21st meeting of the Euro-Mediterranean Group of Senior Officials in Research and Innovation
Networking reception at the 21st meeting of the Euro-Med GSO in Research and Innovation
The Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission organized on 22 November 2016, in Brussels, the 21st meeting of the Euro-Mediterranean Group of Senior Officials (Euro-Med GSO) in Research and Innovation with a view to preparing a Euro-Mediterranean ministerial conference on Research and Innovation, scheduled to take place in Malta, on 3-4 May 2017, under the auspices of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Acknowledging that water, food and migration remain among today's most pressing challenges for the Mediterranean, the agenda of the ministerial will be built around three pillars: "the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA)", "Addressing the root causes of migration through research and innovation" and "R&I for blue jobs and growth in the Mediterranean (BLUEMED)".
The GSO meeting brought together participants from the EU member states, the EU institutions and countries from both shores of the Mediterranean as well as representatives of the Union for the Mediterranean and partners of EU-funded projects with a focus on the Mediterranean, who held a comprehensive discussion around the aforementioned topics.
The participants highlighted the importance of sustainable water, farming and food systems for local and regional development through innovative solutions. What is more, special focus was put on coordinating efforts to collect data across the region to avoid fragmentation and strengthen the ability of the research community to increase their understanding of complex drivers of migration. Finally, the participants reiterated the need to stimulate ‘blue’ jobs and growth in the Mediterranean by unlocking the potential of marine and maritime sectors while seeking more synergies.
Research and Innovation in the Marrakech Climate Chance Conference
The annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, organized this month in Marrakech (COP 22), concluded last week with concrete results to put the Paris Agreement on climate change into action. In this context, the European Commission's Research and Innovation Directorate-General (DG RTD) organised two International Cooperation related events to discuss about climate services for Africa and the water-energy-food nexus in the Mediterranean.
During his intervention in the Climate Services session, Patrick Child -Deputy Director-general at DG RTD- stressed the added value of Horizon 2020, the EU's Framework Programme for research and innovation, in building "effective international and multi-stakeholders partnerships to address the climate-related global challenges we face today". Mr. Child also pointed to the important role of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, which is now in its preoperational phase and that will deliver a wealth of climate critical information for a variety of users: “Horizon 2020 is open to the world and our investments in climate services are to develop timely solutions for the benefit of everyone around the world and for broader deployment”.
Water, energy and food production are inextricably linked and their nexus increasingly draw the attention of the policy, research and industrial community. Speaking on behalf of the European Commission, Mr. Child expressed how “research and innovation are key elements to understand the complex interactions between the natural environment and human activities, to develop effective and sustainable solutions and to inform decision-making across such complexity”. During this second session, special attention was put to the role of PRIMA, the new Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area which focuses on sustainable water management and food production: “with a budget of 400Million Euros over 10 years, PRIMA is expected to boost local businesses and investment opportunities, addressing also unemployment and migration issues in the region and becoming a further vehicle of sustainable growth”.
Both panel discussions were followed by information sessions, highlighting EU-funded research and innovation projects and several initiatives on climate services and the energy-water-food nexus.
Director Russo opened Horizon 2020 seminar and attended EU-Nigeria Business Forum in Lagos
European Commission visits the EU funded project gratitude - ©Gratitude
On 9 November, around 50, mostly Directors for Research and Deans of the major Universities and Directors of the major Research Institutions of Nigeria attended the information session on Horizon 2020 in Lagos followed by a second day of hands-on training about proposal writing, financial management and reporting in Horizon 2020. The seminar was opened by Michel Arrion, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Cristina Russo, Director International Cooperation at DG RTD and the Director-General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr DanAzumi. The seminar was organised with the support of the FP7 funded policy-support project CAAST-NET Plus.
At the EU-Nigeria Business Forum on 11 November, Cristina Russo gave a keynote speech on Horizon 2020 in the session on ‘integrating Nigerian SMEs in the global market’. The other keynote speech was given by the Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment. The panel was composed of the Nigerian Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Enterprise Europe Network, the European Investment Bank and Syntesa who referred in the presentation to their involvement in FP7 funded projects on mycotoxin reduction in the food and feed chain as an important contribution to trade enhancement of Nigerian agriculture products to the European market. Director Sandra Gallina from DG Trade also participated in the Forum.
Side-visits took place to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan involved in several FP7 and Horizon 2020 funded projects mostly in the area of mycotoxin management and bio fortification and a discussion took place about their involvement in the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture. We were shown the facilities and discussed with a group of young people driving the IITA Youth Agribusiness initiative. We also visited the Medical School in Ibadan that was a strong participant in FP7 and participates in several projects funded by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership.
On the last day, a visit was paid to Nobex company involved in the FP7 funded project Gratitude, that aimed at reducing the post-harvest losses of crops such as cassava and yam that are extremely high. Waste, such as cassava peal or cashew shell and palm kernel is dried through a drying technology (flash dryer) of which the prototype was developed in the Gratitude project. The waste is turned into flower (cassava, yam), mushroom and animal feed. The company now commercialises the technology on the Nigerian market and started exporting it to other countries in Africa (eg. Ghana, Uganda, Benin, Malawi). The company created 20 additional jobs and underlined the important contribution of FP7 funding to its success and the opportunities offered for knowledge exchange in this case with organisations in Vietnam and Portugal.
Horizon 2020 was also presented to the co-creation hub in Lagos, which is an extremely vibrant space were social innovation flourishes by offering a space and funding to the pre-incubation and incubation of solutions to local needs, such as in the domain of education, health-care or the sharing economy.
EU and Eastern Partnership countries stepping up cooperation on innovation with the EU4Innovation initiative
Commissioners Carlos Moedas and Johannes Hahn with Jean-Christophe Belliard, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service launched today the EU4Innovation initiative together with the Eastern Partnership countries, in Yerevan, Armenia.
The launch took place during the eighth Eastern Partnership Informal dialogue, hosted by Armenia which brought together Ministers and high level officials of the six Eastern Partnership countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine - for a high-level exchange on future developments in the Eastern Partnership and key areas of cooperation.
The new EU initiative, EU4Innovation, will combine all EU activities that support the development of Eastern Partnership countries (EaP) innovation capacities, notably those funded under the Horizon 2020 programme and the European Neighbourhood Instrument. EU Commissioners and the respective Research and Innovation Ministers of the six Eastern Partnership countries also discussed common challenges and responses to improving research and innovation cooperation. The Ministers reflected on how to integrate Eastern Partnership and EU Research and Innovation systems better and foster cooperation with and between the six Eastern Partnership countries further. This will bring new mobility opportunities for administrations, businesses, professionals, students and researchers and will foster research-industry partnerships amongst others.
New opportunities for Canadian researchers to join ERC funded teams
Today Commissioner Carlos Moedas and Dr Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council have signed an Implementing Arrangement under the framework of the S&T Agreement between the EU and Canada which has been negotiated between the European Research Council (ERC) and the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS).
This Arrangement intends to provide opportunities for Canadian researchers to join temporarily ERC funded teams, located in Europe. The participant researchers are grant holders from the Research Chairs programme or the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships programmes and will be selected by the Canadian side.
This is the 9th arrangement signed with a key R&I partner country after: USA, Korea, Argentina, Japan, China, South Africa, Mexico and most recently, Brazil.
ERC represents excellence in science and can be proud of having supported 6 Nobel prizes in 9 years, in addition to funding over 6500 ambitious projects in different fields
3rd EU-Japan Task Force meeting on S&T cooperation
Participants of the 3rd EU-Japan Task Force meeting on S&T cooperation
On 20 October 2016, a third EU-Japan Task Force meeting on S&T cooperation was convened in Brussels, with the main objective to confirm concrete achievements, enhance future cooperation and to provide a substantial input for the upcoming EU-Japan Joint S&T Committee (JCM) meeting, planned in Japan during the spring 2017.
The meeting was opened by Ms Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation, Directorate-General (DG) for Research and Innovation (RTD), and it was co-chaired by Mr Kostas Glinos, Head of Unit, Directorate for International Cooperation (DG RTD), and Mr Junichiro Otaka, Director for International Cooperation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Japan. Participants at the meeting on the Japanese side were representatives from the Cabinet Office, MOFA, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, and Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan's Science and Technology Agency (JST), the Europe Office of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO), and Japan's Mission to the EU. On the EU side, there were representatives from DG RTD Directorates B, C, D, E, G, H and I, DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CNECT) Directorates C and F, DG Joint Research Centre (JRC), and DG Education and Culture (EAC).
The meeting discussed thematic areas with substantial cooperation - ICT, Aeronautics and Materials research – and areas where there is cooperation and/or where cooperation can be developed, such as Environment/Climate change (including Arctic research), Health, Energy, Research Infrastructures (including in high-energy physics), EU Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagship initiatives (Human Brain and Graphene), and Automated driving. This also included the cooperation between DG JRC and Japanese entities (such as the National Institute of Advanced Industrial S&T - AIST). The meeting further discussed framework conditions to facilitate STI cooperation, such as the implementation of the co-funding scheme developed by JST in relation to open Horizon 2020 calls. Information was also provided on actions that support increased EU-Japan S&T cooperation, and ongoing discussions on STI policies.
- Anne Haglund Morrissey, DG RTD C1
RTD-DEVCO Lunchtime debate on science and innovation for development
Brussels, 17 October 2016
Cooperation between the EU and developing and emerging economies is needed to effectively address the big economic and societal challenges nations face today, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to enhance inclusive growth both in the developed and developing countries. Social and economic transformations, in turn, require a strong investment in research and innovation. But countries, in particular Low Income Countries (LIC), Least Developed Countries (LDC) and (lower) Middle Income Countries (LMIC), need to have a minimum level of human capital and institutional infrastructure to be able to participate and ensure developmental outcomes and impact from such an investment.
DG Research and Innovation and DG International Cooperation and Development carried out a study and strategic evaluation that analyse the different activities funded by each programme, in what way these have contributed to achieving the EU's development objectives and how these activities have been complementary.
EU-US agreement offers new opportunities for research cooperation
Commissioner Carlos Moedas and H.E. Mr Anthony L. Gardner, Head of the Mission of the United States to the EU
European and American researchers will be able to work together more closely on projects funded under Horizon 2020, the European Union's research and innovation programme. This is thanks to an agreement concluded on the 17 of October between the European Commission and the US Government.
The agreement facilitates cooperation between US organisations and Horizon 2020 participants in cases where the US organisations are funded by the US and do not receive any funding from the Horizon 2020 programme. It simplifies cooperation between a selected Horizon 2020 project and a US entity by enabling researchers to organise their cooperation outside the formal Horizon 2020 Grant Agreement signed for each project, in accordance with applicable laws, rules, policies, and regulations of their respective funding programmes.
New opportunities for Brazilian researchers to join ERC teams
Commissioner Carlos Moedas with the President of CONFAP, Sérgio Gargioni
The European Commission and the Brazilian National Council of State Funding Agencies – CONFAP signed today an agreement that will further enhance cooperation between the EU and Brazil in research & innovation.
The purpose of the agreement is to encourage the best Brazilian scientists to join research teams funded by the European Research Council (ERC). Brazilian researchers would undertake short or long term research visits, in Europe, and collaborate with ERC-funded teams, conducting frontier research across Europe.
These opportunities are intended for active Postdoctoral Grantees from the State Funding Agencies (FAPs), from the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) and from the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).
This is the 8th arrangement of its kind and the third one with Latin American countries, after the agreements with Argentina and Mexico that were signed in 2015.
7th EU-Japan Science Policy Forum
Nurturing Future Human Resources for STI
The Head Table at the event, with Koji Omi, Paul Rübig, Yuko Harayama, Viorel Isticioaia-Budura, Antonio Vicente, and Atsushi Sunami (L to R). Photo: Tom Kuczynski
On Saturday 1 October, the Delegation of the European Union to Japan, in cooperation with Japan's National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), hosted the 7th EU-Japan Science Policy Forum at the Westin Miyako Hotel, in Kyoto, Japan.
The topic this year was on Nurturing Future Human Resources for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). The event brought together just over 40 leading research policy makers, research funding presidents, university presidents, and industrialists, as well as around 40 observers, all of whom were from Europe and Japan.
The event takes place in the context of a deepening partnership of STI between the EU and Japan, which includes deepening our mutual understanding of our STI policies, as acknowledged by Viorel Isticioaia-Budura, Ambassador of the European Union to Japan, at the beginning of the event. This point was reaffirmed by Koji OMI, Chairman of the STS Forum, who saw the event as basis for developing cooperation in the future. Professor Atsushi SUNAMI, from GRIPS, recognised the importance of the event not only for deepening connections but also for encouraging frank and informal discussion.
The Head of Cabinet for Commissioner Moedas, Antonio Vicente, gave an update on future directions for the 9th Framework Programme, on the important role for excellent science, and building connections with other sections of society and with international partners. He noted the close alignment between the research priorities and agendas of Europe and Japan, which should facilitate closer cooperation between the two sides.
Paul Rübig, Chair of STOA in the European Parliament emphasised the importance of breaking down barriers and building bridges between sectors, institutions, and research fields. Professor Yuko Harayama, Executive Member of the Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI) in Japan's Cabinet Office, outlined key aspects of the 5th Science and Technology Basic Plan for human resource development, and mentioned Society 5.0, which combines the digital and physical worlds, as well as noted the need for closer engagement between STI and society. Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, President of the ERC, noted the situation for researchers in Europe, the importance of university-industry linkages, and important role of the programmes implemented by the ERC.
