The EU Missions delivered concrete benefits to Europeans by tackling pressing societal challenges. During the session, the European Commission received the advice of the five high-level Mission Boards who were tasked to identify potential EU Missions.
The session discussed the main novelties of the ERA communication including its contribution to build an excellent European R&I system for the benefit of all, and its new approach towards a wide outreach engaging all levels, MS, regions and citizens in this important endeavour.
The session discussed how the EU can best support the national R&I policy reforms, what are the new instruments and funding sources for this purpose and how to combine these policy levers to ensure that all Member States advance, thus making Europe stronger. Focus was on the ERAdvance initiative, PSF, TSI and on the Member States’ experience in the policy reform process.
This session brought together EU and national politicians and social innovators to discuss visions of social innovation as a grassroots strategy, an enabler of R&I policies in the ERA, and a driver of the ecological and social transition.
Do you know how much you invest and can you compare your R&I investments to fight climate change or in Artificial Intelligence? How your national researchers cooperate with others? In this session, participants were able to join the conversations with frontrunners turning digitalization of R&I policy into a policy making booster.
The aim of this webinar was to discuss the role of the bioeconomy in the post-COVID recovery of the European Union and its Member States. The European Commission’s proposed recovery instrument Next Generation EU, with a strong budget of €750 billion, will support EU Member States in their efforts to recover, repair and emerge stronger from the crisis, while accelerating the green transition.
Experts from different fields linked to nutrients discussed the environmental impacts of excessive nutrient flows and the possible solutions and barriers for bringing the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles within safe regional and planetary boundaries.
Decarbonising energy through using clean energy everywhere will be crucial to reach both 2030 and 2050 objectives. This session looked at how R&I could support a systemic change in all the energy system and an increase of competitiveness of renewable energy and energy enablers.
The aim of the session was to provide a forum of discussion about of the potential of circular bioeconomy and in particular its bio-based sector to deliver on the European Green Deal objectives and to contribute to the EU climate neutrality and other sustainable development goals.
Food must be treated less as a commodity and more as a common good. This session explored alternative models for a new multi-objective food systems economy that can meet the EU Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy objectives.
Young scientists have challenged senior experts on sustainable-by-design approaches in different fields. In this session, participants contributed to the discussion and shaped together a safe, carbon-neutral and resource efficient industrial eco-system.
The purpose of this session was to discuss how the different European initiatives will interact and boost their own resources to establish the basis for the European sovereignty and autonomy in AI. The session began with an inspiring set the scene presentation and was followed by an inspiring panel addressing different initiatives and their cooperation.
This session highlighted how the intersections of gender, ethnicity, and other identities shape people’s experiences with AI and discussed how Europe is addressing bias and discrimination in AI Systems. The session built on the case studies on facial recognition and on virtual assistants and chatbots developed by the Commission’s expert group on Gendered Innovations, and their proposed methodologies for Analysing Gender and Intersectionality in Machine Learning and in Social Robots.
The coordinated action plan on AI calls for building national AI strategies around Europe. This session explored the potential to deepen synergies among Europe and national AI initiatives, the European partnership on AI, Data, and Robotics, within the context of Horizon Europe & Digital Europe.
The Horizon Europe Strategic Planning process aims at identifying key orientations for R&I investments starting from the main political priorities of the European Union, especially the green and digital transitions as well as Europe’s recovery from the crisis. Following the success of a first round of intense co-design activities with stakeholders and citizens, this session was part of a new round of interactive discussions focusing on the expected impacts of “Cluster 4: Digital, Industry and Space” and the contribution of R&I policy for achieving them (as well as relevant European Partnerships). The results of these discussions were taken into account for the finalization of the draft Strategic Plan document and the preparation of the first Horizon Europe Work programme.
With reference to Annex IV of the Horizon Europe Regulations, this session demonstrated the importance of synergies between Horizon Europe and other EU policies and programmes, presented the current efforts and state of play, and considered how to realise synergies by design as a built-in part of EU actions in the future.
The purpose of the session was to present opportunities (arising from the EOSC partnership agenda towards Open Science and FAIR data management) and stimulate a future multilateral collaboration among partnerships (e.g. common use cases, linking thematic clouds and the EOSC ecosystem, articulating the EOSC data space with other data spaces).
The aim of this workshop was to discuss what could be the next step for a European Excellence Initiative, learning from past national practices, from best practices examples in institutional transformations, and from impact analyses on the existing excellence initiatives worldwide. How can Europe move from a large-scale excellence and cooperation capacity building effort towards highly competitive university networks playing in a global context, while at the same time ensuring inclusion? How can these excellence alliances significantly raise the attractiveness of Europe for foreign talents, for the general internationalisation of the European University sector in R&I, and for attracting investments, notably in innovation?
The Horizon Europe Strategic Planning process aims at identifying key orientations for R&I investments starting from the main political priorities of the European Union, especially the green and digital transitions. Following the success of a first round of intense co-design activities with stakeholders and citizens, this session was part of a new round of interactive discussions focusing on the expected impacts of Cluster 6 and the contribution of R&I policy for achieving them. The results of these discussions were taken into account for the finalization of the draft Strategic Plan and the preparation of the first Horizon Europe Work Programme
This session focused on regulatory barriers to innovation based on existing networks of regulatory sandboxes in Europe, national schemes for tackling regulatory barriers, experience of business accelerators, EU pilot innovation deals and the ambitions of Horizon Europe Missions for solving burning societal and environmental problems. Participants discussed regulatory barriers to innovation in the context of wider public policy objectives of encouraging sustainable innovation and promoting uptake of clean technologies.
