Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 4

Jason Edwards
Horizon 2020 Projects
elcome to this latest edition of Portal, the definitive,
independent, quarterly guide to the EU’s latest research
and innovation framework programme – Horizon 2020.
The last few months have been characterised by a storm of
interactions between the EU and the continent’s scientific and
research community. The €315bn Investment Plan for Europe sees
the creation of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, and the
€16bn EU guarantee that part finances the EFSI includes €2.7bn
drawn from the current budget of Horizon 2020, a move that has
sparked anger from researchers.
In a special feature, the impact of the Investment Plan is investigated,
with the thoughts of Jaˉnis Reirs, the Finance Minister of Latvia and
current chair of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council, who is
overseeing the passage of the legislation on behalf of the Council of the
European Union. Writing exclusively for Portal, he provides an insight
into the benefits of the multibillion-euro plan and how it supports EU
research and innovation.
Richard Willis, of the European Investment Bank, a key partner in the
EFSI, details how the fund will accompany the work of the EU bank. We
also carry the views of leading European scientific and research bodies
that, whilst welcoming the Investment Plan, are concerned about the
impact of losing funding from Horizon 2020.
At the end of 2014, the European Institute of Innovation & Technology
announced the winning bids for the running of its two new Knowledge
and Innovation Communities. EIT Health seeks to ‘improve the quality of
life of Europe’s citizens and the sustainability of the healthcare system’,
whilst EIT Raw Materials aims to ‘boost the competitiveness, growth and
attractiveness of the European raw materials sector via radical innovation
and entrepreneurship’. In a second special focus section, Portal talks
exclusively to the leaders of the new KICs as the set-up phase gets
underway, as well as EIT interim director Martin Kern about the
background to these latest developments.
In a further special feature, Portal assesses the international collaboration
between Europe and Africa, and how the geographic regions are looking
to realise the benefits of closer ST&I co-operation. Travelling to Brussels,
Portal attended the ‘EU development aid: experiences and
recommendations from stakeholders driving science and innovation’
seminar and spoke to Cecil Masoka, director for multilateral S&T co-
operation in the South African Government, who outlined the importance
of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership and
the Square Kilometre Array as collaborative projects. Meanwhile, Dr
Andrew Cherry, of the Association of Commonwealth Universities,
discusses the benefits of the CAAST-Net Plus scheme and the impact
Horizon 2020 is having on bringing new products to market.
Portal also hears from the European Commission’s Nienke Buisman, who
describes the R&I relationship between Africa and Europe, and Dr Stefan
Wagener, of the German Aerospace Center, who discusses a Horizon
2020-funded Co-ordination and Support Action project aiming to better
implement R&D results.
In Germany, Berlin hosted the final ITEA ARTEMIS Co-summit. Opening
this edition is Rudolf Haggenmüller, chairman of ITEA, and on the
sidelines of the conference he set out to Portal his vision for a digital
EUREKA Cluster. We also spoke to the president of ARTEMIS Industry
Association, Heinrich Daembkes, who highlighted key project successes,
as well as Alun Foster of the ECSEL JU, who outlined the first year
achievements of this key joint technology initiative. Daimler’s director of
eDrive and software technologies, Dr Jutta Schneider, also talked to Portal
about tomorrow’s green automobiles.
As the UK enters the final weeks of its general election campaign, we
review the achievements of the EU member states in the first year of
Horizon 2020. With contributions from ministers in London, Edinburgh,
Belfast and Cardiff, it is clear that the Union’s latest framework
programme is a vital source of funding for pioneering science and
stimulating cross-border R&D co-operation.
To open the latest edition of this publication is a great privilege, and I
hope you find this issue as interesting and informative a read as I have
found in its creation. As ever, I welcome any comments you may have.
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
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