In what turned into a broad ranging series of presentations and discussions, other issues touched upon included entrepreneurship, diversity, public engagement, international research mobility, facilitating linkages between research and industry, pensions and dual careers, metrics, the duration of doctoral degrees, engagement with SMEs, nurturing talent in the global context, the need for professional research managers, innovative educational programmes, and training people in emerging key areas of research and technology.
Cristina Russo’s visit to Uruguay and Paraguay : Strengthening the political dimension of the EU-CELAC Common Research Area
Cristina Russo attending a bilateral meeting with the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and the President of the National Council for Science and Technology – CONACYT in Paraguay
Cristina Russo, Director for International cooperation at DG Research and Innovation participated at the 9th Plenary session of the European-Latin America Parliamentary Assembly – EUROLAT on 21 September 2016 in Montevideo, Uruguay, to present the strategic importance of the EU-CELAC Common research area for strengthening bi-regional cooperation. The opportunities provided by the EU-CELAC Common Research Area were also discussed in the Parliamentary Committee on Sustainable Development, the Environment, Energy Policy, Research, Innovation and Technology in view of the preparation of a dedicated parliamentary report on its benefits and further needs.
During her visit to Uruguay, Cristina Russo had high-level bi-lateral meetings with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Education & Culture, as well as with the National Agency for Investigation & Innovation- ANII and the Uruguayan Agency of International Cooperation- AUCI to discuss opportunities for increased bi-lateral and bi-regional cooperation with Uruguay. The main STI areas of common interest discussed focused on the promotion of mobility of researchers, audio-visual industries and ICT engineering, as well as the opportunity of a potential Uruguayan participation in the “South Atlantic Flagship Initiative” on marine and maritime research together with Brazil and Argentina.
On 23 September, Cristina Russo, accompanied by Alejnadro Zurita, the EU Science Counsellor in Brazil, visited Paraguay to participate in a seminar on “Opportunities and Alliances on R&I with the EU through Horizon 2020”, which has generated a high interest amongst the Paraguayan scientific community with more than 170 participants.
Cristina Russo hold also bilateral meetings with the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and the President of the National Council for Science and Technology - CONACYT, as well as relevant authorities from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Education & Culture to strengthen cooperation and reinforce national synergies with European and regional partners. The STI areas of common interest discussed have focused on cooperation in the field of health and agricultural, as well as water management and renewable energy.
EU and South Africa join forces to better understand the oceans and climate
Pretoria, 4 October 2016
The European Union and South Africa are strengthening their scientific collaboration in order to better understand and protect marine ecosystems and the link between oceans and climate.
The European Commission and the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) signed on October,3 2016 in Cape Town a Declaration of Intent on Marine Research and Innovation Cooperation. The declaration aims to develop a common understanding and deepen scientific knowledge of marine ecosystems. It will also encourage and support research collaboration and development of relevant technologies, to facilitate human capital development and scientific exchange, and to explore regional opportunities for sustainable marine cooperation.
The Declaration was signed on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Science and Technology (S&T) Agreement, the first agreement that the EU and South Africa signed since the advent of democracy in the country in 1994. This anniversary was celebrated in the margins of the International Conferences on Research Infrastructures (ICRI 2016). The event was opened by Naledi Pandor, South African Minister of Science and Technology, Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, and Phil Mjwara, Director-General of the South African Department of Science and Technology.
Building an EU-CELAC Common Research Area : a regional approach to enhance access to research infrastructures
Brussels, 20 September
EU – CELAC cooperation: Research Infrastructure Pillar Workshop: view of the room
The European Commission organised a workshop with CELAC Embassies and Heads of Delegations in Brussels to follow-up on the commitments made at the Senior Officials Meeting of the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation (JIRI) on 14 March 2016, to implement the Common Research Area (CRA) Pillar on Research Infrastructures (RI).
The workshop aimed at raising awareness, understanding what cooperation at regional level on research infrastructures implies, showcasing the European experience in developing an European Roadmap within the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, and outlining possible steps forwards in the development of a EU –CELAC structured dialogue on research infrastructures.
Overall 21 countries from CELAC have been represented, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico, who are already integrated in a number of RI projects.
The next steps in establishing a strategic alignment and dialogue on RI to support the implementation of the CRA should result in the identification of a national RI contact points from the respective national funding agencies and decision makers in CELAC countries, to create a dedicated Working Group on RI ahead of the next JIRI SOM in 2017.
The EU-CELAC Common Research Area discussed at the I Latin American and Caribbean Open Science Forum
Montevideo, 6-9 September
Roundtable of the I Latin American and Caribbean Open Science Forum ©AUCI
The new European Union’s Science Counsellor in Brazil, Mr. Alejandro Zurita, presented the vision and strategic pillars of the EU-CELAC Common Research Area at the I Latin American and Caribbean Open Science Forum, held in Montevideo, Uruguay from 6 to 9 September 2016. The discussion took place in a roundtable, reflecting on the challenges and opportunities to promote synergies between international development cooperation and cooperation in science, technology and innovation for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Building on ongoing regional partnership, the development of the EU-CELAC Common Research Area was agreed as an opportunity to demonstrate with concrete actions what researchers, knowledge and technology can develop together.
Other participants at the Roundtable included Ernesto Fernandez Polcuch, Head of Section for Science Policy and Partnerships in the Natural Sciences Sector of UNESCO Paris, Liliana Borzacconi, representative of the National Academy of Uruguay and Luis Porto Sciences, Senior Advisor Strategy and Organizational Development of the Organisation of the American States.
- AUCI (es)
EU-India Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation Days 2016
7 September 2016, Brussels
H.E. Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the European Union to India
Under the framework of the India-EU S&T cooperation agreement, the seventh edition of the EU-India Science Technology and Innovation (STI) Cooperation Days was inaugurated by Prof. K. VijayRahavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology on behalf of Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India and H.E. Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the European Union to India on 21 September 2016 at the National Institute of Oceanography,Goa, India. The event was organized jointly by the Ministry of Science and Technology (DST, DBT and CSIR) and the European Commission (Directorate-General for Research and Innovation).
More than 200 participants from India and Europe comprising of government officials, funding agencies, policymakers, researchers, innovators, students and representatives from Industry and NGO's attended.
This edition focused on bio-economy, including marine and maritime research, in order to maximize future scientific and business collaboration in these fields. The two day event showcased results and shared best practices in particular on sustainable food security, rural renaissance, bio-based innovation and blue growth economy. New funding opportunities in Horizon 2020 were also presented.
Both India and EU encouraged participants to take advantage during these two days to seek actively R&I cooperation opportunities in Horizon 2020 and make full use of the agreed Co-Funding Mechanisms (CFM) between India (DBT and DST) and the European Commission. The Open House session on funding opportunities and support allowed interactive discussion and networking.
1st Meeting of the EU – Iran Working Group on Science, Research, Technology and Innovation
7 September 2016, Brussels
Group photo from the Meeting
During the April 2016 EU mission to Iran, led by HR/VP Mogherini, to which Commissioner Moedas participated, a Joint Statement in Science, Research, Technology and Innovation was endorsed. The Joint Statement foresees the establishment of a Working Group which aims at creating an official platform to exchange and cooperate on issues of common interest and paving the ground for strengthening and improving the cooperation in science, technology, research and innovation between Iran and EU.
The first meeting of the above-mentioned Working Group took place in Brussels on 7 September. The Iranian delegation was led by the Acting Minister for International Cooperation in the Ministry of Science Research and Technology – Dr Salar Amoli. It included also representatives from the Ministry, Vice-Presidency Office, Ministry of Health and the Presidents of two major Iranian Universities – Isfahan and Kharazmi Universities. The meeting was chaired by Ms Maria Cristina Russo, Director for "International Cooperation" in DG "Research and Innovation" (RTD) in the European Commission. Relevant services from DG RTD, other Commission services and the EEAS were associated to the meeting.
Both parties agreed that cooperation under the EU Horizon 2020 programme will be strengthened, particularly in the scientific fields of Health, Energy, Food, Water, Environment, Climate Change, Social Sciences and Humanities, in particular migration and Key Enabling Technologies. It was also agreed to deepen the cooperation in the field of higher education, students, researchers and academic staff mobility.
Innovative firms in Ukraine to benefit from EU-guaranteed loans
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and ProCredit Bank Ukraine today signed a loan guarantee deal that will offer small and medium-sized companies in Ukraine easier access to risk capital for the development of innovative ideas.
The EU-funded deal will allow the bank to more securely enter into loan agreements with companies of below 500 employees, as any potential losses on loans for innovative activities will be guaranteed by 50% by the EU under the loan guarantee scheme. Overall, the scheme is to generate a portfolio of €50 million in loans to innovative companies over the next two years.
This deal falls under the InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility, which is part of the new generation of financial instruments supported under Horizon 2020 (IP/14/670). Under this facility, financial intermediaries are guaranteed against a proportion of any losses incurred on the debt financing covered under the facility.
Goals and Governance for Global health – Go4Health
From 2012 to 2016, the EU funded Go4Health research consortium (http://www.go4health.eu/) provided expert analysis and engagement in high-level debates on the positioning of health in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The strength of the Go4Health collaboration arose from three key things; its regional diversity (including Latin America, Sub-Saharan African and Asia), its institutional diversity (comprising 13 institutions with a mix of academic and non-governmental organisations -NGOs), and rich multidisciplinary dialogue— combining public health, economics, health systems and policy analysis, international relations, international law and human rights.
The bulk of Go4Health data was gathered through multiple consultations with global health policymakers and communities, the latter largely conducted by local and national NGOs in Bangladesh, Guatemala, Vanuatu, Uganda and Zimbabwe. A key innovative feature of Go4Health was the engagement with marginalised communities which helped researchers to better understand communities’ health priorities, and this unique evidence base, published in academic journals, is a key resource for health policy makers working on implementation of the SDGs.
Through the over 50 peer reviewed academic publications in legal and health related journals Go4Health research and analysis influenced the policy literature and debate around the SDGs and health. In line with the European Commission and World Health Organization, Go4Health argued that working towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) best advances SDG goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, especially for those in low and middle income countries. The influence of Go4Health research on the global debate is also reflected in the dozens of speaking engagements including invitations to speak at numerous international conferences on global health, like the prestigious Prince Mahidol Award Conference in Bangkok, Thailand in 2015 and 2016. Go4health has frequently provided active input and reflection on global health policies at the EC global health policy forum. Global support for advancing UHC, which Go4Health research, analysis and engagement contributed to, continues with the EU and G7 prioritising expanding UHC globally. Concretely, numerous Go4Health researchers are engaged with the new UHC 2030 Alliance.
- Contact: Rosanna D'Amario
Ukraine joins the Euratom Research and Training Programme
Pavlo Klimkin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, Carlos Moedas EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation at the signing ceremony
On June 27, the European Union and Ukraine conclude an agreement on the association of Ukraine to the Euratom Research and Training Programme. The agreement was signed in Brussels by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Pavlo Klimkin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, in the presence of Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine.
The new agreement comes one year after Ukraine joined Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme. While Horizon 2020 covers a wide range of activities from fundamental research up to close-to-market activities, the Euratom Research and Training Programme is specifically aimed at improving the levels of nuclear safety and radiation protection.
The association agreement will still need to be ratified by the Ukrainian Parliament. Nevertheless, Ukrainian legal entities will be able to already participate in the Euratom call for proposals funded under the 2016 and 2017 budget, as this association covers the period 2014-2018.
The EU Horizon 2020 Liaison Office in Peru : a success story of bilateral cooperation
Organisers of the Horizon 2020 event in Arequipa
The Peruvian National Council for Science, Technology and Technological Innovation – CONCYTEC has organised a research seminar on Horizon 2020 in the Catholic University of Santa Maria in Arequipa targeting a large audience of more than 150 researchers , universities, entrepreneurs , project managers and representatives of institutions interested in participating in Horizon 2020 to promote global partnership and cooperation. The seminar also provided opportunities for remote connection, and was followed by more practical workshops with the objective to identify the local strengths of the research community, including private sector in the Southern region of the country in line with Horizon 2020 societal challenges and opportunities.
The event is part of a series of regional and international events which CONCYTEC has organised in the past two years and half following the visit of Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation in DG Research and Innovation to Peru in 2014 and the setting-up in place of an EU Liaison Office within CONCYTEC. The main objectives of the EU Liaison Office are to disseminate information on Horizon 2020 in a coordinated way and provide support to the Peruvian research community on their participation in Horizon 2020. Further to that, the EU Liaison Office has developed a solid network of researchers, key stakeholders and national contact points with the objective to promote the Peruvian areas of excellence in Research and Innovation, as well as to develop strategies, joint activities and proposals with other Liaison Offices from Latin America and Europe.
The commitment of CONCYTEC towards bilateral cooperation with the EU, as well as intra-regional within CELAC has been translated into concrete and tangible results, namely the organisation of 3 regional Horizon 2020 seminars benefiting other CELAC countries from CONCYTEC’s knowledge, network and experience and more than 15 national workshops providing targeted trainings on Horizon 2020 to Peruvian research community.
