Tag Archives: Horizon 2020

Time to sign the Open Letter

In October 2014 a visible one-month march by scientists from across France converged on Paris. Organised by Sciences en Marche, it included all categories of colleagues from French universities and research centres who cross-crossed the French roads on their bikes, stopping in many towns to talk to the citizens about the non-measurable values of Higher Education and Research (HER), values that are essential for sustaining a democratic and flourishing society. Read more [...]

Spring of discontent in the European science community

The new Juncker Commission is attempting to tackle the sluggish economic climate by introducing a punchy new plan. It involves the creation of the European Fund for Strategic Investment to invest in job creation and growth. This initiative has generally been welcome. Except that the proposal involves taking €2.7 billion away from Horizon 2020, the very programme supposed to produce the innovations that would contribute to the growth of the economy. This has triggered uproar in the European science community. This reaction was further compounded by criticism from the European Court of Auditors pointing to the many gaps in the proposed plan. Finally, additional concerns that further funding restrictions could be imposed on the way structural funds are permitted to be used have also emerged, given that research features low on the list of EC priorities. Read more [...]

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EC implementing RRI through institutional change

Horizon 2020 has as a notable ambition to address grand societal challenges. It fits in Europe's strategy for jobs and growth, called Europe 2020, where research and innovation play a key role. In this context, several questions have arisen. Read more [...]

Research funding: Science in the firing line as Europe fails to pay

As the three-week conciliation period on the EU 2015 budget started on 28th October 2014, research in Europe is facing a funding crisis. And this time, the harbingers of doom are not grumbling scientists, gloomy economists or critical journalists, but powerful voices within the European Commission (EC) itself. Read more [...]

Science funding angst: is rhetoric masking what is really at stake?

Some worry basic science will get left in the dust once changes in the new European Commission are set in stone. But before we fret in the wrong direction, should we stop to think about what terms like 'basic,' 'applied,' 'innovation' and 'society' translate to in reality? With all arrows pointing to the need for economic growth, many have begun to wonder how changes in the new European Commission will affect the balance between basic and applied research. But scholars in Science and Technology Studies (STS)— a field that investigates the relationships between scientific knowledge, technological systems and society— say that this linguistic dichotomy of 'basic' versus 'applied' research masks the real issues at stake. Read more [...]

Referendum’s impact on Swiss participation on Horizon 2020

On 9th of February 2014, the people of Switzerland voted in a referendum for the limitation of immigration from the European Union. Within three years, the government has to fix annual quota for asylum seekers and EU citizens interested in living in the country. In response, the EU has now suspended negotiations about the association of Switzerland to the European funding scheme Horizon 2020. Switzerland is heavily implicated in European research projects, which makes the referendum’s decision potentially disastrous for Swiss scientists. Read more [...]

When economist lead the R&D dance

Recently, national governments in several European countries have merged their ministry for science and research, with the portfolio of economic affairs. This is true, at least for the moment, in the UK, in Spain, and in Austria. So far, these three countries stand out as an exception in the European map. Does this mean that research has been reduced down to being the object of mere economic considerations? Read more [...]

Swiss U-turn on Croatian immigrants halts its research and education talks with European Commission

Swiss science and education may take a hit after the country's citizens narrowly approved immigration caps in a referendum on 9 February. Though the immigration reform would take up to three years to implement, the vote had an immediate impact on the European Union's newest member state, Croatia, which saw its free movement of people agreement with Switzerland put on hold. Read more [...]

€100 billion for innovation in EU’s regional funds to end research divide and brain drain

Billions in EU regional development funds – used to help poor regions catch up – will now be targeted to support innovation as part of a major reform of EU regional policy, according to an article in Science|Business. The aim is to bridge the Read more [...]