Practical discussion on the future of widening instruments going more in a detail to the implementation of projects and their impact, future design of the Work Programme. The strategy document on Widening served as a background document for discussion.
On July 20 the Commission launched a Manifesto to maximise the accessibility of research results in the fight against COVID-19. The Manifesto provides guiding principles for beneficiaries of EU research grants for coronavirus prevention, testing, treatment and vaccination to ensure that their research results will be accessible for all and guarantee a return on public investment. The manifesto is also open to signature by any other stakeholder. The session aimed at presenting the Manifesto, clarifying doubts and exchanging views on its implementation.
This session focused on climate impact of research and innovation projects contributing to achieving a climate neutral Europe by 2050. Participants discussed different pathways towards impact, current challenges and opportunities. Participants had an opportunity to co-create the future Horizon Europe impact tool kits in particular the climate impact survey that will be tested within the Green Deal Call 2020.
The Horizon Europe Strategic Planning process aims at identifying key orientations for R&I investments starting from the main political priorities of the European Union. In the security dimension the Commission has recently adopted a new Security Union Strategy that creates a multidisciplinary, coordinated and integrated approach to security to be taken forward at EU level in 2020-2024. Following the success of a first round of intense co-design activities with stakeholders and citizens, this session was part of a new round of interactive discussions and focused on the Cluster 3 expected impacts relation to the internal security dimension of the overall Security Union objectives and on the potential of R&I in enabling their achievement. The results of these discussions were taken into account for the finalisation of the draft Strategic Plan document and the preparation of the first Horizon Europe Work programme.
Horizon Europe brings a step change in fostering an institutional transformation and scientific excellence. Participants learned more on EC’s commitment to strengthen gender equality provisions in Horizon Europe, and to advance inclusive gender equality plans, as an eligibility criterion.
The session illustrated the benefits the ocean and waters bring to our citizens, how to mobilise society to co-create solutions to recover and restore our ocean and waters, to change the way we act, consume, do business and make policies. Together we can shape a better, bluer future for our Planet.
Our panel of Innovation experts, stakeholders, angel investors and inspiring entrepreneurs discussed how to turn your research results into value added innovations – how to best use and protect your IP, how to prepare and converse with investors, where to look for help in your countries and much more!
The new R&I Programme, Horizon Europe was just around the corner. With almost 100bn Euros of EU funding, HE remains one of the flagship Programmes of the new MFF as was its predecessor Horizon 2020. The discussion revolved around the way Horizon Europe will be implemented in practice. What are the novelties the programme will bring? What lessons were learned from the experience of the H2020? How the implementation modalities will reinforce and enable the main objectives of the programme itself?
The session aimed at discussing opportunities for concrete synergies between EIT and EIC, by leveraging on the work of the joint EIC-EIT working group, including key elements of the future strategic framework for cooperation.
This session focused on the importance of association to H2020 across research communities and key stakeholders and forward-looking perspectives for the new association policy under Horizon Europe, while highlighting the importance of association in facing key global challenges (e.g. AI, green technologies, health, smart mobility).
Looking at climate-driven R&I cooperation opportunities in the Mediterranean region, this session investigated the international and geopolitical dimension of the European Green Deal, and the security dimension of climate change in the region.
The session showcased EIC Pathfinder projects results in biotech, health and medicine. A keynote speech from the neuroscientist Nobel Laureate Professor Edvard I. Moser (GRIDMAP FET project) was followed by a discussion on the topic of extracellular vesicles by Antonella Bongiovanni, Maria Goreti Ferreira Sales, Paolo Bergese, Sepio Vainio, Marcella Chiari, Marina Cretich from the cluster of Pathfinder projects Ves4us, evFOUNDRY, INDEX, MARVEL, BOW, GLADIATOR, MindGap. The session included videos on more Pathfinder projects. This session is a contribution to the Future Tech Week 2020 http://futuretechweek.fetfx.eu/
A panel discussion showcasing the activities of the EIC bringing together the innovation community to fight and counter the Covid-19 crisis, including success stories from the EUvsVirus Hackathon / Matchathon. The panel discussed from a community perspective this new way of working and collaborating and discussed the state of play of the 120 selected projects, their ongoing partnerships and how things are progressing. The session also presented the EIC Covid 19 Platform.
The EIC support goes far beyond funding and it aims at accelerating EIC innovations and growth of top deep tech companies. Therefore, this session had the objective to present the role and impact of EIC Business Acceleration Services. Business Acceleration Services aim at accelerating EIC innovations and growth of EIC supported companies. In particular, in this context it was crucial to show how the BAS are providing complementary support to the financial support of the Accelerator to help companies to scale up in the most optimised manner.
Amidst a turbulent pandemic era, the need to support deeptech research and innovatie startups and SMEs is more important than ever for Europe to emerge stronger from the crisis. The Recovery Plan for Europe is destined to heal some of the 'wounds' left by the pandemic outbreak. During this session panelists and participants discussed how the European Innovation Council and its support for breakthrough and impactful innovations should differentiate Europe from other regions and make it a leader for next generation technologies and companies based on sustainability, digitalisation and deep tech.
Europe is on the right track in the creation of excellence in science and innovation, however there is work to do in transforming world-class science into world-beating companies. This session discussed how the European Innovation Council (EIC) can address the gap between research and deeptech-driven innovation at a pan-European level.
This session aimed at underlining the importance of the European innovation ecosystems and creating value across Europe through EIC/EIT collaboration. The importance of synergies across various actors and ecosystems were discussed, in view of the future Innovation Ecosystems Work Programme within the fully-fledged EIC in Horizon Europe.