EU- Mexico Joint Committee meeting
27 May 2016, Brussels
Group Photo of the 8th EU - Mexico Joint Steering Committee
The 8th Joint Steering Committee meeting was hosted by the European Commission in Brussels on 27th May, 2016. Both parties agreed to continue developing common principles and adequate framework conditions needed to create a level playing field for researchers from Mexico and the European Union to cooperate with each other on the basis of trust.
In this respect, CONACYT informed about the simplification of the evaluation procedure of the CONACYT-H2020 co-funding mechanism in place and confirmed its commitment to continue funding Mexican institutions and researchers participating in the Horizon2020 calls.
Both parties recognized the importance of reinforcing the links between industry and research and fostering the innovation process to stimulate job creation, economic growth and social welfare.
Celebrating 20 years of cooperation under EU-Canada Science and Technology Agreement
Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General at DG RTD and Louis Marcotte, Director General Investment and Innovation for Global Affairs Canada
The 13th Meeting of the EU-Canada Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC) was hosted by the European Commission in Brussels on 14th June, 2016. The meeting took place in the context of 20 years of cooperation under EU-Canada Science and Technology Agreement and 40 years since the opening of EU diplomatic representation in Ottawa.
A large and high level Canadian delegation was led by Louis Marcotte, Director General, Investment and Innovation and the European Union delegation was chaired by Maria Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation, Directorate General of Research and Innovation.
Both parties recognized the importance of cooperation in Research and Innovation, the advantages in reinforcing the links between industry and research and fostering the innovation process to stimulate job creation, economic growth and social welfare.
It was agreed to continue and foster cooperation in key areas like Marine and Arctic research, Health Research, Aeronautics and ICT research, Agricultural research and Research Infrastructures. While as new area for cooperation security research has been agreed, Climate Change related research will be further exploited between the services involved.
Both parties agreed to continue developing common principles and adequate framework conditions needed to create a level playing field for researchers from Canada and the European Union to cooperate with each other on the basis of trust.
EU and Canada signed an Administrative Arrangement, intending to facilitate cooperation from Canadian participants in Horizon 2020 projects.
Strengthening NCPs capacity in Latin America
Workshop on Horizon 2020 and NCP, Colombia - © COLCIENCIAS
In the context of the building of the EU-CELAC Common Research Area, which was officially launched in March 2016 at the fifth Senior Officials Meeting of the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation, Piero Venturi, the EU’s Research and Innovation Counsellor in Brazil, attended an extensive workshop on Horizon 2020 and National Contact Points (NCPs) Capacity building. The event was hosted by the Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation of Colombia (COLCIENCIAS), with the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Uruguay (MEC), The Deutsches Zentrum Fuer Luft of Germany (DLR) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of Argentina (MINCyT). The event gathered more than 140 Colombian researchers from public and private universities, as well as national entrepreneurs and innovators, and it was regionally disseminated via webstreaming reaching more than 1100 virtual participants.
At the occasion of the event, COLCIENCIAS presented its Horizon 2020 strategy and its new mobility funding programme paving the way for higher participation of Colombia in Horizon 2020.
EU and Mexico launch the first joint geothermal research project
European and Mexican researchers will work together on tapping into new sources of geothermal energy in the context of GEMex, an international project that was selected in a joint call launched by the European Union and Mexico.
The EU and Mexico contribute equally to the €20 million project. The EU's share comes from Horizon 2020, its €77 billion research and innovation funding programme (2014 – 2020), and the other from Mexico's Fondo de Sustenibilidad Energética (SENER) - Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).
GEMex will develop innovative methods for accessing the earth's vast resources of heat now trapped in variable geological formations. The ultimate objective is to make this renewable energy source cost-effective and affordable both for electricity and heat production. The project will adhere to the strictest environmental standards and address issues around social acceptance of the technology.
The three-year project will start in the autumn of 2016. The coordinated call was launched by Secretary Coldwell and Commissioner Moedas during his visit to Mexico in November 2015.
EU-AU-IIASA Evidence and Policy Event
30 August – 02 September, Ispra, Italy
In a complex world, evidence-based policymaking can enhance the effectiveness of public policies. To develop the necessary skills for improving practices in better integrating evidence into policy-making, the European and African Union Commissions together with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) are organising a highly participatory evidence and policy event. Participants will develop their working practices, skills, behaviours and methods, in both the scientific and policy-making domains via masterclasses and group work.
This year, we invite applications from policy officers and scientists developing policy and conducting research in the field of the Water-Energy-Food nexus.
EU-China Week on Aviation Research in Brussels
18–22 April 2016
GRAIN2 Policy Day in the Karel van Miert Auditorium (Place Madou)
The cooperation of the EU and China in aeronautics research started by a first co-funded support action in 2005 and continued with jointly funded networking actions and two coordinated calls for proposals.
The EU-China Week on Aviation Research took place in Brussels on 18-22 April 2016, hosted by the Von Karman Institute of Fluid Dynamics (VKI) and the European Commission. It included a technology workshop and the concluding event of the GRAIN2 project, the kick-off of the four new joint EU-China projects and a policy meeting with the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). More than 120 European and Chinese representatives from industry, research centres, universities and government bodies attended different events of the EU-China Aviation Week.
Armenia joins Horizon 2020 to work with EU in research and innovation
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner of Research, Science and Innovation, and Levon Mkrtchyan, Armenian Minister of Education and Science
The agreement associating Armenia to Horizon 2020 was signed today by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Levon Mkrtchyan, Armenian Minister for Education and Science.
Armenia has until now been able to participate in Horizon 2020 only as a third country. This means its entities have not counted towards the minimum number of participants required for a project, and have not had access to some important parts of the programme such as support to innovative businesses. Its representatives have not had access to key policy bodies.
Thanks to this agreement, its research institutes, universities and individual researchers will now have access to all opportunities offered by Horizon 2020 in diverse areas, from fundamental science to demonstration projects, on an equal footing with researchers and organisations from EU Member States and other countries associated to the programme. Armenian SMEs and businesses will also be able to benefit from increased support to develop new ideas and bring products and services to the market.
In the Seventh Framework Programme (2017-13), which preceded Horizon 2020, Armenian organisations participated in 35 signed projects. In Horizon 2020, they are already participating in five projects.
African Union Research Grants II – Calls for proposals are now open
The African Union Commission launched the Phase 2 of the African Union Research Grants programme with an open call for proposals for Research and Innovation in Africa supported by the European Union.
The programme responds to the implementation of the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership focusing on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA) adopted at the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue in Addis Ababa on 4-5 April 2016.
The call supports research on: Food & Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA) with particular attention on Sustainable Intensification.
India and the EU join forces in water-related research and innovation
On April 21-23, more than 200 persons attended the "International Conference on Innovations in Sustainable Water & Wastewater Treatment Systems" (ISWATS), in Pune, India.
Jointly organised by the Indian Departments of Science & Technology and of Biotechnology, and by the European Commission, the conference was opened by Mr Bapat, Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection in the Government of the Maharashtra state.
Most of the discussions focused on the assessment and follow-up of 5 joint EU-India projects.
These projects were quite concrete and impact-oriented as they included the construction of 20 fully-functional pilot installations for the treatment of wastewater in urban, peri-urban as well as rural settings in various parts of India. The presence of entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs and investors at the conference made it possible to explore options for further partnerships and investments, in order to translate the projects' results into full-scale commercial applications.
This conference illustrates the concrete impact that international EU research actions may have on the daily lives of populations across the world, and also contributes to broader policy and diplomatic objectives.
Georgia joins Horizon 2020, the EU's Research and Innovation Programme
Tamar Sanikidze and Carlos Moedas
The agreement associating Georgia to Horizon 2020 was signed today by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Tamar Sanikidze, Georgian Minister for Education and Science.
Researchers and innovators from Georgia will now be able to participate in Horizon 2020, the EU's framework programme for research and innovation, under the same conditions as their counterparts from EU Member States and other associated countries. Georgian research institutes, universities, individual researchers, SMEs and businesses will now have access to all opportunities offered by Horizon 2020.
The Agreement allows for Georgia's enhanced cooperation with the EU in research and innovation, which are vital for successful and modern economies. It shows the commitment of the Union to develop the scientific and innovation capacity of its neighbours in the Eastern European Partnership. And it also represents another step towards reaching the EU goal of opening research and innovation to the world.
Two Indo-European Joint Calls for proposals are now open
Innovation Call on Bioeconomy
Under the Innovation call, collaborative Indo-European projects designed to lead to innovative products, services or processes of significant economic and/or societal value will be funded.
Joint innovation projects shall also address applied research and technological development implemented in partnership between innovative SMEs and research performing institutions based in India and Europe.
Consortia have to involve at least three partners: two from two different European countries participating in the Innovation call (France, Germany, Norway, Spain) and one from India.
The deadline to submit Innovation proposals is 31 August 2016.
S&T Call on Biobased energy
Under the S&T Call, collaborative Indo-European excellent research projects with a maximum duration of 3 years will be funded. The topics covered by the call will be Biofuels and From waste to energy.
Consortia have to involve at least three partners: two from two different European countries participating in the call (Belgium - Wallonia region, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia) and one from India.
The deadline to submit Research proposals is 12 July 2016
EU-AFRICA: increased cooperation in Research and Innovation
Addis Ababa 4-6 April 2016
Group photo of the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue - ©CAAST Net Plus
At the third meeting of the EU Africa high level policy dialogue (HLPD) senior officials adopted a roadmap towards an EU - Africa research and innovation partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture.
This research and innovation partnership has been jointly designed and is expected to be jointly governed and funded. It will enhance the coordination of Research and Innovation (R&I) programmes relevant to food and nutrition security in Europe and Africa. The EC has launched an Eranet cofund of 10 million euros in Horizon 2020 to achieve this. European and African countries are expected to contribute with around 20 million euros.
The R&I partnership takes a food system approach and addresses issues of sustainable intensification, nutrition, agricultural markets and trade and integrates earth observation tools, capacity building (human, institutional and research infrastructures) and innovation processes. The final aim is to make better use of Research results and translate these into products and processes that increase the production of high quality food with appropriate inputs, enhance income growth and promote rural development in both regions.
The EC has committed a total of 47.5 million euros, which combines 30 million euros from the EU research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 and 17.5 million euros from the EU development programme in support of the African union research grants, to its implementation over 4 years and is ready to commit additional funding if the immediate results are satisfactory.
Discussions on long-term implementation have already taken place with a wide range of stakeholders from government, private sector, civil society and research at the Stakeholder Conference that immediately followed the HLPD in Addis. The roadmap was endorsed at the highest level by both commissions at their yearly College to College meeting in Addis Ababa on 7 April.
In addition, potential and future areas of cooperation, such as global health and global change, were also discussed. The HLPD was mandated to work on a proposal by 2017.
- Press Release African Union
- Joint Communique AU - EC
- Science and technology to aid EU-Africa food security
In the Press
EU-China Week in Aviation Research
18th – 22nd April 2016
With the joint support by the European Commission Directorate General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) and the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the EU-China Week on Aviation Research will take place in Brussels on 18 - 22 April 2016. The event is hosted by the Von Karman Institute (VKI) and the European Commission. A series of activities will be organised during the Aviation Research Week which comprises an Open Workshop/Forum focusing on the state of the art in the different technologies involved in the Key Green Technologies (KGTs) of GRAIN2, Kick-off Meetings of new starting EU-China aviation projects co-funded by Horizon 2020 and MIIT, and official meetings between DG RTD and MIIT dedicated to ongoing and future cooperation in aviation research.
ASEAN-EU STI Days 2016
10-12 May, Hanoi, Vietnam
The ASEAN-EU Science, Technology and Innovation Days are a forum style event, initiated by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme funded SEA-EU-NET II project. The ASEAN-EU STI Days 2016 will be organised in Hanoi, Vietnam, from 10-12 May, 2016. This year’s edition of the event will focus on presenting academic/industry collaborations in and between ASEAN and the EU in the context of common key societal challenges for both regions.
The number of scientific workshops and expert sessions on various topics – like infectious diseases, water, food, energy nexus, metrology, ASEAN Economic Community and innovation – is expected to amount to 15, the expected number of participants ranges between 300-400, mainly from Southeast Asia and Europe. The STI Days are an ideal occasion for networking and exchange of ideas in thematic areas like Health, Environment, Water, Food Security & Safety or Innovation. A Brokerage Event connected to the previously mentioned topics, field visits to major research and innovation organisations in and around Hanoi as well as a paper and poster competition make the programme even more attractive. The STI days are generally visited by policy makers, company representatives, researchers and research administrators from both regions.
EU-India co-funding mechanism for H2020 projects
EU-India Summit, Brussels, 30 March
In the margins of the Summit held in Brussels on 30 March, the Indian Department of Biotechnology (DBT) reaffirmed its commitment to fund (subject to its own internal evaluation procedures) Indian research and innovation teams participating in Horizon 2020 collaborative projects.
The co-funding mechanism set up with DBT will strengthen collaboration between European and Indian researchers and innovators to work together in thematic areas of high interest for both sides, such as biotechnology and health. DBT has published the list of the calls for proposals concerned.
