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BOURGUIGNON: EFSI RESULT

IS “VOTE OF CONFIDENCE”

B

RUSSELS:

The president of the European

Research Council, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, has

welcomed the result of talks on the European

Fund for Strategic Investments (ESFI).

The leader of the EU’s blue sky research funding body said the move not

to cut funding from the ERC demonstrated the importance of investing in

frontier research. Bourguignon also thanked European commissioners and

MEPs for “a constructive dialogue”.

In a statement, Bourguignon said: “This compromise concerning the

budget gives a clear sign that frontier research has an important role to

play in Europe and that its support will always be given proper

consideration. I would like to thank all parties involved for agreeing to

safeguard the ERC budget.”

Bourguignon concluded his

statement by adding that

safeguarding funding was

important to the future work

of the ERC.

“I see this decision as a

vote of confidence for the

ERC, whose fundamental

action is to select ambitious researchers on the basis of their most

innovative ideas. It will allow the ERC to pursue its mission to make

Europe more competitive and to enhance its capacity to attract top talent

from near and afar.”

Last week, trialogue negotiations concluded between the European

Commission, European Parliament and the Council of the European Union

on the EFSI, with lawmakers deciding that €2.2bn would be drawn from

Horizon 2020 to the new fund, €500m lower than the Commission’s

original proposal. The budget of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions has

been safeguarded.

1 June 2015

TOMTOM CO-FOUNDER: “AIM

FOR RADICAL INNOVATION”

H

UNGARY: The INNOVEIT 2015 conference of

the European Institute of Innovation and

Technology has opened in the Hungarian

capital of Budapest.

In a press briefing attended by Horizon 2020 Projects, the chairman of the

EIT Governing Board, Peter Olesen, said the organisation was bringing

together business, education and research “to effectively innovate”.

One of the founders of TomTom, and now managing director of TomTom

Consumer, Corinne Vigreux, drew attention to the “extremely worrying”

situation facing Europe in light of the competition from Asia and the United

States. She said the continent was facing a “wake-up call” and it was

important “to aim for radical innovation”. Speaking to delegates in the first

plenary session, Vigreux added that

“Europe had lost some of its

entrepreneurial spirit”.

Also discussed at the press briefing

was Horizon 2020, described by

Richard Pelly, director of RFP Advisory

Services and former chief executive

of the European Investment Fund, as a “breakthrough” and “something

that looks and feels different”. He said that the “EIT plays a significant role

in addressing fragmentation” and that a partnership between the public

and private sectors was important.

Also taking part in the first day of the conference was Tibor Navracsics,

European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and

Birgitte Andersen, chief executive and co-creator of Big Innovation Centre.

The three-day event also sees the presentation of EIT Awards, which

recognises the success of European innovators.

5 May 2015

JUNCKER ENDORSES NEW

SCIENTIFIC GUIDANCE TOOL

B

RUSSELS: The European Commission has

announced details of a new tool for

independent scientific advice.

The development comes after European Commission President Jean-

Claude Juncker asked Carlos Moedas to reflect on possible ways to ensure

the Commission draws on the best scientific advice, complementing

existing in-house services and external expertise.

Juncker has now approved a recommendation by the European

Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation to set up a mechanism

for high quality, timely, independent scientific advice. The future instrument

will draw on the wide range of scientific expertise in Europe through a close

relationship with national academies and other bodies, co-ordinated by a

high level group of independent scientists. Moedas has now been tasked

to

implement

this

new

arrangement over the coming

months,

involving

other

commissioners and making the

most of effective co-operation

between Commission services.

Commenting, Moedas said: “In

combination with the forthcoming proposals on better regulation, the new

model for independent scientific advice will contribute to the Commission’s

continued pursuit of the best possible evidence-based policy. This will be

a significant step forward for an effective Commission that delivers for

citizens, and addresses the major societal challenges which Europe faces.”

The Commission says that whilst international experience shows that there

is no single model for providing such advice, the overall objective is to

ensure that scientific advice is independent of institutional or political

interests, bringing together evidence and insights from different disciplines

and approaches, and is transparent in nature.

14 May 2015

©European Institute of Innovation andTechnology

© Unsplash

© European Union,2015

N E W S D E S K

www.horizon2020projects.com

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

I S S U E S E V E N

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