Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 68

country that has made a commitment to use
both ECSEL and Structural Funds. That is very
encouraging, and it shows that this model, at
least at a conceptual level, can work; we now
need to turn this concept into reality. Similarly,
some regions that wish to use Structural Funds
are working on building demonstration lines
that ECSEL and other forums and projects
can execute.
Due to the diversity of legal issues involved in
such complex constructions, this is certainly not
easy. Our office exists to overcome such
complexity for our participants. ECSEL focuses
on how to combine different funding streams
and begin projects without overloading the
organisers with masses of paperwork. By
assisting and streamlining such activities and
processes as far as possible, the rewards and
results can be extremely valuable.
What are the major priorities for the
JU over the coming year?
Our first goal will be launching the next ECSEL
call whilst also encouraging participants to
better function in the new community; it is
important for those involved to understand how
to collaborate in ECSEL. We are also
investigating how we can leverage more
investment; we are not simply looking for more
money – more action can be taken by industry
regarding ECSEL.
Research and development needs and
deserves more public support. Currently, the
budget that is going into research and
development is not hitting the 3% of GDP mark
in many countries, and we need to find a way
of leveraging up this investment. With a
machine as complex as ECSEL, it is important
to be quite creative in our action. Yet, because
we are used to complexity, we can succeed.
own purpose but is actually benefitting society is important. We need to
decide how to use technology to make our lives better.
How important do you see ECSEL in promoting
European leadership and competitiveness?
I am a strong believer in the ‘blue ocean model’, which is a way of co-
existing in a particular market without necessarily destroying all
competition. Developing your own strengths and specialisations is a way
of co-existing, and the projects that ECSEL is supporting are all feeding
into this type of application.
We have European leadership in all these embedded technologies, and
the high reliability of hardware that we produce is another position where
we excel; we call this ‘professional electronics’ and it is a place where
Europe can succeed. Companies can co-exist perfectly alongside
international competition.
There is an unfair situation whereby some Asian companies are entering
markets prematurely whilst they are still developing. There have been
some attempts, but comparably few, where vehicles have been put on
the market that are not certified. However, these automobiles are now
becoming certifiable.
There is a certain aggressiveness in the market, and it is important to
not get complacent and to therefore stay ahead. Ultimately, in order to
survive, people have to innovate.
In my ideal world vision, if we are to develop a product that is solidly
viable, particularly one that is high-tech, it is important to have a
European supplier, especially in the automotive industry. Europe is the
home of Mercedes-Benz, Audi and other quality brands that are much
admired around the world. This demonstrates the positive prospects
that still exist for these European products; we truly have some
amazing technologies.
How successful would you consider the use of EU
Structural Funds by ECSEL?
Though ECSEL is just beginning, we have had a few project proposals
that are considering the use of Structural Funds, and such projects are
being considered by the relevant management authorities. We have one
I S S U E S I X
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
Alun Foster
ECSEL Joint Undertaking
B R OW S E
H O R I Z O N
2 0 2 0
68
I T E A A R T E M I S C O - S U M M I T 2 0 1 5
European technology,
such as Mercedes
cars, is highly
regarded throughout
the world,
commented Foster
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