A similar co-funding scheme is currently being evaluated by the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST), potentially paving the way for an even stronger Indian participation in Horizon 2020's collaborative research and innovation actions.
In addition, the EU side still makes direct European funding available for Indian researchers receiving an individual grant of the European Research Council (ERC) or a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship (MSCA), which are two other specific components of Horizon 2020.
The European Union and the Republic of India have also renewed their Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation. The agreement was signed in 2001 and has been renewed twice – now up to 2020.
Algeria - EU cooperation in Science and Technology
Algeria, 8-9 March 2016
The 2nd meeting of the Algeria - EU Joint Science & Technology Coordination Committee (JSTCC) took place on 8 March 2016, in Algeria. The meeting was co-chaired by Ali Mokrani, Ministry of Foreign affairs and by Maria Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation at the European Commission Directorate- General for Research and Innovation (RTD). Both parties exchanged views on recent policy development as well as R&I cooperation priorities. Existing cooperation instruments and projects, as well as regional policy dialogue platforms were also presented. Among these, particular attention was paid to the High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) with Africa, supported by a Horizon 2020 Project (RINEA) and cooperation in the EU-MED context supported by MEDSPRING (another EU funded project).
On March 9, the European Commission and the Algerian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research organized an information session on the EU research and Innovation programmes. Ms Maria Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation at RTD presented the EU Research and Innovation funding programme, Horizon 2020 that counts already with the participation of Algerian entities in 2 projects. Ms Russo also highlighted the important role that Algeria plays in multiple bi-regional platforms including the EU-Africa and EUROMED.
In the Press
Empowering the EU-CELAC Common Research Area
Senior Officials meeting 14 March 2016, Brussels
Cristina Russo said : "We have put Research and Innovation on the EU-CELAC map; now let's make the Common Research Area a destination of choice for researchers, innovators and politicians".
Based on long-standing links in science and technology between the EU and the CELAC countries, the fifth Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on Science and Technology of the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation launched the Common Research Area .
The meeting of the Senior Officials took place in Brussels, on March 14 and was chaired by Cristina Russo, Director International Cooperation, DG RTD, European Commission and co-chaired by Plácido F Gómez Ramírez, Vice Minister for Science and Technology, Dominican Republic, representing the CELAC Presidency. The event was very successful in gathering high level audience and a high number of participation from both EU Member States and CELAC countries. The opening session provided a clear signal on the political importance and visibility of research and innovation in the overall EU-CELAC Partnership. It was attended by the Chair of the EP delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, MEP Ramón Jàuregui Atondo, the EEAS deputy Director for Americas, Roland Schaefer, the Director for Latin America and the Caribbean in DG DEVCO Jolita Butkeviciene, and the Director for Excellence in Science from CNECT Thiery. Van der Pyl and Professor Bourguignon, President of the ERC.
Senior officials agreed to step-in cooperation and commit to deepen strategic partnership in research and innovation focusing on three key pillars: mobility of researchers, access to research infrastructures and strengthened thematic cooperation to jointly address global challenges.
Finally, jointly addressing common challenges requires opening up of national programmes and coordinating EU and CELAC research agendas, as well as increased synergies with instruments of external cooperation. The senior officials identified cooperation area of Climate Change and Environment as a flagship initiative, including in the field of sustainable urbanisation, acknowledging the importance of linking policy making with research and innovation actions, reflected also in the forthcoming mobilization of EU funds to support synergies in the area of Knowledge Management for Climate Services.
It was agreed that participation in multilateral initiatives of global relevance is key for tackling global challenges, such as for instance the role of GloPID-R in rapidly responding to the ZIKA virus outbreak, mirrored in the European Commission ad hoc call for proposals published on 15 March 2016.
To translate the strong political will and commitment towards a Common Research Area into palpable results, the CELAC Presidency announced a high level Senior Officials Meeting on Science and Technology to take place back-to-back to the EU-CELAC Foreign Affairs Ministerial Meeting in the Autumn 2016 in the Dominican Republic.
Kick off Meeting for ESASTAP 2020
25 & 26 February 2016, Cape Town (South Africa)
The kick-off meeting of the ESASTAP 2020 project took place on 25 and 26 February 2016, in Cape Town in South Africa. The meeting effectively launched the activities of the latest incarnation of a project series which has been supporting R&I cooperation between the EU and South Africa since 2005.
On the first day of the kick-off meeting, ESASTAP 2020 also hosted its first workshop entitled "ESASTAP 2020 workshop on Science for Policy Advice". The workshop took place on the occasion of the "Global Network of Science Academies-Inter Academy Partnership (IAP) conference on Science Advice and General Assembly 2016" which was held on 28 February to 2 March 2016 in Hermanus, Cape Town, South Africa hosted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).
Indo-European Innovation Joint Call for proposals - Bioeconomy
Within the framework of the INDIGO Partnership Programme an EU-India Innovation joint call for proposals on « Bioeconomy » is planned to be launched in April 2016.
Within the framework of this Innovation Joint call for proposals, joint R&D projects designed to lead to innovative products, services or processes of significant economic and/or societal value will be funded. Joint innovation projects shall also address applied research and technological development implemented in partnership between innovative SMEs and research performing institutions based in India and Europe.
Consortia that wish to apply for funding of an innovation project have to consist of at least three partners: two from two different European countries participating in the call, and one from India. Countries which are likely to participate in the Call are: India, France, Germany, Norway, and Spain. This list of funding organizations is not definitive and until the launch of the call, some organizations/countries might be added or removed. Partners from countries other than those participating in the IPP Innovation Call can join a consortium but have to secure their own funding.
A Joint Africa – EU strategy on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture
Addis Ababa, 4-7 April
'HLPD' is short for EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue Platform on Science, Technology and Innovation. Senior officials from African and EU countries use this platform to discuss research and innovation policies. They aim to formulate and implement long-term priorities to strengthen bi-regional STI cooperation, in the framework of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) .
In 2014 the HLPD Bureau commissioned a balanced group of African and European experts to prepare an input to a roadmap towards an Africa‐EU R&I Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA), with mutual priorities in the FNSSA domain for collaborative research and innovation, taking the whole value chain into consideration.
The roadmap is now ready and will be proposed to the Senior officials for adoption at the high level policy dialogue on 4 and 5 April 2016 in Addis Ababa. The HLPD takes place in association with a stakeholder forum on 5 and 6 April and the College‐to‐College meeting on April 7, to which Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation should attend.
Joint call published by CONCERT-Japan
A joint call on the theme of “Food crops and Biomass production technologies” has just been published by the European Interest Group (EIG) CONCERT-Japan, with a deadline on 28 April 2016.
The European Interest Group (EIG) CONCERT-Japan is the successful continuation of the ERA-NET CONCERT-Japan project funded by the 7th EU Framework Programme for Research and Technical Development (FP7) from 2011 to 2014. It is an international joint initiative to support and enhance science, technology and innovation (STI) cooperation between European countries and Japan.
The overall aim of this call is to support scientific research to further our understanding of the various phenotypes of useful food crops and biomass (including also algae biomass) plant species under a variety of environmental conditions towards improved yield and quality/functionality of those species under changing global climate.
EU-Egypt Innovation Day brings together stakeholders
The European Commission and the Egyptian Ministry of Scientific Research organized an "EU-Egypt Innovation Day" on 8 February, 2016 to raise Egyptian awareness of EU Research &Innovation (R&I) programmes. The event also aimed at creating cooperation opportunities and new networks between public/private sciences, technology and innovation players from Europe and Egypt.
Ms. Maria Cristina Russo, Director of International Cooperation at the Directorate General Research and Innovation of the European Commission and H.E Ambassador James Moran, Head of the EU Delegation to Egypt, and Dr. Essam Khames, Deputy Minister of Scientific Research opened the event. The opening session also included a key note speech by the Vice President of SIEMENS Egypt.
The Innovation Day brought together around 300 stakeholders from academic institutions, researchers and representatives of industry, financial institutions, NGOs and government as well as innovators, entrepreneurs and start-ups. The EC presented research and innovation funding and collaboration opportunities under the EU new framework programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020. Egypt successfully participated in 20 new projects under H2020 which covered topics including cancer research, eco-fishing, nano-technology, virtual simulation and water research, and benefitted of various initiatives supporting Egyptian researchers' mobility.
The Innovation Day included "Research and Innovation cafes", where EU MS – including Spain, France, UK, Germany, Austria, and Czech Republic - presented their research and innovation programmes that enable cooperation between European and Egyptian organizations. Alongside the event, the EC organized a roundtable with key research and innovation stakeholders. The roundtable aimed at enhancing current EU-Egypt R&I cooperation by bringing together key stakeholders under a single forum to initiate dialogue, share knowledge and network over current challenges and opportunities of EU-Egypt cooperation.
European Commission at AAAS 2016
11-15 February 2016, Washington DC
The AAAS annual meeting is among the world's largest and most prestigious general scientific events, gathering thousands of international scientists, policy makers and science journalists. The programme typically includes keynote speeches, scientific symposia, an exhibition, and press briefings on recent scientific discoveries.
This year's event focuses on " Global Science Engagement", and the European Commission is organising a number of scientific symposia:
- Improving Cancer Patient Care: Trade-offs between Efficacy and Toxicity
- Personalized Medicine: Big Data and Machine Learning
- Integrating Science into Policymaking: What Works and Why
- Open Science: Global Perspectives and Prospects
First calls launched under the co-funding scheme between Japan Science and Technology Agency and the European Commission
Further to the positive interaction between the European Commission (EC) and Japan's Science and Technology Agency (JST) over the past year, the 3rd EU-Japan Joint S&T Committee meeting in May 2015 endorsed a co-funding scheme developed by JST in close cooperation with the EC. This scheme has the intention to support EU-Japan collaboration in research and innovation, and to provide funding to successful Japanese participants in open calls for proposals in Horizon 2020.
The co-funding scheme is initially applied to the following two call topics in Horizon 2020, Work Programme 2016-17, which opened in October 2015 (Deadline: first stage - 8 December 2015; second stage - 24 May 2016):
- NMBP-02-2016: Advanced Materials for Power Electronics based on wide bandgap semiconductor devices technology
- NMBP-03-2016: Innovative and sustainable materials solutions for the substitution of critical raw materials in the electronic power system
In these topics, Japanese participants may apply for funding from JST. JST will carry out its own evaluation of Japanese applicants prior to that on the EC side.
The EC-JST co-funding scheme is one of the support schemes put in place by EU international partner countries to enable a stronger and more balanced collaboration between their universities, research institutes and enterprises with European ones under Horizon 2020.
Information on the fourth Call to be launched by Mexico under the EU-Mexico Research and Innovation Co-Funding Mechanism
The Conacyt-H2020 co-funding mechanism, in place since 2014, has been the first support scheme put in place by EU international partner countries providing a source of financing "project-by-project participation" to Mexican partners in successful Horizon 2020 projects covering all thematic areas under Horizon 2020.
This complementary funding mechanism has the objective of reinforcing EU-Mexico STI cooperation by increasing the participation of Mexican research institutions and companies in Horizon 2020 to work closely with European partners.
To this end, the National Council for Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACYT) will publish in March 2015 the fourth call under the co-funding mechanism covering thematic areas, such as renewable energy, health, environment, ICT and climate change among others.
Within the Horizon 2020 work programme for 2016/17, published in October 2015, a number of topics specifically encourage cooperation with Mexico.
Horizon 2020 workshop in Cabo Verde
Praia, 26-27 November
Following the EU-Cabo Verde Ministerial meeting on Science, Research and Innovation between Commissioner Moedas and Cabo Verde Minister for Education, Science and Research Dr. Antonio Correia da Silva in June 2015, it was agreed to reinforce the EU-CV Special Partnership. The International Cooperation Directorate of DG Research and Innovation was a key actor in providing support to Cabo Verde authorities and EU Delegation through raising awareness activities and capacity building trainings in order to promote H2020 participation and to empower the local research community but also, more crucially, stakeholders who can act as multipliers (managers, researchers, supporting personnel, public servants). For that reason a specific methodology was developed and trainings set up in different modules, focusing on crucial areas encompassing Tools and Skills for successful participation in H2020 and for Leadership and Management in Innovation, Effective Communication. Modules included also promotion for EC funded programs, Internationalisation of Research and Innovation ideas, Marketing Strategies and Techniques and how to promote and achieve Sustainable Development Goals with R&I
New €28 million call (200 million RMB) issued by MOST to step up EU-China Research and Innovation Cooperation
Further to the political agreement reached at the 2nd EU-China Innovation Cooperation Dialogue and the Summit of 29 June and the conclusions of the EU-China Joint Steering Committee on S&T Cooperation of 30 October, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology has published the first call for proposals under the EU-China Co-Funding Mechanisms (CFM) for Research and Innovation.
With a budget of 200 million RMB or 28 million euro for 2016 the Co-funding Mechanism will support mainland China-based research and innovation organisations participating in joint EU-China projects under Horizon 2020. Two deadlines are foreseen for 2016: 31 March and 31 July 2016. For each deadline the CFM call is open to China-based participants either in projects already successfully selected under Horizon 2020 or in proposals submitted (single-stage call or the second stage of two-stage call) but not yet selected under Horizon 2020.