The session reported Pathfinder beneficiaries experiences and success stories on how to support project results in the path from research to market. The session included videos on more Pathfinder projects. This session was a contribution to the Future Tech Week 2020 http://futuretechweek.fetfx.eu/
The session aimed at discussing opportunities for concrete synergies between EIT and EIC, by leveraging on the work of the joint EIC-EIT working group, including key elements of the future strategic framework for cooperation.
Discussion on KICs’ current and future activities aiming at: • addressing the consequences of the pandemic, with solutions having an impact in the everyday life of citizens; • boosting innovation in support of the goals of the Green Deal and to capture new business opportunities for start-ups, SMEs and big companies.
This informal networking session was an opportunity to interact with representatives of the Scientific Department of the European Research Council Executive Agency. Conversation topics included the ERC’s grant schemes, the application and evaluation process, as well as preparations for the Horizon Europe programme.
The ERC session ‘COVID-19: frontier research in the spotlight’ aimed to showcase examples demonstrating the added value of bottom-up frontier research in bringing innovative (and sometimes unexpected) solutions to the Covid-19 crisis, at short or medium-term. In this session, four prominent scientists, funded by the ERC, joined forces to shed light on how we can build a more resilient post-pandemic world.
Horizon Impact Award is the European Commission's initiative to recognise and celebrate outstanding projects that have used their results to provide value for society. The award aimed to show the wider socio-economic benefits of EU investment in research and innovation. The award enabled individuals or teams to showcase their best practices and achievements; and inspire beneficiaries of research and innovation funding to maximise the impact of their research.
This was the official award ceremony for the EU Prize for Women Innovators. First launched in 2011, the EU Prize for Women Innovators was created to raise awareness of the need for more female founders and create role models for women and girls. The prize is awarded every year to four talented women entrepreneurs from across the EU and Associated Countries, who have founded a successful company and brought innovation to market. Chosen by an independent jury of experts, this year’s finalists were pioneering game-changing innovations across a wide range of industries and help combat global challenges. Their innovations range from the optimisation of cancer treatments to generating clean electricity from ocean and sea waves.
Excellent EU R&I systems needs all silicon valleys across Europe to connect ensuring a reciprocal access to excellence and to maximise the spill-over for other actors in the R&I ecosystem to access the excellence produced in those.
The coronavirus has shaken the whole world in an unprecedented manner, changing the way we live and work together. Top thought leaders debated how Europe can achieve a sustainable and inclusive recovery that boosts the resilience of our production sectors, the competitiveness of our economies and the transformation of our socio-economic systems with research and innovation leading the way.
Moderated by science star Robbert Dijkgraaf, Nobel Prize & Kavli Prize laureates discussed how curiosity-driven, blue sky science can help address major challenges we are facing and be prepared for an uncertain future in a post-COVID-19 world. Organised by the European Research Council and The Kavli Prize.
In a pure spirit of partnership between the Commission and the Member States, this session offered an opportunity to get to know more in detail the proposed areas of intervention of the ERA Communication and to discuss with each of the three presidencies on what they focused and to provide feedback on their proposed actions.
Europe’s academic sector plays a crucial part in Europe’s recovery and is a key actor in addressing digital and green transitions. ERA was expected to strengthen the R&I dimension of higher education institutions through a comprehensive transformation agenda in synergy with the European Education Area and the European Universities initiative, reinforcing their role as essential drivers of change
In this session two members of the European Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP) were interviewed on the proposals of the OSPP to advance further open science. The main topic for discussion was the system for assessing research and for rewarding and incentivising researchers to practice open science, which has been identified as a main bottleneck for advancing open science. There was also a discussion with invited guests and an opportunity for the audience to interact.
On the basis of the recent joint statement and learning from the current crisis, the panel discussed challenges and best practices in providing scientific advice to policy makers in times of uncertainty and complexity.
This session discussed how R&I can support the design and construction of new and renovated buildings in line with the needs of a decarbonised and circular economy, leading to increased health- and climate-proofing of the building stock.
The Session explored the role played by steel in transport and infrastructures, focusing on the production of 'Clean Steel' and fostering synergies between steel and transport sectors. The importance of clean transport to keep EU citizens connected was also addressed.
The session showed how Horizon Europe will support the European Green Deal through science, research & innovation. It improved our understanding of biodiversity decline and drove action for biodiversity & ecosystems protection & restoration, by promoting nature-based solutions & sustainable management of natural capital.
Parallel sessions where the different Horizon 2020 European Green Deal Call areas and topics were presented 1.1 Preventing and Fighting Wildfires + 1.3 Climate-resilient Innovation Packages for EU regions 1.2 -Towards climate –neutral and socially innovative cities 2. Clean, affordable and secure energy 3. Industry for a clean and circular economy 4. Energy and resource efficient buildings 5. Sustainable and smart mobility 6. Farm to fork 7. Biodiversity and ecosystems 8. Zero-pollution, toxic-free environments 9. Strengthening knowledge 10. Empowering citizens
The future demands technologies which provide hosting and data processing capabilities to increasingly vast amounts of heterogeneous data in biomedicine, while at the same time computer systems must be energy efficient. Can these two goals be fulfilled at the same time? This session presented two ongoing ERC projects on these two targets, illustrating how recent discoveries affected the way in which we operate health data and the design of these computer systems.
With the outbreak and rapid spread of COVID-19 in the world, the importance of availability and exchange of data to better predict, model, control and cure diseases has become even more evident than before. The session gave the opportunity to reflect on the level of preparedness of the EU for this health crisis, in terms of secure and interoperable exchange of health data, resilience of health systems and facilities, and the need for enhanced EU cooperation on making health data more available for better prevention and personalised treatment, also by speeding up the deployment of the European Health Data Space. The session also touched upon the need to enhance research and deployment of AI, machine learning and data mining for better prevention and more effective health treatments.
