube. “Chemical Party” was the first price winner at this year’s New York Film Festival, won the 2008 EPICA award, and was a finalist at the Cannes Lions 2008. See why “The Chemical Party” is such a great success:
For more information about Marie Curie Actions, go to:
Social Sciences and Humanities research funded under FP7
The synopses of projects funded under the FP7 Socio-economic Sciences & Humanities program are available. Under the 1st deadline of the call FP7-SSH-2007-1 (20 May 2007), 65 projects were selected for funding. This working document presents the synopses of these projects with information on participating institutions and funding:
For more information about Social Science research funded under the Seventh Framework Program, please go to:
Start a technology venture between the US and France
Apply now to the Young Entrepreneurs Initiative (YEi).
Are you currently starting a technology venture? Think global.
We will help you study the feasibility of developing a tech-based venture between the US and France, the stepping-stone to Europe. Selected US-based entrepreneurs will benefit from a mentoring and networking program and organized business trips to France YEi offers a free, confidential and personalized service, with one stop access to:
- A network of successful Franco-American entrepreneurs
- Lead customers and business clusters
- World-class R&D; labs, shared platforms and low cost resources to build pilot projects
- Business angels, Vcs, and grants for early stage technology ventures
- The best R&D; tax credit in Europe with the opportunity to get off 50% of your R&D; expenses
- Incubators and local venture ecosystems with specific resources for US-based entrepreneurs