The CFM will pave the way for deepened cooperation between European and Chinese research and innovation stakeholders by promoting a stronger and more balanced Chinese participation in the Horizon 2020 topics targeting cooperation with China (see list here). It will also be open to a variety of thematic areas such as food, agriculture, biotechnology, information and communication technology, space, aviation, energy, health, transportation, water resources, energy conservation, advanced manufacturing, new materials, sustainable urbanization, young scientists exchange activities.
Tunisia joins Horizon 2020, the EU's Research and Innovation Programme
Exchange of the Horizon 2020 association signed agreement between Chiheb Bouden, on the left, and Carlos Moedas
Researchers and innovators from Tunisia will now be able to participate in Horizon 2020, the EU's framework programme for research and innovation, under the same conditions as their counterparts from EU Member States and other 13 associated countries. The agreement associating Tunisia to Horizon 2020 was signed today by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Chiheb Bouden, Tunisian Minister for High Education and Scientific Research.
Commissioner Moedas said: "I am pleased to welcome Tunisia into Horizon 2020, the biggest programme for research and innovation of the world. This agreement is a historical one. It shows that through research and innovation, the EU is supporting the young Tunisian democracy and helping to invest in knowledge as a foundation of future development. Tunisia's accession also shows how a research policy open to the world can bring novel ideas and enrich our common research efforts."
12th EU-China Joint Steering Committee in Beijing
The 12th EU-China Joint Steering Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation took place in Beijing on 30 October 2015 under the co-chairmanship of the European Commission Director General for Research and Innovation Robert-Jan Smits and the Chinese Vice Minister for Science and Technology Cao Jianlin. The two sides reviewed past cooperation and discussed priority areas of mutual interest such as food, agriculture and biotechnology, sustainable urbanisation, environment and climate change, nuclear energy and renewable energy, SME cooperation, research infrastructures and exchange of young scientists. Substantial progress was made on the new EU-China Co-Funding Mechanism (CFM) for which Implementation Guidelines were agreed, and on reciprocal access to R&D funding programmes.
As of 2016, MOST will allocate annually to the CFM up to 200 million RMB - or 28 million euro - and provide competitive funding to China-based entities participating in joint projects with European partners under Horizon 2020. The CFM will be primarily used for Horizon 2020 topics targeting China (see China country page ) but will also be open to virtually all areas of Horizon 2020.
On 29 June DG Smits co-chaired with MOST the 4th Euratom-China Joint Steering Committee on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. The meeting endorsed the 'Three-Year Report 2011-2014' on the effectiveness of the RD-PUNE cooperation and discussed new bilateral fusion collaborative activities.
At the 2015 Research and Innovation Tour of China Beijing Event on 30 October, together with representatives from the EU Member States, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Beijing Municipal S&T Commission, the Director General addressed about 300 representatives of the European and Chinese research and innovation communities in China emphasising the new opportunities offered for EU-China STI cooperation by the Horizon 2020 Work Programmes 2016/2017.
Commission signs Atlantic Ocean Research Cooperation declaration with Brazil and announces a coordinated call on biofuels
The European Commission and the Brazilian government signed joint declaration for Atlantic Ocean Research to enhance marine cooperation between Europe and Brazil. The agreement follows the celebration of the EU-Brazil high level conference which aims to develop common expertise and scientific knowledge on the Atlantic Ocean and its dynamic systems, provide a new momentum for enhancing marine cooperation between Brazil and Europe and discuss how to further engage in joint research projects and improve reciprocal access to infrastructures.
During his first official mission to Brazil Commissioner Moedas has also launched a coordinated call on bio-fuels together with FAPESP (the Research Funding Agency of the State of São Paulo),CONFAP (the Council of State Foundations for Research) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. In addition, an open call organised by FAPESP has also been announced; this call will allow funding the participation of researchers from the State of São Paulo in projects successfully selected by Horizon 2020 –the EU's Framework Programme for Research and Innovation–.
While in São Paulo, Commissioner Moedas participated yesterday in the first Destination Europe event organised in Latin America, which has presented the opportunities offered by the EU and its Member States to Brazilian researchers for carrying out research in Europe.
EU – Mexico enhanced cooperation in Research and Innovation
The momentum and visibility of EU-Mexico research cooperation was increased by Commissioner Moedas' first visit to Mexico.
His visit started with a very positive and constructive meeting with Dr Cabrero Mendoza, Director General of the Mexican National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt) that consolidated and further enhanced this fruitful cooperation. At Conacyt headquarters, Commissioner Moedas signed an Implementing Arrangement between the European Research Council (ERC) and CONACYT to allow Mexico's most promising young researchers to come to Europe and temporarily join ERC-led research teams. At the signing ceremony were rectors of major Mexican universities participating in the FP7 and Horizon 2020 programmes.
A meeting with Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, Mexican Minister of Energy, provided the opportunity to discuss future S&T cooperation opportunities between the EU and Mexico in renewable energies. The Commissioner set out the progress on renewables in Europe and the political goals that are pursued in the context of the Energy Union. The coordinated geothermal call, which is underway, was mentioned as well as possible further cooperation opportunities in renewables, important for both sides in the context of COP21. The first coordinated call between the EU and Mexico on geothermal energy was published in October as part of the Horizon 2020 work programme for 2016-2017, with a total budget of €20 million with each side contributing an equal amount. The EU-Mexico coordinated call on geothermal energy is expected to bring important benefits which range from accelerated technology development and increased knowledge and expertise to enhanced risk reduction.
During the first day of the Commissioner's mission he also intervened at the final day of the 4th Annual Research Network Meeting of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD). He supported global collaboration against Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and implementation research in order to ensure fast uptake and scale-up of healthcare innovations adapted to different settings, and ensure that knowledge generated by research is actually used in real life. A working lunch with the President of ProMexico (confederation of industries) provided the opportunity to discuss and promote open innovation and Mexican SME participation in European R&I Programmes.
On the second day of his visit (13/11/2015), Commissioner Moedas attended the GEO (Group on Earth Observation) 2015 Mexico City Ministerial Summit where he underlined the role of the EU in helping global earth observation systems reach maturity, namely through the Horizon 2020 and Copernicus programmes. The Commissioner co-chaired the opening session of GEO accompanied by the President of INEGI, Dr Eduardo Sojo. During the meeting Commissioner Moedas stated that "This meeting is a sign of our commitment to work together to tackle global challenges. We cannot afford to be the generation who failed in efforts to address these challenges".
Initiative launched to encourage South African top researchers to join ERC teams in Europe
A new initiative has been launched to provide South African early-mid career researchers with research opportunities in Europe. The agreement has been signed by European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas and the South African Minister for Science and Technology Naledi Pandor.
The ERC/DST initiative - the sixth in a string of similar agreements with non-European counterparts - is open to active holders of South African National Research Foundation (NRF) grants. They can undertake research visits (e.g. for joint experiments), becoming part of teams led by ERC grant holders in Europe.
This contract takes the form of an 'Implementing Arrangement' under the umbrella of the Science & Technology Agreement between the EU and the Republic of South Africa. South African researchers who will come to Europe on scientific visits will continue to receive remuneration from the National Research Foundation (NRF).
The objective of the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) is to promote and support research through funding, human resource development and the provision of the necessary facilities in order to facilitate the creation of knowledge, innovation and development in all fields of science and technology, including indigenous knowledge, and thereby to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of all the people.
Set up by the European Union in 2007, the European Research Council (ERC) is the first European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run five-year-projects based in Europe. The ERC also strives to attract top researchers from anywhere in the world to come to Europe. To date, the ERC has funded some 5,000 top researchers at various stages of their careers. On average, ERC grantees employ around six team members during their ERC project. An estimate shows that some 18% of these team members are nationals from countries outside Europe. The ERC is led by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council, and, since January 2014, the ERC President is Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon. The ERC has a budget of over €13 billion and is part of the EU research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, for which European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Carlos Moedas is responsible.
2nd ERANet-LAC joint call will be launched on 1st December 2015
32 funding organizations from 26 member countries in the European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin-American and Caribbean States (CELAC) joined forces to aim for the 2nd ERANet-LAC multilateral call for proposals. The objective of the joint call is to develop cooperative research and innovation activities in the thematic fields of Biodiversity/Climate, Bioeconomy, Energy, Health and Information- and Communication Technologies (ICT).
26 countries confirmed their interest in participating and their total commitments amount to more than 13 million euros.
Detailed information on the topics, the call text and the application guidelines will be published on 1 December 2015.
Strengthening cooperation between the EU and Kazakhstan
Cristina Russo meets with Mr Shkolnik
Maria Cristina Russo, the Director for International Cooperation of DG RTD paid her first visit to Astana on 1-2 October 2015. Mrs Russo had a number of bilateral meetings with the high-level officials of Kazakhstan, in particular, with Minister for Investment and Development Mr Asset Issekeshev, Minister of Energy Mr Vladimir Shkolnik, First Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Rapil Zhoshybayev and Vice-Minister of Education and Science Mr Yessengazy Imangaliyev.
At the meeting with Minister for Investment and Development Mr Asset Issekeshev, Mrs Russo underlined: “The EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA), initialled on 20 January 2015, will greatly facilitate stronger bilateral political, economic and strategic relations. We look forward in using this new agreement to enhance our cooperation, including in the areas of research and innovation. In this regard, we encourage Kazakhstan's active participation in the "Horizon 2020" programme, the EU main tool in promoting closer cooperation in the field of research, innovation and energy.”
The visit offered the opportunity to put emphasis upon to the new Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, particularly on the chapters dedicated to the cooperation between the EU and Kazakhstan in the field of research and innovation. Kazakhstani officials underlined the importance attached to the new EPCA in the view of Kazakhstan's plans on strengthening the national economy. Parties also discussed topics related to the potential participation of Kazakhstan in the SESAME infrastructure.
To exchange views on cooperation between the EU and Kazakhstan, Mrs Russo met with Minister of Energy Mr Vladimir Shkolnik. "The main purpose of my visit is to express the importance given by the EU to the enhanced partnership and cooperation and underline our fruitful relations with Kazakhstan, and the role of research and innovation collaboration, in particular in the field of Energy, in building constructive relations in the future,"- said Cristina Russo. There is also the growing importance of Kazakhstan as a major energy supplier for the EU. Kazakhstan supplies around 5-6% of the EU oil demand and meets more than 21% of the EU uranium demand.
In the framework of the visit, the 2nd Policy Stakeholders Conference of IncoNet CA "EU – Central Asia Cooperation in Addressing Energy Research and Innovation" and the workshop "The European Union – Kazakhstan: innovation through collaboration" were organised. Parties agreed to further develop substantive cooperation within the framework of "Horizon 2020".
EU cooperation with Kazakhstan's researchers was established more than 20 years ago. Only in the framework of the previous programme - FP7, 28 scientists took part in the joint projects. The INCONET CA and NCP promote collaboration with Kazakhstan. The project specifically looks at opportunities for collaboration in the areas of Climate Change, energy and Health. The European Union committed to continue its support to the ISTC, which recently moved to Astana. The ISTC is an international organisation with enlarged geographical scope dealing with projects on migration of Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Risks. The EU and Kazakhstan have two EUROATOM agreements on cooperation in the area of "nuclear safety" and "controlled nuclear fusion".
A long-term vision for EU-CELAC STI Cooperation – a Common Research Area
Robert Burmanjer and François Roudié in the International seminar on EU-CELAC Common Research Area
High level officials and EU ambassadors discussed the future of EU-CELAC STI Cooperation at an International seminar on EU-CELAC Common Research Area, in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 28 September 2015. The seminar was hosted by the Argentinian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MINCyT) and organized by the project ALCUE-NET, which is funded by the EU Framework Programme 7.
The event was opened by the Director for International Relations at MINCyT, Águeda Menvielle who recalled the milestones and achievements of the EU-CELAC research cooperation since the launch of the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (JIRI) in 2013. Ms. Menvielle also underlined the importance of the mandate given to the next Senior Officials Meeting of the JIRI in Brussels on 25 – 26 November to develop a strategic vision for an EU-CELAC Common Research Area. The Argentinian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Lino Barañao, was the key note speaker of the event. Minister Barañao highlighted particularly the key role of Research and Innovation at the heart of the EU-CELAC cooperation. On the side of the EU, the Chargé d’affaire at the EU delegation in Argentina, François Roudié, stressed the growing role of the EU as a global actor in building the EU CELAC STI Cooperation.
Robert Burmanjer, Head of Unit for North America, Latin America and Caribbean, DG Research and Innovation, illustrated the key priorities for moving towards an EU CELAC Common Research Area as agreed at the EU-CELAC Summit in June and re-confirmed by the CELAC STI Ministerial meeting at Quito, Ecuador on 15 September 2015. Mr. Burmanjer indicated that these three priorities include i) jointly address common challenges, ii) increase mobility of researchers and iii) access to research infrastructures. He also presented the EU experience in building the European Research Area and its founding principles as potential sources of inspiration in developing an EU CELAC Common Research Area.
With regards common challenges, Piero Venturi, EU Scientific Counselor for Research and Innovation in Brazil presented the outcome of the first years of H2020 and the opportunities the programme offers to CELAC countries.