The Horizon Europe Strategic Planning process aimed at identifying key orientations for R&I investments starting from the main political priorities of the European Union, especially the green and digital transitions as well as Europe’s recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic. Following the success of a first round of intense co-design activities with stakeholders and citizens, this session was part of a new round of interactive discussions focusing on the expected impacts of Cluster Health and the contribution of R&I for achieving them, including through European partnerships. The results of these discussions were taken into account in the strategic planning process with the finalization of the first Strategic Plan of Horizon Europe for the years 2021-2024.
As Europe is facing deep societal, ecologic and economic challenges, a transformative R&I policy is needed to ensure a sustainable future. The panel, led by the ESIR high-level group of experts, discussed how R&I can help to protect, prepare, and transform Europe in a post-COVID world and beyond.
Nuclear and radiation technology offers immense opportunities in the field of modern medicine, providing solutions to some of Europe's most pressing societal challenges, like diagnosis and treatment of cancer, heart disease and many other health conditions.
Cluster 2, ‘Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society’ aimed to meet EU goals and priorities on enhancing democratic governance and citizens participation, on the safeguarding and promotion of cultural heritage, and to respond to multifaceted social, economic, technological and cultural transformations. Activities contributed to expanding civic engagement, boosting transparency, accountability, inclusiveness and legitimacy of governance, improving levels of trust and tackling political extremism. Activities within the Cluster also promoted better access and engagement with cultural heritage, arts and creative sectors as a driver of sustainable innovation and a European sense of belonging and improve its protection, enhancement and restoration as well as the access to our common heritage through new technologies, high quality digitisation and curation of digital heritage assets. Research and innovation supported sustainable growth and job creation through contributing to a European industrial policy for the cultural and creative industries. At the same time, actions helped tackle social, economic and political inequalities, support human capital development and contribute to a comprehensive European strategy for inclusive growth. This also involved understanding and responding to the impacts of technological advancements and economic interconnectedness with a view to social resilience. Finally, the Cluster supported EU migration and mobility policies, both internal and external, while aiming to promote integration.
The Horizon Europe Strategic Planning process aimed at identifying key orientations for R&I investments starting from the main political priorities of the European Union, especially the green and digital transitions. Following the success of a first round of intense co-design activities with stakeholders and citizens, this session was part of a new round of interactive discussions focusing on the expected impacts of Cluster 6 and the contribution of R&I policy for achieving them. The results of these discussions were taken into account for the finalization of the draft Strategic Plan and the preparation of the first Horizon Europe Work Programme.
To maximize synergies and boost impact, it is essential to offer the best possible conditions for the deployment of innovative solutions. This requires intense interaction with the private sector and the banking sector, and the use of innovative ways to get results. In this session, we briefly presented selected initiatives and instruments, and considered how research funders can “go the extra mile” to make synergies happen, making use of existing instruments and creating new ones.
The Horizon Europe Strategic Planning process aimed at identifying key orientations for R&I investments starting from the main political priorities of the European Union, especially the green and digital transitions as well as Europe’s recovery from the crisis. Following the success of a first round of intense co-design activities with stakeholders and citizens, this session was part of a new round of interactive discussions focusing on the expected impacts of “Cluster 4: Digital, Industry and Space” and the contribution of R&I policy for achieving them, (as well as relevant European Partnerships). The results of these discussions will be taken into account for the finalization of the draft Strategic Plan document and the preparation of the first Horizon Europe Work programme.
How can European Partnerships step up efforts to achieve the transitions that Europe needs? The session looked at some of the proposed Partnerships for answers. It continued the high-level discussion in R&I Days last year on the new policy approach to Partnerships.
The current pandemic might be the beginning of a new social and economic system for Europe. The disruption to current systems has not been more profound since the roll out of the Internet marking a new era. This crisis poses existential challenges to millions of citizens and to our sustainable growth with the respect for our planet. We need to protect and prepare for the future. To this end, we need a new type of leadership - leaders who can work across the entire ecosystems to drive transformation - from the level of a single organization to the city or region. We are all interconnected, networked and from now all digital. Until recently we spoke about skill for the future - the future is now and we must quickly learn how to boost our network intelligence, our collective brain power, progressive communities and networks. To mitigate challenges and to lead system innovation, the role of universities is critical. What would be the leadership role of universities in the context of the post-corona world?
The impact of COVID-19 on global value chains has been massive, leading many countries and businesses to rethink their supply chain management and design to limit the risk of disruption. Will this be a temporary reorganisation, or a permanent one, coupled with the repatriation of production? What role will digital technologies such as AI, the Internet of Things and Robotics play in this process? Will this lead to developing countries being left completely out of global value chains? Or, will this become an opportunity to “build back better”, in more equitable, sustainable and resilient way? The discussion was extremely important also for EU policymakers, who face very important questions and challenges. The European Commission released an industrial strategy in March 2020, at a time in which the extent of the pandemic was still largely unknown. Does the EU industrial strategy deserve a thorough rethink, only a few weeks from its adoption? At the end of May, the European Commission then adopted a massive recovery package anchored in Europe’s Green Deal. Does the Next Generation EU Package offer the right mix of instruments to ensure that the EU protects its industry, prepares it for the current and upcoming challenges, and transforms it to bring it back to a more sustainable and resilient path? This panel discussion was also crucial for the future of Research and Innovation Policy in the EU. What is the role of innovation in modernising industry? What role will be played by large-scale initiatives such as the Missions, the Partnerships, the IPCEIs? What impacts will the EU industrial strategy have on third countries, and on the future of global value chains?
