The European Commission organized a regional conference on Sunday 9 February 2014 to launch Horizon 2020 in the EuroMed region. The conference, "Meeting EuroMed Common Challenges", brought together around 500 policy makers, researchers, representatives from academia and industry and research institutes, technology transfer centers, incubators, and technology platforms from the Euromed region. Participants and speakers came from all over the Euromed region, including Egypt, Spain, Italy, UK, Germany, Greece, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan as well as representatives of the EC.
The opening session was addressed by Dr. Hazem Manosur, assistant Minister of Scientific research, and Dr. Elizabeth Lipiatou, Head of the Unit responsible for European Neighbourhood, Africa and Gulf countries at the Directorate General of Research and Innovation in the European Commission. The exhibition of success stories was opened by H.E. Prof. Ramzy George, Egyptian Minister of Scientific Research, and H.E. Ambassador James Moran, Head of European Union Delegation to Egypt.
Ambassador Moran said: "Horizon 2020 offers many opportunities for addressing EuroMed common societal challenges through cooperation in research and innovation. The programme will support scientists and researchers from courtiers across the two shores of the Mediterranean to work together. This is essential to social prosperity, political stability and economic sustainability, as well as the future prosperity of the region."
The conference succeeded in promoting Horizon 2020 and presenting its different components/programmes. Different parallel sessions at the conference initiated a dialogue and fostered knowledge sharing among stakeholders in different thematic areas of research and innovation. It also enabled policy makers, development organizations, research institutions and private sector to share their know-how, explore gaps and links between research and innovation, as well as develop an understanding of how research and innovation initiatives could create complementarities and synergies that allow leveraging potentials and addressing societal challenges in the region.
Proceedings of the conference will be posted on the conference website
Dr. Heba Gaber
Delegation of the EU to Egypt
Horizon 2020 was officially launched in Israel on 3 February 2014 at the Open University in Ra'anana. The event, organised by ISERD, attracted over 400 participants from academia, government and the private sector.
The number of participants and the lively exchanges that took place during question time and in the corridors highlighted Israeli researchers' keen interest in Horizon 2020. Keynote speeches were given by EC Director General Robert-Jan Smits and Israel's Chief Scientist Avi Hasson. These were followed by presentations by John Bell, Director Bioeconomy and Jean-David Malo, Head of Unit SMEs, Financial- instruments and State Aid at DG Research and Innovation, and DG Enterprise's special advisor Khoen Liem.
The evening before the launch, a dinner was held at the Head of Delegation's residence which provided the opportunity to discuss Israeli research and innovation, and the ongoing and future cooperation with the EU, with guests who included government officials, academics, entrepreneurs, ERC laureates and Nobel Prize winner Ada Yonath. Robert-Jan Smits and John Bell also visited Israel's Agricultural Research Organization, the Volcani Centre, where they learned about the Ministry of Agriculture's involvement in applied agricultural research through close cooperation between farmers and researchers
For more information, please contact Alexandra Meir, Alexandra.Meir@eeas.europa.eu, EU Delegation in Tel Aviv.
Contact person: Angela Liberatore, Deputy HoU Unit C3 European Neighbourhood, Africa and the Gulf; Alexandra Meir, EU Delegation in Tel Aviv
Read more on the opportunities offered by Horizon 2020 here.
Video of launch event here.
From science to practical farming
“Exchanges between technical scientists most often falls short of addressing the practical implementation of knowledge that could have an impact. - Technical scientists tend not to follow through to the uptake of findings in the field for the benefit of farmers. We also need to look into how technical and social innovations can be coupled, and especially the role of small enterprises”, said Arne Tostensen, Senior Researcher at Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI), also engaged by The Research Council of Norway (RCN) to coordinate the Norwegian participation in CAAST Net Plus Network.
CAAST Net Plus is a network between partners in Europe and Africa, based on mutual interests and inter-dependence, and met this week in Ghana to discuss how to promote and strengthen bi-regional research collaboration. Priority areas are climate change, food security and health. Altogether the tasks are organized in seven Work Packages, which includes policy dialogue support, and communication and dissemination.
Read more on the event, click here.
Read more on CAAST Net Plus and its support to the EU Africa High Level Policy Dialogue Side Event on Food Safety, click here.