A final session, moderated by Mina Stareva, policy officer for Latin America and Caribbean in DG RTD C2, discussed the challenges for CELAC in moving towards an EU CELAC Common Research Area, concluding on the benefits such area could have in terms of opening up national programmes, strengthening scientific cooperation and supporting regional integration.
This International Seminar was followed by a two-day meeting of EU and CELAC funding agencies of the ERA-NET LAC project, which is also funded by the EU Framework Programme 7. The objective of this meeting was to discuss a second joint call for small collaborative projects that will be co-funded by funding agencies participating into the ERA-NET LAC. This meeting was opened by Mr. Burmanjer recalling the political context and the importance of moving towards strategic commonly agreed priorities and the potential input the ERA-NET Lac project could have to the preparation of the next JIRI SOM in November. The event gathered 18 new funding agencies potential partners from both EU and CELAC interested in participating in the second joint call.
One more step towards an EU-CELAC common research area
From left to right: Domenica Bumma, Cristina Russo and Mr. Piero Venturi in Quito
Maria Cristina Russo, the Director for International Cooperation of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation participated in the meeting of Science and Technology Ministers and High Level Officials of CELAC in Quito on 14 and 15 September. The visit to Ecuador took place during the Ecuadorian presidency of CELAC, at the invitation of Mr. Ramirez, Secretary of State for Education, Science and Technology, to ensure a follow-up discussion with CELAC STI Ministers on the June 2015 EU-CELAC Summit decision to move towards a Common Research Area (CRA). At the Ministerial meeting Ms. Russo presented the concept of an EU-CELAC CRA and discussed with them the next steps towards achieving this objective.
In addition to this meeting, the creation of an EU-CELAC Common Research Area was discussed also with the Minister of Development Cooperation, Ms. Rosero, the Vice-Minister of Human Talent, Mr. Rubén Leòn and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Silvia Espindola.
CELAC STI Ministers and Senior Officials, as well as the other institutions, received very well the idea of an EU-CELAC CRA presented based on the mandate received by Commissioner Moedas. They welcomed the proposal that the move towards the CRA focuses on 3 main elements, namely facing global challenges together by means of increased thematic cooperation through higher participation into Horizon 2020; access to research infrastructures, including the submarine cable linking Latin America and Europe and mobility of researchers. The Ministerial meeting also mandated the next Senior Official Meeting of the CELAC Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (JIRI) on 25 and 26 November in Brussels, to develop a concrete action plan for moving forwards towards a CRA based on these three elements. Minister Ramirez was invited to co-chair the next JIRI SOM in Brussels together with Ms. Russo. They fully converged on the importance of giving a more strategic focus to the JIRI SOM meeting of November by involving also scientists in the priority areas of the JIRI working groups.
The visit was also an important occasion to promote Horizon 2020 with the Ecuadorian research community through a workshop organised by SENSCYT to which over 200 researchers participated in person and with web stream connection to other key universities and research centres in the country. During the visit future cooperation through increased participation of Ecuador in H2020 was discussed with particular focus on areas of common interest such as environment, biodiversity and bioeconomy, volcanology, renewable energies and others.
During the visit Ms. Russo was accompanied by Domenica Bumma, policy officer for Brazil and CELAC and by Mr. Piero Venturi, science counsellor for Brazil and Latin America.
Under the FP7 from 2007 to 2014, there were 747 participations of research entities from CELAC receiving over 100 million Euro of EU support. Over the same period, Marie-Curie awarded 834 fellowships to researchers of CELAC, ERC signed 20 grants and over 5000 CELAC researchers took part in the staff exchange programmes IRSES. During FP7, Ecuador participated in 15 projects.
EU and China launch new Co-Funding Mechanism for research and innovation
Handshake between Wan Gang, Chinese Minister for Science and Technology , on the right and Carlos Moedas
Today's high level "Joint Conference in Promoting Excellence through Enhanced EU-China Researcher's Mobility and Cooperation" promoted a new Co-funding mechanism for research and innovation. The conference was attended by European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Mr. Carlos Moedas who is visiting China accompanied by Mr. Jean Pierre Bourguignon, President of the European Research Council, and Ms. Nuria Sebastian Galles, Vice President of the European Research Council.
The co-funding mechanism is established by the Ministry of Science and Technology on the Chinese side and the European Commission Directorate General for Research and Innovation on the EU side with funding resources on each side. To implement the co-funding mechanism (CFM) highlighted in the Joint Statement of the 17th EU-China Summit , building on Horizon 2020 on the EU side and relevant research and innovation programmes on the Chinese side, during the period from 2016 to 2020, the European Commission expects to continue spending over 100 million Euros per year for the benefit of Europe-based entities in joint projects under H2020 with Chinese participants. China will match corresponding resources and expects to spend 200 million RMB per year for the benefit of Chinese based entities that will participate in joint projects with European ones under Horizon 2020.
Success stories of EU-Africa cooperation in science, technology & innovation
"If you want to go quickly, go alone; If you want to go far, go together"
Over the years, EU-Africa cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) become one of our main success stories. Our long term Partnership, patiently built, is now maturing and producing concrete results.
The projects presented in this publication offer just a few concrete examples – 24 out of 590- of collaborative research platforms and networks in which African scientists, from the North to the South of the continent, cooperated with Europeans. They also show the added value of cooperation in STI as each one of these 24 projects made its own unique and important contribution to the daily lives of Europeans and Africans.
EU and China step up cooperation in research and innovation
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Chinese Minister for Science and Technology, Mr. Wan Gang, agreed to step up EU-China cooperation in the field of research and innovation at the 2nd EU-China Innovation Co-operation Dialogue that took place on 29 June in Brussels back-to-back with the 17th EU-China Summit.
Both sides agreed to work towards reciprocal access to their respective research and innovation funding programmes and decided to set up a new co-funding mechanism based on Horizon 2020 on the EU side and relevant research and innovation funding programmes on the Chinese side to support joint research and innovation projects. They will also continue the bold implementation of the flagship initiative on Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology by supporting joint projects in the areas of plant breeding, food safety, animal health, soil and water resources management, and urban agriculture, and jointly promote research and innovation cooperation on Sustainable Urbanisation.
EU and China also agreed to stimulate collaboration on frontier research through the signature at the of an implementing arrangement between the European Research Council and the Natural Science Foundation of China and to reinforce the long standing cooperation between the European Commission Joint Research Centre and the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, by signing a new collaborative research arrangement on remote sensing. Both agreements were signed at the EU-China Summit.
- 2nd ICD – Joint Statement [pdf 90kb]
- EU – China R&I relations - Facts and figures [pdf 160kb]
- EU – China cooperation on Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology [pdf 78kb]
- EU – China cooperation on Aviation [pdf 123kb]
- Agreement between ERC and the Natural Science Foundation [pdf 107kb]
- Agreement between JRC and the CAS-RADI [pdf 2.2mb]
- EU-China Innovation Cooperation Dialogue (ICD) - group photo
- Opening statements (in full length) by Commissioner Carlos MOEDAS
EU-India Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation Days
15-16 October 2015 - Rome, Italy
The 6th edition of the EU-India STI cooperation days will focus on water for health, in order to maximize future scientific and business collaboration in this field. Market opportunities in Europe and India for entrepreneurs will be explored and innovative technologies will be showcased. The event will also support the linking of existing bilateral and multilateral projects on water research. The event is jointly organized by the INDIGO POLICY and INNO INDIGO projects and supported by European Commission.
Advancing EU-Cabo Verde cooperation in Research and Innovation
On the 18th June 2015 Commissioner Carlos Moedas, accompanied by the Advisor Maria da Graca Carvalho and the Director of International Cooperation Cristina Russo met with the Minister of Cabo Verde for Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr. António Leão de Aguiar Correia e Silva and his delegation.
Together, they exchanged on measures and support to increase EU-CV cooperation through the opportunities available under Horizon 2020 highlighting common areas of interest for mutual benefit. Cabo Verde is an African success story with stable democracy, good governance, respect of human rights and shares European values and cultural tradition. In addition to that, Cabo Verde is the only country within the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States holding a Special Partnership with the EU: a framework of mutual interests with an important political dimension that goes beyond the traditional donor-recipient relationship scheme. In this context, the EU-CV meeting explored ways on how to further progress the Special Partnership with Cabo Verde in the areas of science, research, innovation and education.
A dedicated technical meeting, led by Cristina Russo, took place in the afternoon and identified specific support measures such as trainings, knowledge dissemination and raising awareness initiatives, with the aim to better support, in the next months, universities and research centres capacities in Cabo Verde, in their international cooperation activities.
5th EU-Korea Joint S&T Cooperation Committee
The EU and the Republic of Korea held the 5th Joint S&T Cooperation Committee in Seoul on 15 June 2015. The meeting, chaired by EC Director-General Robert-Jan Smits and Korean Vice-Minister Sukjoon Lee, was a further testimony of the breadth and dynamism of the EU-Korea partnership where successful cooperation on political, economic, security and science & technology affairs reflects the EU's and Korea's increasing international engagement and shows that they face similar challenges and share many of the same values and concerns.
At the meeting both sides emphasised the importance of continuing to improve the framework conditions for EU and Korean scientists and innovators to work together. They agreed to early exchanges of programme information to enable more efficient provision of matching funds and to allow for monitoring of cooperation intensity. Participants also agreed to continue support to joint events and to the efforts of multipliers to facilitate access to information and partnering of R&I stakeholders.
The substantial progress of current Korea-EU R&I cooperation was appreciated from both sides that also emphasised the need to deepen, scale up and open cooperation in selected thematic areas of mutual benefit. These areas include a joint call on 5G-next generation communication networks, Internet of Things and cloud services, a twinning call on CO2 capture technologies, and cooperation through multilateral initiatives on nano-safety and on infectious disease preparedness. Potentially new common priority topics include nanoelectronics, materials modelling, innovative medicine, medical devices, and satellite navigation.
The Implementing Arrangement for Korean researchers to join the teams of ERC Principal Investigators is progressing well with two calls launched already, and researchers' mobility through Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions is set to increase through R&I Staff Exchanges and Innovative Training Networks.
The Journey towards a Common Research Areas for the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean
Speaking at the EU-CELAC Academic Summit on 8 June in Brussels, Commissioner Moedas illustrated his vision for an EU-CELAC Common Research Areas. Addressing researchers and scholars from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Commissioner Moedas welcomed the strong ties that already exist between the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean in the field of science, technology and innovation. He underlined the affinities between the two regions and underscored that cooperation is research and innovation is one of the cornerstones of the EU-CELAC relations. He further added that science diplomacy and research cooperation are a core element of the EU Strategy to stand as a strong global actor and that Latin America and Europe can benefit even more from increasing their cooperation science, technology and innovation. The Framework Programme 7 for research and innovation made possible to increase EU-CELAC cooperation by funding more 750 participations of Latin American and Caribbean researchers in collaborative projects with European partners for a total €100 million. This is an excellent basis for building a Common Research Area between the two regions based on knowledge sharing and stronger research cooperation in specific areas of common interest such as renewable energies, climate services, bio-economy, marine research, ICT and health. Horizon 2020, as the largest multilateral research programme provides a key tool for achieving this objective as it is fully open to the world.
The Second EU-CELAC Academic Summit of 8 & 9 June takes in Brussels place before the main EU-CELAC Summit of 10-11 June. The main theme of the Summit is "Towards a Euro-Latin American Caribbean common space for higher education, science, technology and innovation".
Towards a new strategic partnership in R&I between the EC and Japan
At the 23rd EU-Japan Summit in Tokyo, the EU and Japan agreed to deepen their cooperation on Research and Innovation (R&I), based on a joint vision.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "Europe and Japan must tackle many of the same challenges such as energy security, ageing populations or access to critical materials. So it's only natural that we also work together closely to find solutions to these challenges. The joint vision endorsed today will take our cooperation to the next level."
The agreement will build on the strong research ties in areas like ICT and aeronautics and strengthen collaborations in health and medical research, environment, energy and physics. The partners will also set up a joint funding mechanism that will make it easier to finance common R&I projects and collaborate more closely on policy aspects, like Open Science. In addition, an agreement to stimulate scientific exchanges has also been signed between the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and the European Research Council (ERC).
European Development Day
3-4 June, Brussels – Tour & Taxis
Each year, the forum attracts more than 5000 participants from over 140 countries, representing 1200 organisations from within the diverse development community. The forum fosters a true spirit of partnership with all interested parties.
This year, participants will address issues such as the conditions for creating sustainable growth, the promotion of universal and fundamental rights, or how greater cooperation among all actors can help to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality.
Among others, 4 Research projects will be presented at the following workshops:
- 3 June 2015
IDEA - Combating poverty related and neglected infectious diseases
Nopoor - Research for change: New knowledge for poverty eradication
- 4 June 2015
CLARA - A plan for safer water supplies and sanitation in Africa
FOODSECURE - The future of global food and nutrition security
The focus for EDD15 echoes the motto of the European Year for Development - ‘Our world, our dignity, our future’. This year’s programme will be structured around 4 themes and 12 topics.
3rd EU-Japan Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation
The 3rd EU-Japan Joint Committee on Science and Technology (S&T) Cooperation was held in Brussels on 18 May 2015. The meeting was co-chaired by Director-General Robert-Jan Smits, DG Research and Innovation, and Ambassador Makoto Katsura, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan. The Japanese delegation was composed of 20 persons from the Cabinet, ministries and agencies involved in Research and Innovation.