Following on from the ESIR group Open Panel discussion, this breakout session investigated the places and spaces and communities in Europe where work on transformative change, through innovation, is underway despite or even accelerated by the impact of COVID-19. The discussion highlighted lessons being learned from ‘case studies in motion’ to provide invaluable inputs to EU policymakers and decision makers.
Life depends on healthy soils for the provision of food, clean water, biodiversity, climate resilience and other functions. Soil is a fragile and threatened resource. The Mission “Caring for soils is caring for life” aims to ensure that by 2030, EU soils are safeguarded for future generations.
The aim of the session was to provide a platform for an open discussion with the Mission Board, Assembly and Members of the Horizon Europe Shadow Programme Committee Sub-Group on the feedback from the stakeholder and citizen engagement, and to reflect on how to implement its outcomes. The outcomes of the session fed into the further developments and the implementation of the future Mission Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters.
Better control rather than more control is the key guiding principle of the risk-based HE Control Strategy. More attention was devoted to the early detection of emerging risks of irregularity. For ex-post control, the emphasis was put on cross-reliance on audits as well as risk-based controls. System and Process Audits were introduced. Circular feedback mechanism between the two arms of control were reinforced, and more attention to fraud prevention and detection will be paid under the next MFF.
Simplification and enhancing synergies are key guiding principle for the implementation strategy for Horizon Europe. In that respect, Horizon Europe will use the new corporate Model Grant Agreement (MGA), allowing for harmonisation across EU programmes and thus enabling synergies between programmes. What are the novelties? What lessons were learned from the experience of the H2020? How the corporate provisions will reinforce and enable simplification and synergies across the board?
The positive results and impact of the first Outreach activities under H2020 have paved the way and bring to the forefront a complete Outreach strategy as a key part of the implementation of the new Horizon Europe. An Outreach strategy in Horizon Europe was based on a wide set of activities in order to inform, involve and interact with the Programme stakeholders.
The debate focused on the way the F&T Portal should continue supporting the interaction between external participants and the EU Institutions and better meet users experience for applicants and beneficiaries, by constantly improving the digital management system, expanding and providing new features and functions and exploiting new approaches as these mature, including Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, social networks, etc.
Relevant DGs (R&I, REGIO, COMP) presented strategic approaches, current provisions and practical ways of implementing R&I in synergy with Horizon, including the launch of a new network consisting of Member States' research authorities and R&I Managing Authorities of Structural Funds (RIMA network).
R&I are key to the socio-economic development, but have also effects on security, democratic values and ethics. To keep our globalised world in balance, science powers such as China and the EU needed to agree on a level playing field to conduct research, foster innovation and use the new technologies, joining forces to solve global challenges.
Starting with the global response to Covid-19, this panel analysed how cooperation with partner countries through multilateral platforms and international organisations were key in facing global challenges such as resilience to health threats, climate change, and the digital transition.
An important element of the Innovation Ecosystems Work Programme under Horizon Europe is the European Innovation Council (EIC) Forum of Member States and Associated countries’ public authorities and bodies in charge of innovation policies and programmes. The Forum promoted coordination and dialogue on the development of the EU's innovation ecosystem and connected the existing innovation ecosystems with the EIC. This session was the launch of the EIC Forum, which was followed by the first annual EIC Forum plenary meeting, where panellists discussed the new priorities of the Commission, such as emerging challenges for the society resulting from the post-COVID-19 crisis, and the role of the innovation ecosystem in supporting economic recovery
Since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, the EC acted decisively to reorient the funding available in order to deal with the increased needs corresponding to the crisis. Thanks to the precious cooperation with the EIB under the Infectious Diseases Finance Facility (IDFF) and increased budget targeting this challenge, Europe is able to provide financing to European innovators developing solutions against COVID-19. The aim of this session was to demonstrate Innovative European companies, which develop solutions against Covid-19 in the areas of prophylactics, diagnostics and therapeutics. The session also showcased a couple of innovations being developed and funded by EIC Accelerator call targeting Covid-19.
The opening Keynote speech by Prof. Jerzy Langer, EIC Pilot Advisory Board member, explained the evolution of the FET programme into the EIC Pathfinder and its role in supporting innovation. Following, the cluster of Pathfinder projects in the area Global System Science, with the participation of Angel Sanchez (IBSEN), Paul Lukowicz (CIMPLEX), Stefano Battiston (DOLFINS) and Emanuela Merelli (TOPDREAM) showed the experience to study Global challenges. The session included videos on more Pathfinder projects. This session is a contribution to the Future Tech Week 2020 http://futuretechweek.fetfx.eu/
One of the Commission’s priorities is to create gender equality as a critical component of economic growth. This session discussed initiatives aimed at increasing participation of women in the European Innovation Council, such as positive actions for women CEOs, gender parity in the juries, and the EU prize for Women Innovators. The session also brainstormed on new ways to promote gender balance in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to raise awareness and show-case women researchers and entrepreneurs as role models for the next generation.
The need to attain climate and sustainable development goals requires the alignment of investors and fund managers with those objectives. The session explored methods and products being developed for this purpose, notably in the context of InvestEU – the EU's proposed flagship investment programme to boost the European economy – and how the investment community is adapting to the sustainability challenge. Innovative companies found the session useful for the alignment of their activities with the sustainability criteria being incorporated into public and private funds.
