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8 February 2014
Horizon 2020 Launch in Israel

Photo of DG Smits
DG Smits makes a point during the panel discussion

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, EU Delegation in Tel Aviv.


Seminar 12-16 January 2014, Sakhnin
The Challenges of Water and Wastewater Treatment for Rural Areas

Photo from the event

Between 12 and 16 January 2014, over fifty Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians gathered for an intensive technical seminar on wastewater treatment which was organized by the Towns Association for Environmental Quality – Agan Beit Natufa (TAEQ) and the Migal Galilee Research Institute. The seminar was held in TAEQ’s prize winning Green Building, in Sakhnin -North Israel, which came first in the 2006 EU Med Enec competition for energy efficiency in the construction sector. The participants included water specialists, academics, students, public authority representatives, civil society organisations and water technology companies. The seminar combined lectures, site visits, roundtables, as well as an exhibition and demonstration of the latest commercial technological developments.

The EU hosted a session devoted to water related projects funded under various EU programmes - the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the Cross Border Cooperation (Mediterranean Sea Basin), EU Partnership for Peace and SWIM (Sustainable Water Integrated Management). The session was opened by Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen, Head of the EU Delegation to Israel, and its aim was to enhance the synergies between projects funded by different EU Programmes and enhance their impact. Topics ranged from the treatment of olive mill wastewater through climate change and water security to the management of transboundary water basins. A presentation was also given of the EU’s new research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 with a particular emphasis on the water sector and international cooperation activities. The seminar could be seen as a small but significant example of 'science diplomacy' where participants shared knowledge to address common challenges in the complex and strategic Middle East region.

Contact persons:
Angela Liberatore, Deputy HoU Unit C3 European Neighbourhood, Africa and the Gulf
Alexandra Meir, EU Delegation in Tel Aviv


12 December 2013
Horizon 2020 - Open to the World Launch Event

The Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will host an event for the international Diplomatic Corps accredited to the European Union to highlight the openness to the world of Horizon 2020, on the 12th of December, in Brussels.

International Cooperation will be an important cross-cutting priority of Horizon 2020, the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. Horizon 2020 integrates research and innovation and it is the largest multinational programme of its kind, fully open to the participation of international partners.

Following the speech of the Commissioner, three researchers will testify what are the benefits and opportunities offered by the EU Framework programmes to the world.

Read more on the opportunities offered by Horizon 2020 here.

Video of launch event here.


10 November 2013
Climate change adaptation in agriculture


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.


EU-Palestinian workshop on research and innovation

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

4th INCO Conference - last days to register

"Strengthening international cooperation in Research & Innovation: Experiences from Latin America and the Caribbean, and Mediterranean Partner Countries"

The international Conference "Strengthening international cooperation in Research and Innovation: Experiences from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPC)" will be held on 18th June 2013 in Marseille, France.

The conference's aim is to discuss the future of international cooperation in Research and Innovation between Europe and third countries under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation from 2014 to 2020, and other funding opportunities. This year, the regional focus emphasizes experiences from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPC).

The main day of the conference (18/6) will be open to all stakeholders and experts interested in International Scientific Cooperation.
The conference is expected to host all the INCO NCPs (National Contact Points for International Cooperation) from Europe and Third countries, while more than 100 of experts working in the field of International research co-operation from all over the world are expected to participate.

18 June 2013.

World Trade Centre, Marseille, France.

This event is part of the project "INCONTACT-One World" which is the official Network of National Contact Points (NCP) for International Scientific Cooperation Activities (INCO) funded in the 7th Framework Programme of the EU. Since the beginning of the project, three conferences were held in Athens, Johannesburg and Bonn. This year, Marseille has the pleasure to host the fourth INCO conference.

For further information:
Visit INCONTACT-One World website
Visit the conference website
Contact 2013 INCO conference team

EU-Egypt Year of Science & Innovation Closing Event 18th and 19th April 2013 - Cairo, Egypt

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 conference tackled the current status and future perspectives for EU-Egypt cooperation in science and innovation. It brought together research and innovation stakeholders and policy makers to share success stories as well as demonstrate the state-of-play in research and innovation cooperation. Ideas and recommendations for a more coordinated Egypt-EU/ Member States research and innovation cooperation approach were generated and shared thanks to fruitful panel discussions that explored alternatives tackling major societal challenges, also focusing on how to reduce inefficiencies, fragmentation, duplication and lack of information on priorities and on-going cooperation activities.

  • Posters' Session showcased success stories for the collaboration of the EU/MS - Egypt cooperation in Science & Technology through the various EU funding Programmes (FP7, Tempus, joint funds). It offered a display area of major research/innovation projects in the fields of energy, environment, food, heath, ICT, agriculture, and socio-economic sciences; in addition to promote a platform for discussions that would encourage new bilateral / multilateral initiatives.

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 – 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".


High-level conference on 'Promoting Africa-EU Research Infrastructure Partnerships'

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:

  • Interventions to enhance African and European researchers' transnational access to African and European researcher infrastructures;
  • Opportunities for Africa and Europe to collaborate in developing new large-scale research infrastructures; and
  • The merit of investment from development and economic cooperation instruments in Africa-EU research infrastructure partnerships, due to their socio-economic benefit.
  • Presentations of case studies of potential flagship Africa-EU research infrastructure cooperation initiatives in areas such as life sciences, environmental research, astronomy and e-Infrastructures.

- A concluding session on the way forward for Africa-EU research infrastructure partnerships, including a discussion on policy recommendations with regard to the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, and a presentation on ensuring the sustainability of the PAERIP initiative. To know more visit: PAERIP


ASEAN-EU Year of Science, Technology and Innovation 2012 Closing Event

Summary report

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:

  1. An opening ceremony of the Conference with high level representatives from ASEAN, the European Commission and EU Member States
  2. A public session on the work and experiences of Marie Curie Fellows from Southeast Asia with a forward looking perspective
  3. A closed session in the afternoon, organised by DG RTD, featuring a series of presentations and discussions with ASEAN COST Members

More information on the ASEAN website


Meeting with the Diplomatic Corps to discuss the new international cooperation strategy- 27 November 2012

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.

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Policy Update
issue 43, March 2014

  • The negotiations on Switzerland's association to Horizon 2020 could not be completed.
  • Horizon 2020 Launch in Israel.
  • Launch of Horizon 2020 in ASEAN countries
              ...and much more

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