The meeting assessed progress achieved and adopted a joint statement on the new EU-Japan strategic partnership in Research and Innovation, which is based on the deepening of strategic cooperation by frequent consultation at multiple levels; frameworks that facilitate collaboration (the establishment of mechanisms for the joint funding of research and innovation projects and measures to enhance mobility of researchers such as the soon to be signed ERC-JSPS cooperation arrangement); thematic approach for promoting activities in key strategic areas (ICT, Aeronautics and Materials including Critical Raw Materials - and a mutual interest to initiate cooperation in areas such as health, energy, environment and high-energy physics); close consultation and possible collaboration on STI policies such as Open Science; and the important role of support activities and public engagement.
6th INCO Conference - Joint Innovation, Common Prosperity
Beijing, China, 17-19 June
This year’s event is dedicated to the underpinning role of innovation in boosting global growth and global efforts on innovation in achieving this end. Discussions will address critical issues such as the potential of global growth held by innovation in order to acquire insight for future coordinated actions. Invited speakers from worldwide organizations will share their experiences, best practices and obstacles in innovation cooperation.
The annual INCO Conference series targets primarily International Cooperation (INCO) Experts from around the world and National Contact Points (NCPs), providing an excellent forum for a plethora of activities including the dissemination of information on the Framework programmes, training activities for Third Countries NCPs, presentations on specific international cooperation projects and presentations on the research landscape in specific countries.
The conference will also host the annual meeting of the national INCO experts as well as a special training session on international research collaboration under Horizon 2020.
The conference seeks to:
- set the framework for international cooperation in H2020
- investigate into the role of innovation in unlocking growth
- examine experiences of international innovation partnerships
- underline best practices
- provide insight to the future of interconnected research
Kick off meeting of Rinea
Bonn, 28-30 April 2015
The Horizon 2020 funded RINEA project was kicked-off in Bonn on 28-30 April. RINEA will support the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on science, technology and innovation. The project is also expected to take up some specific activities as put forward in the draft roadmap towards the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture. The project will work in close cooperation with other projects of the HLPD such as CAAST-Net Plus, ProIntensAfrica and a potential follow-up to ERAfrica.
EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD)
Brussels, 27 April 2015
The EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) Expert Working Group (EWG) presented its final input to the EU-Africa HLPD Bureau and representatives of DG Research and Innovation, DG Agriculture and Rural Development and DG International Cooperation and Development in Brussels on 27 April. The EWG that was made up of 5 experts from Africa and 5 experts from Europe has been working since April 2014 on a scientific input to a roadmap towards the jointly funded EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership. The work included an external consultation exercise. The HLPD Bureau will now develop a final road map in view of the senior officials meeting scheduled in March 2016.
Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES)
Brussels, 21-22 April 2015
The Commissions of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) met in Brussels on to advance the Partnership embodied by the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) launched in 2007. Many areas were addressed including research and innovation.
In the margins of this meeting, EU Commissioner Moedas for research, science and innovation met bilaterally with AU Commissioner Ikounga for Human Resources Science and Technology, AU Commissioner Tumusiime for Rural Economy and Agriculture, AU Commissioner Sidiki Kaloko for Social Affairs (including health) and AU Commissioner Abdullahi for Political Affairs. The progress of the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on science, technology and innovation (STI) in developing a jointly funded EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture (FNSSA) was welcomed, with an agreement to mobilise adequate resources for implementation, including from member states. Also recognised was the need for better preparedness for infectious diseases through research and surveillance, such as through the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID), the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) and the emerging African Centre for Disease Control (ACDC).
Commissioner Moedas meets Minister Barañao
Commissioner Moedas met the Minister of Science and Technology of Argentina in Brussels on 8 May 2015. At the meeting, Commissioner Moedas and Minister Barañao reviewed ongoing cooperation and discussed how to further enhance future EU-Argentina cooperation in research and innovation in areas of common interest including marine research, bio-economy, renewable energies, re-naturing cities, and nanotechnologies. Commissioner Moedas congratulated the Minister on the signature of an implementing arrangement with the European Commission providing opportunities for Argentinian researchers to carry out research in Europe through the European Research Council (ERC) grant scheme.
During his stay in Brussels Minister Baraña also met the president of ERC, Mr. Bourguignon to discuss the implementation of this arrangement. Commissioner Moedas also welcomed the fact that Argentina recently joined the Global Research Collaboration for infectious Diseases Preparedness GLOPID-R. At the meeting, the active role of Argentina in the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation was also praised and the Commissioner expressed his wish that the EU-CELAC cooperation in science and technology could be soon enhanced in view of creating a common research area between the two regions
- Contact Domenica Bumma
Horizon 2020 Training in Ghana
28-29 May 2015, Accra
CAAST-Net Plus has partnered with the INCONTACT project to offer a two-day Horizon 2020 training workshop to researchers and innovators from west and central Africa.
The event will take place on 28 and 29 May 2015 in Ghana’s capital Accra.
Horizon 2020 is open to eligible participants from outside of the EU, including from Africa, in topical areas of mutual interest.
The overall objective of the workshop is to increase the awareness of Horizon 2020 and its opportunities, and to build the capacity of National Contact Points (NCPs) for improved participation in Horizon 2020 by African research scientists.
The Atlantic – Our Shared Resource. Making the Vision Reality
The conference took place on 16-17 April 2015 at Egmont Palace Brussels. The objective of the event was to launch the ‘Galway Statement follow-up projects' funded through the first Horizon 2020 Blue Growth Calls - the main EU financial instrument to make the Galway Statement commitments a reality. It brought together project coordinators and partners from European Atlantic coastal States and other European countries, our partners from the US and Canada, and also representatives from Brazil and South Africa, aiming to extend the cooperation towards the Southern Atlantic.
5 India-Europe collaborative projects have been selected under INNO INDIGO first joint call on “Clean Water and Health”
INNO INDIGO first joint call "Clean Water and Health" gathered contributions from national and regional funding agencies from 5 different countries: Belgium, Estonia, Germany, India and Portugal.
Following a scientific evaluation process, 5 projects have been selected, involving 20 research teams/partners from India and different EU Member States.
With a total budget of approximately € 2,600,000, the projects are expected to start in October 2015 and to run for a period of 3 years. Follow the activities of the Projects.
The next INNO INDIGO call has already opened. The new call intends to fund research and technological development projects in the field of “Diagnostics and interventions in Chronic non-communicable diseases” with a specific focus on:
- Development of tools and technologies for the diagnostics of chronic non-communicable diseases
- Research and innovation within interventions for chronic non-communicable diseases
- Mechanisms in chronic non-communicable diseases
Deadline for submission: 22 June 2015
Conference “The Atlantic – Our Shared Resource. Making the Vision Reality”
The implementation activities of the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Research Cooperation, signed in May 2013 by the EU, Canada and the United States of America, and launching an Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, are moving to a new exciting stage.
This event will be the launch pad for all the ‘Galway Statement follow-up projects’ funded with the first Horizon 2020 Blue Growth calls - the main financial instrument on the EU side to make the Galway Statement commitments reality.
The Galway Statement contributes to the implementation of the EU’s Atlantic Strategy and its related Atlantic Action Plan, which considers responses to the challenges of delivering growth, reducing the carbon footprint, using the sea’s natural resources sustainably, responding effectively to threats and emergencies and implementing an “ecosystem” management approach in Atlantic waters.
2015 Research and Innovation Tour: Where Europe and China connect
From May to November 2015
The 2015 Research and Innovation Tour (Tour) is the 4th edition of an ambitious awareness raising campaign leading through 16 cities in 14 provinces across China. With an introduction of Europe's excellence in science and innovation, the Tour seeks to shape a vibrant EU-China research and innovation community through an array of European research and innovation opportunities. The 2015 Tour, running from May to November, follows on from successful previous editions which attracted more than 2000 interested and experienced Chinese stakeholders all over the country.
EU and Middle-East Building Bridges through Science Diplomacy
The EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas took today a new step towards strengthening cooperation in the Middle East through science diplomacy. To mark the EU's engagement towards building bridges between nations through research and innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas participated in a high level conference on "Addressing shared challenges through science diplomacy: the case of the EU –Middle East Regional Cooperation" and visited the Synchrotron light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) in Allan (Jordan). SESAME is a unique international endeavour launched in 2003 under UNESCO auspices by Eastern Mediterranean countries to enhance scientific and technological excellence and build a culture of cooperation and peace in the broader Middle East.
Those initiatives represent a further element to confirm the excellent EU-Jordan relationships and endorse the role of Jordan as an important partner in the European Neighbourhood Policy.
Commissioner Carlos Moedas said: "Cooperation in research and innovation with our Middle East partners is a priority for the EU. SESAME is a powerful example of how science and research can bring diverse nations together. Jordan's active engagement in regional science diplomacy in hosting SESAME is extremely valuable. I am also very pleased that the EU was granted SESAME observer status with unanimity."
The Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) is expected to have a broad socio-economic impact in Jordan and the region. It can be used for a wide scope of applications from imaging of diseases, designing pharmaceuticals, solar cell enhancements to CO2 capture and assessing archaeological artefacts. The EU has played a major role in the development of the initiative through technical and financial assistance provided by several EU Members States and the European Commission, amounting to more than EUR 12 million. EUR 5 million have been granted by EU 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. Owing to SESAME's nature as widely-available 'scientific user facility', the EU will provide further support to training needs and staff exchanges with other European synchrotron infrastructures.
Although it is not new in the EU context science diplomacy remains an emerging concept with a largely untapped potential. It has a particular added value in the EU - Middle East cooperation as many research and science initiatives in the region bring together countries and entities often at odds such as Iran, Israel, Palestine, Turkey and Cyprus. Being one of the EU's research priorities science diplomacy is considered instrumental in rebuilding trust, fostering understanding in the region and reaching out to youth, talent and creativity.
In the framework of his visit Commissioner Moedas opened, together with HRH Prince Hassan bin Talal, a high-level conference entitled "Addressing shared challenges through Science Diplomacy: The case of the EU – Middle East regional cooperation". Among the speakers of the conference were other distinguished personalities such as Rolf Heuer – the Director-General of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, Laszlo Lovasz – Chairman of the World Science Forum, HRH Princess Sumaya Bint El Hassan, HRH Princess Basma bint Ali, Dr Tracey Elliott for the Royal Society, 2014 Science Diplomacy Award Holder Zafra Lerman and others.
Building Together Knowledge-oriented and Forward-looking EU Neighbourhood – Developing A Common Knowledge and Innovation Space
The event will be organized jointly by the European Commission (DG R&I) and the European Parliament`s Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) and the Industry, Technology, Research and Energy (ITRE) committees. It will be opened by the Chairs of both committees – Elmar Brok and Jerzy Buzek respectively, together with EU Commissioner Carlos Moedas and the Latvian Minister for Education and Science - Marite Seile.
It will include a conference with keynote speakers and roundtables to allow for discussion, an exhibition of posters and video testimonials of research projects involving ENP countries, and a reception for the invited participants to allow networking.
The main objective of the event is to illustrate the potential and results of the EU-ENP cooperation in research and innovation towards the achievement of a Common Knowledge and Innovation Space between the EU and its Neighbors (both under FP7 and the recently launched Horizon 2020) as well as to identify future prospects for cooperation in this field, including foster the strong involvement of the ENP countries in Horizon 2020.
First ever EU Research & Innovation Day in Seoul and meeting with Korean counterparts
Ms Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation in DG Research and Innovation went on mission to Korea this week to participate in the first ever EU Research & Innovation Day in Seoul and to meet her Korean counterparts.
The EU Research & Innovation Day was extremely successful, attracting nearly 400 participants and top Korean leaders in research and innovation, notably the First Vice-Minister of MSIP and the Presidents and CEOs of major Korean companies and S&T Institutes. The event showcased S&T excellence in the EU and cooperation opportunities between public and private stakeholders from Europe and Korea.
The preparation of the upcoming Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee JSTCC meeting scheduled for 16 June was finalised at a meeting with MSIP, the main subjects and areas of exchange and discussion were also agree and a 2-hours workshop back-to-back with the JTSCC proposed by MSIP to focus on 'Technology Commercialisation' was also discussed.
Other Meetings took place with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) with an update on both sides on EU-Korea relations in industrial technology and pro-business policies, with members of the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea and with Member States representatives at various levels.
With 4.4% of GDP invested in R&D, excellent S&T capacities, and high speed in turning lab results into commercial products and services, Korea is a key international partner country for the EU. Our collaboration in research and innovation should be deepened and broaden, including in Korea-EU researchers' mobility in the context of the ERC and MSCA. At the same time, we need to continuously seek to improve the framework condition for cooperation.
Strengthening cooperation between the EU and Brazil
© Leandro Negro/Agência Fapesp
The European Union, represented by Ana Paula Zacarias, Head of the EU Delegation in Brazil and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), represented by its President Celso Lafer, signed a "letter of intent" at a ceremony held on March 18, in São Paulo, Brazil.
The objective is to strengthen cooperation between the European Union, its Member-States and FAPESP by facilitating cooperation between researchers in Europe and São Paulo, and identifying research themes of common interest. Several areas of cooperation have already been identified, including the global societal challenges of climate change, migration, renewable energy, food security and demographic change.