To fill the innovation gap among Member States many initiatives have already been launched under Horizon 2020. However much more still has to be done under Horizon Europe and therefore a dedicated budget share of the Framework Programme has been ring-fenced by co-legislators for widening countries. In addition, the EIC contributes to this endeavour by supporting the emergence of unicorns also in widening countries and awarding Seals of Excellence to companies that deserve alternative financial support. The objective of the session was to show to a wide audience, public and private sectors including SMEs and Starts-ups from widening countries that it is possible for them to ‘reach the stars’. We showed inter alia EIC success stories, financing tools/channels from public (EU and national) and private sectors that facilitate companies’ growth/scale up.
The proposal for a European Green Deal put forward by the European Commission aims to make Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent by investing in research and innovation. We need act urgently to support the next breakthrough technologies in green deal innovations in order to attain the climate and the sustainable development goals. The objective of this session was to showcase great Green deal innovation supported by different EU financial instruments and initiatives: InnovFin Energy Demonstration projects, European Innovation Council, and European Institute of Technology InnoEnergy.
Since its inception, the EIC has strived for supporting women-led companies, helping women innovators in their journey and in turn inspiring other women to take their ideas to the market. This session helped the audience understand the main barriers faced by women innovators and how they to encourage higher women participation in the ‘deep tech’ domain.
The session focused on the contributions from female scientists involved in Pathfinder projects. Rachel Armstrong presented her project LIAR on Microbes & Urban Sustainability: "Living" Architecture? Description Clivia Sotomayor Torres (PHENOMEN) and Cecilia Laschi (OCTOPUS) shared their perspectives on the involvement of women in the Pathfinder projects, addressing areas capable to create new foundations of science-enabled innovations. The session included videos on more Pathfinder projects. This session was a contribution to the Future Tech Week 2020 http://futuretechweek.fetfx.eu/
The EIC is launching several initiatives in relation to innovation procurement to support EIC beneficiaries, and during this session we received views and advice from stakeholders on the following action. The intention was to support the co-creation process between EIC beneficiaries and European public procurers of innovation, in order to be able to help public European procurers to make their sourcing from a community of very innovative companies financially supported by the EIC thus de-risking the cost of innovation.
Transition activities under the EIC are aimed at turning promising results from basic research-funded projects into genuine technological or/and societal breakthroughs and disruptive innovations. Transition activities shall be, therefore, a critical bridge for connecting deeptech research with market opportunities, and ensure a coherent link between Pathfinder & Accelerator, supporting both market and technology developments. The purpose of the session was to introduce the preliminary findings of the EIC Pilot Transition to Innovation Activities as well as to discuss the vision for the future EIC Transition under Horizon Europe. The discussion was organized in the shape of a round table by involving the main stakeholders of these measures, whose target audience is primarily the beneficiaries of basic research projects. In addition, existing tools and methodologies (including those ones developed under the Access2EIC NCP Network) were discussed to support researchers in defining the market/business dimensions out of a technological research output.
The session focused on the contribution of EIT and its KICs to boost AI innovation, through the integration of knowledge triangle activities (in particular, entrepreneurial education, business creation and acceleration and support to the development of innovative solutions) and the KICs’ ecosystem approach.
The session informed participants about the key achievements and challenges of the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) until now and focus on the new elements introduced with the Commission’s proposal for the EIT Strategic Innovation Agenda 2021-2027. EIT RIS, is EIT’s action for widening participation to its activities and the main EIT Community tool to strengthen the innovation capacity of Member States and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries with moderate or modest innovation capacity (according to the European Innovation Scoreboard). The session was part of the EIT Stakeholder Forum 2020, which aims to provide a platform for EIT stakeholders to express their views and contribute thereby to an impactful implementation of the EIT’s future work programme.
The European Research Council brought together panellists to highlight the importance of public engagement for EU funded researchers and exchange best practices in this domain. The laureates of the first ERC Public Engagement with Research Award presented their winning activity.
The €5 million prize was supported through Horizon 2020 as part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot aimed to rewards the best, proven, cost-effective, technology-based solutions for humanitarian aid in 5 categories: 1) Shelter and related assistance; 2) Water, hygiene and sanitation; 3) Energy, 4) Health and medical care; and 5) an open category. Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, and Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, awarded the EIC Horizon Prize on Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid to the winners in each of the 5 categories who will each received €1 million.
The six finalists in the European Capital for Innovation Awards briefly presented their innovative city strategies, highlighting how they boost and open innovation ecosystems, enhance their capacity to connect individuals, public sector, academia, and businesses to deliver societal benefits for their communities, involve citizens in decision-making process, and use innovation to enhance the resilience and sustainability of their cities. Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel announced the 2020 European Capital of Innovation winner - an annual €1M cash prize - to the European city that is best able to demonstrate its ability to harness innovation to improve the lives of its citizens, and the five runners up – each one awarded with €100,000.
In confirming its position as a global leader across education, research and innovation, Europe needed to put its collective knowledge to work. Both the European Education Area (EEA) and the European Research Area (ERA) share values – such as democracy, tolerance, equality and non-discrimination – and common principles – such as integrity, academic freedom, trustworthiness, responsibility and openness. The European Knowledge Strategy connected ERA and EEA and mutually reinforced them to allow for coordinated education and research policies and investments. It made, in this way,a major contribution to implementing the Recovery Package. EEA and ERA jointly aimed at boosting the interaction between education, research and innovation to empower Europe's citizens, while contributing to a democratic, ethically responsible, well-informed, resilient and cohesive European society and competitive social market economy.
The COVID pandemic has challenged our societies in unprecedented ways. The role of Research and Innovation in a wide range of areas and the coordination of international efforts have been critical. This session highlighted initiatives and ongoing actions at EC level to address the pandemic, including to through global cooperation. It also served to assess current progress and identify remaining challenges, as well as ways to improve preparedness for future threats. Speakers: Commissioner Gabriel, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, WHO; Prof. Peter Piot, Director London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Special Adviser to President von der Leyen on the response to the coronavirus and COVID-19.
