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Clifford Holt

Senior Editor

Pan European Networks

AS

the first Pan European Networks publication of 2017,

this edition of

Horizon 2020 Projects: Portal

is also the

final one in its current form, and will henceforth be

combined with its sister title

Pan European Networks: Science &

Technology

to provide a single comprehensive overview of the RDI

sphere. This, I feel, is an important development for PEN; as we look to

the future, we are launching two new titles: one focusing on smart cities

and another on health. These will complement our other journals (

Pan

European Networks: Government

and

Defence Management Review)

to enable us to cover the entire scope of scientific, technological, and

policy-related developments throughout Europe and the wider world.

Whilst looking forwards is, of course, fundamental, in many instances

the successes of the future draw on those of the past, and 2016 proved

to be an incredibly successful year for science and technology, with

numerous discoveries and achievements of merit. To name but a few:

in January, scientists reported that, about 800 million years ago, a minor

genetic change in a single molecule, called GK-PID, may have allowed

organisms to go from a single cell organism to one of many cells, while

February saw scientists in the UK receive the green light from regulators

to genetically modify human embryos by using CRISPR-Cas9 and

related techniques.

In March, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter was launched from Baikonur

in Kazakhstan (arriving at the Red Planet in October with the unfortunate

accompanying Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing demonstrator

module crashing on the surface of Mars after its parachute was jettisoned

too early and its rockets fired for too short a time), and in July, a new

family of tetraquark particles – named X(4140), X(4274), X(4500), and

X(4700) – were announced by researchers at the Large Hadron Collider

(LHC) at CERN.

Sadly, not all of the research results produced in 2016 point to a

successful future. This is particularly true of climate-related research,

with a study published in the

Lancet

in March arguing that climate

change could kill more than 500,000 people a year globally by 2050 by

making their diets less healthy, and yet more research published in the

same month positing that sea level increases by 2100 could be twice

as high as the IPCC’s most recent estimates.

There is, however, some positive news: according to a report by the

Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21),

worldwide renewable energy grew at its fastest ever rate in 2015; should

this continue there may be hope that some of the effects of climate

change can be mitigated.

As ever, it is with these successes and challenges in mind that I welcome

you to this edition of

Portal,

which is introduced by the COST Association’s

director, Ronald de Bruin, who highlights the importance of openness

across both borders and disciplines, and explains how COST nurtures a

landscape ripe for scientific success.

The excellent science section includes sub-sections on a diverse range

of subjects, from gender equality to quantum technologies, as well as

space – which includes fusion energy and an interview with the president

of the European Astronomical Association, Professor Thierry Courvoisier.

The smart futures section includes special features on transport, which

consists of coverage of the ‘Intelligent Transport Systems: a Tool or a Toy?’

event I attended in Žilina, Slovakia, and smart cities, including coverage

of the European Utility Week event I attended in Barcelona, Spain.

The health section includes focuses on neuroscience, the life sciences,

public health, and oncology. There is also a special feature on infectious

diseases, offering an interview with the ECDC’s Massimo Ciotti, with

whom I spoke at the 9th European Public Health Conference ‘All for

Health, Health for All’ in Vienna, Austria.

A section on the environment includes areas such as maritime affairs

and fisheries, agriculture, the sustainable environment, and climate

change. This is completed with an article on the recent COP22 summit

held in Marrakech, Morocco.

As ever, I hope you find these pages as interesting and informative a

read as I have found in their creation and, of course, I welcome any

comments you may have.

I S S U E 1 3

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R T A L

www.horizon2020projects.com

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I N T R O D U C T I O N