Cristina Russo, the EU's Director for International Cooperation in Research and Innovation, who was also present at the meeting, stressed the importance of cooperation on research related to the Atlantic Ocean.
According to Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, Scientific Director for FAPESP the next step will consist in establishing mechanism to support common research projects.
Ukraine joins Horizon 2020 to work with EU in science and research
Researchers, businesses and innovators from Ukraine will now be able to fully participate in Horizon 2020, the European Union's research and innovation funding programme, on equal terms with EU Member States and other associated countries. This is thanks to the Agreement for the Association of Ukraine to Horizon 2020, signed today in Kyiv by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Serhiy Kvit, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine.
Commissioner Moedas said: "I am very pleased to welcome Ukraine into our EU research funding programme Horizon 2020. Ukraine has chosen to invest in its knowledge and in its people. Chosen to contribute to the common goals of the wider science and technology community. Ukraine's great research and innovation potential offers promising partnerships for Europe. And Ukraine will now have access to the full spectrum of activities funded under Horizon 2020, helping spur its economy. I hope Ukraine will make the most of these opportunities."
Horizon 2020 is the first EU programme in which Ukraine has chosen to participate following the beginning of provisional application of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. This association to Horizon 2020 highlights that both the EU and Ukraine consider research and innovation crucial for economic growth and the creation of jobs.
The agreement opens a wide range of new opportunities to Ukrainian research institutions, universities and businesses across the whole research and innovation value chain, from fundamental research up to close-to-market activities. For instance, Ukraine will now be able to host European Research Council (ERC) grants, apply for financial support to innovative SMEs, benefit from support for scientific excellence and other research policies and participate in the governance structures of the programme.
Horizon 2020 promoted in Uruguay
Montevideo, 16 March 2015
"It is very important to be able to strengthen the cooperation we have in research; and Uruguay can take advantage of all the opportunities that are open in the H2020 program" said Cristina Russo, Director of International Cooperation at DG RTD, on 16 March at the "Horizon 2020 – Open to the World" event in the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) of Uruguay.
Ms Russo explained to policy officers and researchers from Uruguay how the EU Framework programme, Horizon 2020 (H2020) focuses on scientific excellence, developing industrial leadership and facing new social challenges through research and innovation. It includes all aspects of knowledge generation and use, from basic research through to technology development and innovation, including social innovation. Through H2020, Uruguayan researchers, SMEs and universities can link with research centers, agencies and companies in Europe to collaborate for mutual benefit in science and technology.
Ms Russo concluded that: "For us in Europe, being a global player in research means cooperating with others" and "Cooperation with Latin America is a priority and Uruguay can play a fundamental part. I bring the testimony of the political will we have in the European Union to strengthen cooperation with Uruguay in research and innovation".
In the press
- La Unión Europea reafirma su acuerdo con Uruguay - Investigación: 4,5 millones de euros para 31 proyectos
- Uruguay promueve la red global de excelencia científica "Horizonte 2020"
- UE promueve en Uruguay nuevo programa de cooperación en ciencia y tecnología
- UE promueve en Uruguay nuevo programa de cooperación en ciencia y tecnología
Stimulating Research and Innovation Cooperation with Latin America
Maria Cristina Russo, the Director for International Cooperation of the European Commission's Research and Innovation Directorate-General, is currently in Latin America to promote cooperation in research and innovation with Europe, notably through the EU's research and innovation framework programme Horizon 2020.
On Friday 13 March, together with Minister for Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (MINCYT) of the Republic of Argentina, Lino Barañao, she spoke at a conference in honour of the 10th anniversary of the Argentinean-European Union Liaison Office for Science, Technology and Innovation before signing an Implementing Arrangement launching a new initiative to encourage top Argentine scientists to come to Europe as members of research teams lead by European Research Council (ERC) grant holders. Finally, she co-chaired the 8th Steering Committee of the Agreement on Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation, together with Ms Agueda Menvielle, National Director of International Relations at MINCYT. The agenda included discussion on cooperation in the priority areas of common interest, including Health, Bioeconomy, Renewable Energy, Marine Research and Transport.
Ms Russo then travelled to Uruguay, where together with Ambassador Juan Fernández Trigo, Head of the EU Delegation to Uruguay, she met Fernando Filgueira, the Undersecretary for Education and Culture and Gabriel Aintablian, the Director of Innovation, Science and Technology for Development at the the Ministry of Education and Culture.
At present, Ms Russo is in Brazil, which is also celebrating 10 years of the Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation with the European Union. On March 17 she will speak at the XXII EU-Brazil Forum 'Brazil-European Union- World Politics Partners'. On March 18, Ms. Russo and the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Brazil, Ambassador Ana Paula Zacarias, will have meetings with representatives of the University of Sao Paulo (USP) also of the Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP). The event will include the signing a letter of intent with FAPESP, aiming to stimulate European and Brazilian researchers' participation in each other's' research programmes. On March 19, the 7th EU-Brazil Joint Steering Committee Meeting will take place in Brasilia to discuss the scientific cooperation in priority areas as food security and sustainable agriculture, marine research, renewable energies, nanotechnology, fusion energy and information and communication technology (TICs). Innovation will also be highlighted, with the attendance by funding institutions, technology parks and private sector representatives.
In addition to bilateral cooperation between Europe and each of these countries in research and innovation, there is also close regional cooperation stimulated by the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation.
EU and Argentina celebrate their cooperation in science and technology
Buenos Aires, 13 March 2015
Today, the Minister for Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (MINCYT) of the Republic of Argentina, Lino Barañao, and the Director for International Cooperation of the European Commission's Research and Innovation Directorate-General, Maria Cristina Russo, honour of the 10th anniversary of the Argentinean-European Union Liaison Office for Science, Technology and Innovation.
They are keynote speakers at the conference Argentina- European Union: 10 years of cooperation in science, technology and innovation, which gathers together Ambassadors of EU Member States in Buenos Aires. They are also signing an Implementing Arrangement launching a new initiative to encourage top Argentine scientists to come to Europe as members of research teams lead by European Research Council (ERC) grant holders.
Ms Russo also co-chairs the 8th Steering Committee of the Agreement on Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation, together with Ms Agueda Menvielle, National Director of International Relations at MINCYT.
These events are part of a series of events bringing together Argentine and European policy makers, researchers and administrators to take stock of on-going cooperation and reflect on opportunities for future activities. Other events include a seminar on Nanotoxicology and Nanoregulation as well as workshops on New Opportunities for Business Cooperation with Europe; Research Infrastructures – e-infrastructures; Marine Research and Structural Biology.
Under the umbrella of the Agreement on Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation, the EU enjoys very good bilateral relations with Argentina, whose researchers are eligible for funding from the EU's research and innovation framework programme Horizon 2020. In addition, they work closely together through the regional cooperation stimulated by the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation.
Argentine researchers have been active and successful in the past framework programmes. In the seventh framework programme (the predecessor of Horizon 2020) one hundred and nineteen participants from Argentina were active in one hundred funded collaborative projects. The EU contribution to the Argentine participants in those 100 projects amounts to over €14 million. In addition 289 Marie Curie fellowships and eight of the prestigious ERC grants were awarded to Argentines in the course of FP7.
In the press
Third meeting of the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) Expert Working Group (EWG) on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture
London, 5-6 March
The HLPD Expert Working Group met for the third time to make progress on their input to a roadmap developing a long-term EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership with a particular focus, initially, on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture (FNSSA). This meeting followed an external consultation phase on the draft input that was launched in February 2015. The draft input focusses on three thematic pillars: sustainable intensification, agriculture and food systems for nutrition and agricultural markets and trade and some cross-cutting ones, such as innovation, social science, gender and capacity-building. The final input is expected to be presented to the EU-Africa HLPD Bureau on 27 April in Brussels.
The EU-Africa HLPD Bureau (co-chaired by the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation) and Congo Brazzaville replaced at this meeting by Namibia; the African Union Commission, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, DG International Cooperation and Development, South Africa, Latvia, Germany, UK, France and Portugal were present) also met. The HLPD Bureau will now work on transforming the input of the EWG into a final roadmap towards the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership, specifically developing the potential modalities of cooperation and instruments to be used in the short-, medium- and long-term, before submitting it to the senior officials of the EU-Africa HLPD for their approval in March 2016 in Addis Ababa (tbc). On both sides, pre-meetings took place with those countries that are not currently seated in the EU-Africa HLPD Bureau (additional countries present were Belgium, Sweden, Kenya, Angola and Egypt).
In addition, a first meeting with potential funders took place, building on the successes achieved with the FP7 initiated international ERANET, ERAfrica. ERAfrica enabled 15 European and African countries to pool financial resources through a virtual fund for a total of 10.7 MEUR to fund collaborative research projects. Those funding agencies present (from France, Belgium, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, UK, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, Angola, Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Namibia) indicated a clear commitment to the roadmap of the EU-Africa Research & Innovation Partnership on FNSSA.
The Mediterranean innovation potential put forward during the Innovation week in Casablanca
2-5 March 2015, Casablanca, Morocco
The Innovation Week will take place from the 2nd to the 5th of March 2015 in Casablanca and will involve several EU projects working on the sustainable development in the Mediterranean region. Multiple workshops, trainings, roundtables and a brokerage event will be organised to discuss the great innovation potential of the Mediterranean Region.
Research and innovation cooperation within the Mediterranean is critical to tackle important common challenges and develop practical tools to achieve growth and job creation, environmental protection and social development.
The R2I programme from the European Commission supports this since 2012, co-financing projects aiming to bring research to the field and therefore foster innovation. These projects join forces with other Mediterranean initiatives to proudly present and animate events focusing on the great Mediterranean innovation potential.
The European project MENFRI – Mediterranean Network of Forestry Research and Innovation will be one of the partners involved in this initiative and will co-organise two trainings: “Horizon 2020: An insight into the EU framework programme for research and innovation” (Wednesday 4th of March, with the project SOHEALTHY), and “Business & Innovation Training in the Mediterranean Area” (Thursday 5th of March, with the project MARE).
To develop its full research potential, the Mediterranean region needs to know and master the available tools and funding opportunities. The training on Horizon 2020 will provide attendants with the basic knowledge about H2020, how to prepare proposals and find adequate partners.
The training on “Business & Innovation in the Mediterranean Area” will aim to facilitate the knowledge, innovation and technology transfer from academia to business, while addressing crucial points such as commercialization (instruments, skills, etc).
The trainings will bring together researchers, SMEs, public organisations, technology transfer offices and other relevant stakeholders, and are open to all (registration is mandatory).
ASEAN-EU STI DAYS 2015
17-19 March 2015, Paris, France
The ASEAN-EU Science Technology and Innovation Days bring together researchers, scientists, science policy makers, innovative companies, and other stakeholders from ASEAN and EU countries for a yearly three-day conference on science, technology, and innovation issues. The ASEAN-EU STI Days 2015 are the second edition of this event, which will focus on presenting ASEAN research excellence to European stakeholders as well as on raising awareness of the current developments in S&T in Southeast Asia. The event will take place on 17-19 March 2015 in Paris, France and is organised by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). The event is an ideal occasion for networking and exchange of ideas in the thematic areas Health, Water Management and Environment, Food Security and Safety, Metrology, or Innovation.
An INDIGO Opportunity: Call for Experts on Indian STI policy and cooperation
INDIGO Policy is seeking for an expert to provide analytic support to the project.
In the framework of the INDIGO POLICY project, the coordinator Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI GmbH) is looking for an STI expert to be implemented in the analysis work package. This WP deals with critically assessing the STI cooperation between Europe and India.
The offers for this tender have to be submitted until 22.2.2015 in electronic format to Mr. Ivan Zupan (Research associate at the Centre for Social Innovation), at email@example.com
EU and Brazil enhance local cooperation under Horizon 2020
The Head of the EU Delegation to Brazil, Ambassador Ana Paula Zacarias and the head of the Research and Innovation sector of the EU Delegation to Brazil, Dr Piero Venturi attended the Forum of the National Council of State Secretaries for ST&I issues (Consecti) at the Brazilian National Council of Research Support Foundations (CONFAP) on 4 December 2014, in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina State.
Ambassador Ana Paula Zacarias and the president of CONFAP, Professor Sergio Gargioni, signed a Letter of Intent with the aim of exchanging relevant information on the participation of Brazilian institutions in Horizon 2020 and encourage the Brazilian Research Support Foundations (FAPs) to fund institutions and researchers in their States that are engaged in the proposals selected by the European programme.
Brazil's participation in the previous Framework Programme (FP7) was very significant and the intention is that the country maintains this robust participation in Horizon 2020.
Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) launches CAS-EU Partner Programme to match Horizon 2020
The Chinese Academy of Sciences has announced the launch of a special CAS-EU Partner Programme with the aim to strengthen the strategic S&T cooperation between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the EU in the frame of the EU's Research and Innovation Framework Programme Horizon 2020. CAS institutes and other CAS entities that are part of an already successfully approved Horizon 2020 project can apply to obtain financial support for their work in the Horizon 2020 project. The deadline for applying to the Partner Programme is 02 March 2015.
More information can be found at the CAS website
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