Europe is endowed with an abundant and varied pool of talented researchers who on a daily basis push out the scientific frontier in key strategic areas. If we are to deliver on the ambitious objectives of i.a. the Green Deal, health, and digital transformation, Europe also needs to become a frontrunner in the global race for talent, an irresistible pole of attraction for the world’s top researchers. Excellent research environments are a prerequisite; attractive working conditions and decent remuneration a necessity; often, these require reforms of national R&I systems. Being attractive to foreign researchers will automatically also imply being attractive to Europe’s own researchers from all geographical regions in Europe, as two sides of the same coin. This transformation process by definition combines excellence and inclusiveness, (1) balancing circulation of talents geographically, and (2) increase talent and knowledge circulation inter-sectorally, for the benefit of an inclusive and connected ERA talent community
This workshop required active participation from all participants: Co-organised with EIT Climate-KIC’s Transitions Hub & Deep Demonstrators team to collect ideas and foster a dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders on the potential of the Transition Super Labs and to act as living labs on the road to a just climate transition.
The economic impact of data is huge. Yet, only a tiny share of industrial data is captured and used for value creation. This session discussed R&I initiatives which mitigate barriers to industrial data reusability and facilitate the unlocking of value from data.
The pandemic has accelerated the transition to the digital economy and society. Business and public sector organisations are turning towards digital technologies to stay operational and relevant. Europe, not only, faces a massive digital skills gap with 42% of Europeans not having basic digital skills. There is also a lack of digital experts who can help develop innovative solutions and redesign the way services are used and delivered. 58% of companies that tried to hire digital experts in 2019 reported it was problematic to fill vacancies.
Last year’s R&I days session on “Re-defining prosperity’’ with key note speakers Kate Raworth and Sandrine Dixon, took stock of existing definitions and indicators regarding sustainability and stimulated new thinking about economics. One year later, with the European Green Deal and a new Recovery Package at sight , DG R&I was ready to present a conceptual framework to rank the EU Member States and 45 other countries on how they perform across the four dimensions of sustainability: economic, social, environmental and governance.
The Horizon Europe Strategic Planning process aims at identifying key orientations for R&I investments starting from the main political priorities of the European Union. The 2nd panel on Cluster 3 focused on the Cybersecurity research and innovation and the expected impacts supporting the implementation of the Security Union, especially in the context of the Network and Information Systems Directive, the Cybersecurity Act and the Cybersecurity Competence Centre. The results of these discussions were taken into account for the finalisation of the draft Strategic Plan document and the preparation of the first Horizon Europe Work Programme.
The COVID 19 pandemic has provided ample opportunity for foresight. The uncertainty and the continuous evolution of scientific findings, knowledge and understandings have been ground for fertile imagination as well as analyses that fed policy responses on the ground. Amidst the pandemic, the first European Foresight Report aptly focused on Europe’s resilience. The session took the opportunity of the preparation of the European Foresight Report to discuss the relations between science, foresight and policy in the European Union, focussing on the effects of, and lessons from the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic for foresight and R&I policy.
The objective of the session resided with increasing the impact of EU R&I strategic priorities by leveraging social innovation. How can social innovation play this role? By engaging society in the co-design, co-development, co-implementation, and use of key digital and enabling/emerging technologies, by enlisting citizens and local communities in the bioeconomy revolution, by making people drivers of a digitally led circular, climate-neutral and sustainable economy and by fostering inclusiveness. The integration of social innovation in Horizon Europe conditions its role as an impact multiplier. The session invited participants to share and confront their views on how, where, and when to do that.
Reaching 100 climate-neutral cities by 2030 is the objective identified by the Mission Board for Climate-neutral and Smart Cities in their interim report. A Mission in this area would support, promote and show case 100 European cities in their systemic transformation towards climate neutrality by 2030 and make these cities into experimentation and innovation hubs for all cities.
Despite all simplification, funding based on reimbursement of incurred costs stays complex. The Commission was testing new initiatives with high potential for simplifications, notably via selected pilot calls where, since 2018, funding is based on lump sums rather than actual costs. This session enhanced knowledge sharing and communication on the first findings on the lump sum pilot.
The session helped to understand how to enforce European society’s capacity for coping with the crisis by reinforcing European resilience. The proposed suggestions could guide decisions and actions of policymakers so as to take into account the different contexts, cultures, visions, problems and needs of a Europe in and out of crisis.
This session explored how Horizon Europe and Moonshot offered new opportunities to strengthen synergies and enhance cooperation between the EU and Japanese R&I ecosystems, in order to face common challenges such as pandemics, climate change, soils, digital transition and ageing societies.
The Western Balkans are a strategic priority for the EU. In preparation towards EU membership, R&I and Horizon Europe Association trigger changes contributing to wider reforms. The Western Balkans Agenda and its actions aim to set out a new positive and forward-looking vision for the region.
EIC Accelerator joined forces with Wolves Summit to bring eight EIC-funded SMEs tackling COVID-19 pandemic to pitch their solutions in front of investors from nine different EU-countries, including representatives of Capricorn Partners, Hightech Grunderfonds, Industrifonden, Kurma Partners, Mustard Seed MAZE, Panakes Partners, Seroba Life Sciences, Sofinnova Partners and Ysios Capital.
An interactive co-creation session - with EIC Pathfinder stakeholders and the wider public - to gather views of the EIC Pathfinder stakeholders and wider constituency (first 100 people to join the session on a first-come-first-served basis) on a shortlist of research topics for the EIC Work Programme 2021.