A workshop on EU-Palestinian cooperation in research and innovation took place in Ramallah on 29 May 2013. The workshop was organized jointly by DG Research and Innovation, the European External Action Service and the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education on the eve of the EU-Palestinian Sub-committee on Research, Innovation, Info Society, Audiovisual and Media, Education and Culture. Read more
On the occasion of the closure of the 2012 EU-Egypt Year of Science and Innovation, HE Ambassador, Mr. James Moran, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Egypt and HE Minister Dr. Nadia Zakhary, the Egyptian Minister of Scientific Research, with Research and Innovation community in Egypt, together with European Commission representatives of the International Cooperation Directorate of the DG Research and Innovation held a conference and a reception to celebrate the event, in cooperation with EU Member States. The successful events witnessed large participation of research centres, universities, scientific communities and enterprises. TV and media covered the events broadcasting them also on internet and social media channels in addition to an international press conference.
The two-day event included the following activities:
The second day, 19th April, celebrated the final Famelab National Competition
The competition was introduced to Egypt in 2009 in support of the government's efforts to advance science and to build a culture that understands and supports the positive role science plays in the economic and social well-being. In the competition contestants are expected to deliver an entertaining and original three-minute talk about any scientific topic through an approachable manner. The event was part of EU-Egypt Year of Science & Innovation. HE Ambassador James Moran delivered a speech on EU-Egypt cooperation in various fields, and stressing the support of EU for young scientists. The competition is one of the best science outreach efforts in Egypt â and probably in the Arab world. Famous actors, scientists and entrepreneurs took part to the event and the audience was full of young people eager to listen to science. The show was broadcasted on TV and internet.
Such event supports the outreach efforts to generate interest in science among the public and break down the barriers that the normal person has in his mind towards science. Dr. Hesham Kandil, Egypt's Prime Minister has met the Famelab winners at his office addressing them as "the core of the nation's progress".
A high-level conference on 'Promoting Africa-EU Research Infrastructure Partnerships' will take place on 7-8 March 2013 at the Thon EU Hotel in Brussels, Belgium. The conference will present the outcomes of the PAERIP (Promoting African European Research Infrastructures Partnerships) project, funded under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
Over the past two years PAERIP undertook an extensive analysis of Africa-EU research infrastructure partnerships, including best practices which could be identified from current cooperation and the formulation of recommendations to enhance collaboration. In this context PAERIP considered cooperation activities such as how to enhance transnational access to research infrastructures for African and European researchers, and the promotion of networks integrating African and European research infrastructures.
The conference is taking place at a crucial time for the development of new cooperation instruments for Africa-EU cooperation including for collaboration in science, technology and innovation. These instruments include, for example, the new EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, the EU Development Cooperation Instrument and the European Development Fund. Within this context, one of the highlights of the conference will be the presentation of PAERIP's recommendations on how research infrastructure partnerships could best be promoted as part of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy.
The programme of the conference will include the following sessions:
- A high-level opening session with the participation of senior representatives from the European Commission and the African Union Commission, with South Africa's Minister of Science and Technology, Minister Derek Hanekom, as keynote speaker.
- Presentations of the PAERIP analysis and recommendations on:
The closing event of the 'ASEAN-EU Year of Science 2012' took take place on Wednesday 12 December 2012 in Brussels. The event, attended by over 140 participants, was organised with the support of the INCO-NET project 'SEA-EU-NET'. The overall objective of the event was to take stock of the achievements of the 'Year' and to discuss the next steps in the inter-regional dialogue on research and innovation cooperation. A large delegation of the ASEAN Committee of Science and Technology (ASEAN COST) came to Brussels on this occasion. ASEAN COST Members are generally the highest ranking administrative officer in charge of international cooperation in science and technology in the respective ASEAN Member Countries.
The event was made up of three sessions:
More information on the ASEAN website
On 27 November 2012, the new strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation was presented to and discussed with representatives from the Brussels based diplomatic community. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn in her speech presented the strategy, which was adopted on 14 September 2012, and stressed the fact that the Union's funding programmes for research and innovation would continue to be open to participation from researchers from across the world, while at the same time targeted activities with key partners would be developed to generate sufficient scale and scope. Her speech was followed by a presentation of Sylvia Schwaag Serger, Executive Director International Networks and Strategy of VINNOVA (Sweden). Ms Schwaag Serger was the chairperson of an expert group set up by the European Commission to advise on international cooperation and she presented the main recommendations made by the expert group, which subsequently fed into the preparation of the new strategy. An open discussion followed from which broad support for the new strategy emerged and a continued willingness to cooperate with the European Union.