The EIC Fund filled the funding gap at the start-up stage where the EU venture capital market underperforms compared to the global venture capital market. This is the first time the European Commission made direct equity investments in companies. Its main purpose was not to maximise the return on investments, but to accompany the companies in their growth as patient capital investor. Overall, the EIC Fund aimed to stimulate the European venture capital industry by selection of pure excellence in supporting founders, whilst paying attention to gender balance, and high risk innovative projects with equally high social and economic impact. The EIC Fund did not aim to compete with the market, but to crowd-in other investors and to stimulate this currently underperforming market.
The EIC Medtech Portfolio includes the world’s most advanced life-saving medical devices and instruments, to diagnose and treat. Neural prosthesis that replace damaged brain areas, portable PET brain-imaging systems for rapid in-situ diagnosis, compact proton therapy systems for oncological treatment, technologies to improve survival after cardiac arrest, virtual-reality in surgery for safer procedures, EEG-enabled personalised treatment of depression,… The sky is the limit at EIC. Enric Claverol-Tinture is reponsible for the Medtech portfolio at EIC. In this session he briefly presented the new portfolio-focused management approach and our funding strategy in the coming future for medtech. With active management EIC seeks to support projects all the way from idea inception to market deployment, and to do so with coherence across projects and with focus on the fastest possible route to delivering the technologies to the patient. (10 minutes) This was followed by flash presentations of leading researchers in our portfolio presenting their devices (20’). We showed a sea of opportunities for patients, clinicians, investors and industrial partners. A panel including three industrial and financial stakeholders discussed the future in medtech and more specifically what they were looking for in projects to consider them investable (30’).
The Innovation Radar (IR) is a European Commission initiative to identify high potential innovations and innovators in EU-funded research and innovation projects. This year the Prize took place virtually on 24 September in the context of the European Commission’s Research and Innovation Days event. With the help of Dealflow.eu, 10 organisations were shortlisted per category and, from these, 4 were selected from each category. Finalists then had the opportunity at the event to present their EU-funded innovation in a 3 minute pitch and outline the plans to get it to, or closer to, the market. The pitch was delivered to an experienced jury who are active in the European investment ecosystem. The event was powered by Dealflow.eu, under the official leadership of the European Commission’s Innovation Radar team of. Dealflow.eu is a consortium comprising of Deloitte Digital Ventures, H.I. Capital, and Dealroom.co (more info: www.dealflow.eu).
The increasing importance of innovative biomedical and biotechnology SMEs in the Bioscience industry ecosystem to address unmet biomedical and economic challenges. The top 10 from 300 screened, H2020-funded R&I biotech projects share unique novel approaches to products or processes in the key enabling biotechnology (independent study by senior experts). Current global bio-trends include topics such as emerging viruses monitoring, genome editing: challenges in drug development, or cell therapy/regenerative medicine. How EIC will evaluate the commercialization potential of its health and biotechnology portfolio (breakthrough projects, startups and scaling up SMEs)? Can the same criteria apply to other EIC thematic portfolios? Do the National and EU-Regional bioinnovation ecosystems, bioclusters and bioinitiatives need EIC? What competition should be expected for EIC in its mission to become the leading innovation organization in Europe with global impact: Focus on biomedicine and biotechnology? What is the uniqueness of EIC? Are the PMs of varied background a key component of its uniqueness? To what extent the PMs objectives align with that of the entire EIC?
During this session, 4 of the Proof of Concepts developed in the framework of the EIC Planet.tech initiative jointly presented by the EIC startups and large corporations involved. The exchange focused on the EU Green Deal and best practices for collaboration across value chains, de-risking major investment for scaling.
Three pitches for investment were given to a panel of four different investors. During humorous Q&A, the panel challenged the pitches and competed to cooperate. This taught the audience how investors perceive and judge applicants.
Many breakthrough technologies with strong societal impact stem from fundamental research. ATTRACT is a pioneering project building a deep tech innovation ecosystem around an existing scientific community, involving research infrastructures, researchers and industry, including SMEs. ATTRACT also integrates the humanities to help scientists and companies turn the deep tech used for exploring the frontiers of science into societally useful technologies in detection and imaging. The session explored how fundamental science can lead to breakthrough innovation, what makes this particular ecosystem work and what factors can be exported to stimulate other deep tech ecosystems.
How can graduates and PhD holders develop their career path in the current changing times? The alumni communities (Marie Curie Alumni Association, EIT Alumni network, Erasmus+ Student and Alumni Alliance) drew on different perspectives (students, researchers, graduates) and presented their experience in this area. This session particularly focused on the current challenges for career development in EU priority areas such as digitalisation and green transition. Discussion addressed the contributions of the alumni associations to the implementation of these priorities.
The session informed the participants and discussed about the key elements of the new capacity building action for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), as introduced with the Commission’s proposal for the EIT SIA 2021-2027, which builds on the work and results achieved up to date in the area of knowledge triangle by the EIT and KICs.
This session featured the “Friends of the European Research Council (ERC)” handing over of an open letter and 16 000+ signatures to EU representatives, a live discussion on the importance of fundamental research and the launching of the Association for ERC grantees. Organised by the ‘Friends of the ERC’ and Association for ERC grantees.
This informal networking session was an opportunity to interact with the President of the European Research Council, Prof Jean-Pierre Bourguignon and one of the Vice-Presidents of the ERC’s Scientific Council, Prof Fabio Zwirner. Conversation topics included the role of frontier research in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic as well as future challenges, preparations for the Horizon Europe programme and the current state of negotiations on the EU’s future budget.