December 2013 | Issue 2

Τhe NET4SOCIETY3 Team is happy to inform you that on the 11th of December 2013 the European Commission has announced the first 64 Horizon 2020 Calls for Proposals.  Before the publication of the Calls for Proposals, European Commission endorsed all the Work Programmes for 2014.

Although all the  Work Programmes cover Year 2014 and Year 2015, due to the launching phase of Horizon 2020, parts of the Work Programme that relate to 2015 (topics, dates, budget) are provided to the interested parties at this stage on an indicative basis only. Such Work Programme parts will be decided during 2014.

SSH research is embedded in all the three Pillars of Horizon 2020, but is more evident in Societal Challenge 6 namely ‘Europe in a Changing World: Inclusive, Innovative and Reflective Societies’. Please note that NET4SOCIETY3 is working to provide you with a document analysing SSH topics in all H2020 Pillars. This is expected to be available at the NET4SOCIETY3 website.

More information about the first Horizon 2020 Call for Proposals can be found at Participant Portal website.

It is not only that Social Sciences and Humanities will be integrated in all three pillars of the Horizon 2020, but they will be even more evident in Societal Challenge 6 namely ‘Europe in a Changing World: Inclusive, Innovative and Reflective Societies’.

Horizon 2020 aims to implement “Europe 2020” and specifically its flagship initiative ‘Innovation Union’. The underlying idea of this initiative is to secure Europe’s global competitiveness by funding excellent science, strengthening industrial leadership in innovation and tackling societal challenges.

The main Societal Challenges outlined in Horizon 2020 are:

  1. Health, Demographic Change and Well-being;
  2. Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine and Maritime and Inland Water Research, and the Bioeconomy;
  3. Secure, Clean and Efficient energy;
  4. Smart, Green and Integrated Transport;
  5. Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials;
  6. Europe in a Changing World - Inclusive, Innovative and Reflective Societies;
  7. Secure Societies - Protecting Freedom and Security of Europe and its Citizens.

Amongst the topics addressed by Societal Challenge 6 are the creation of smart and sustainable growth, social cultural and behavioural transformations in European societies, social innovation and creativity and the position of Europe as a global actor.

Additionally, Societal Challenge 6 will support policy coordination across Europe by providing a strong evidence base to help Member States in implementing adequate policy mixes. As a novel measure, the Work Programmes will contain information on how coordination with national research and innovation funding is ensured, making it an element of discussion in the Programme Committees.

The NET4SOCIETY Project understands the need to provide solutions and support inclusive, innovative and reflective European societies in a context of unprecedented transformations. Therefore, it aims not only to facilitate a smooth transition from FP7 to Horizon 2020 but specifically support Challenge 6 by undertaking several steps (like ensuring that all National Contact Points will have the same level of knowledge to adequately advise their researchers, supporting consortium building through partner search activities, fostering the participation of SSH researchers from new EU Member States (EU13) and International Cooperation Partner  Countries (ICPC) in H2020 etc). 

Through Challenge 6, EU aims to overcome the crisis, support the young generation, preserving its heritage and its citizens in general and targeting to establish at the same time EU as a global actor through the creation of new forms of innovation. NET4SOCIETY will continuously support SSH activities in Horizon 2020 and particularly will aim to strongly support the implementation of the abovementioned objectives set under Challenge 6.

More information about Horizon 2020 and Societal Challenge 6 can be found here

To learn more about Societal Challenge 6 and funding opportunities for SSH in Horizon 2020, please contact your National Contact Point.

Would you like to take part in the discussion on the relevance and impact of SSH research in addressing the Europe 2020 targets? Would you like to discover new and exciting opportunities that exist in Horizon 2020 – the New EU Programme for Research & Innovation? Would you like to take part in the brokerage event which aims to promote and encourage engagement with Horizon 2020 and will enhance networking and collaboration among researchers in Europe and beyond? If the answer to these questions is YES – the consortium of the NET4SOCIETY3 would like to invite you to participate in the two-day international event entitled “Achieving Impact: Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) in Horizon 2020”.  It will take place in Athens on 26 & 27 February 2014 at the National Hellenic Research Foundation on the occasion of the Greek EU Presidency.

This large event will consist of a conference as well as a combined information day and a brokerage event with structured networking sessions. It will mark the launch of the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020” and the opportunities for the SSH research community. Its main aim is to prepare the SSH research community for Horizon 2020 – successor of the 7th Framework Programme.

To find out more on this unique event please visit the website: www.achievingimpact2014.eu

The registration for this two-day event will be open until 7th February 2014.

Furthermore, if you wish to take this opportunity and meet potential cooperation partners during the brokerage event (27 February 2014), please insert your cooperation profile (“Who I am and what are my plans/ whom am I looking for”). This form is only shown to participants who have selected (ticked) a “Bilateral meetings to initiate projects” checkbox. It will be possible to book these bilateral meetings 14 days prior to the conference.

 

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact the organizing team at achievingimpact2014@ekt.gr

 

List of Horizon 2020 National Events 

Event Title

Date

Venue

Organiser

Horizon 2020 Launching Event

15/1/2014

Luxembourg-Kirchberg

Luxinnovation,  National Agency for Innovation and Research

National Launching Event of Horizon 2020

16/1/2014

Cyprus

Research Promotion Foundation (RPF)

Launch Horizon 2020

14-17/1/2014

Bern (CH)

State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation & Euresearch

HORIZON 2020 Connections

21/1/2014

Bratislava

Slovak Organization for Research and Development Activities

National German H2020 Launch

28-29/1/2014

Berlin

BMBF, Germany

More events can be found at NET4SOCIETY website.

Under the auspices of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union the ‘Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities’ Conference took place in Vilnius, Lithuania in September 2013. More than 400 representatives of the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) research community and policy makers from across Europe attended the conference which gave them an excellent opportunity to meet and discuss major challenges that need immediate action in order for the SSH to flourish at EU level and beyond. The main focus of the Conference was on the topic of “embedding” SSH research in all parts of Horizon 2020. This is an explicit goal of Horizon 2020 – however, how this goal will be concretely implemented is to some extent still an open question.

The first plenary session of the conference tried to define a common ground on the diverse field of SSH. It was followed by a discussion about training and educating the next generation of SSH scholars and researchers, the new opportunities that arise as well as any possible potential innovations. The last plenary session of the first day focused on two of the main debates of the fields of Social Sciences and Humanities: (a) the transfer of evaluation standards between fields, without due consideration of their specificities when it comes to measured research productivity and (b) the social impact of SSH research and evaluation by societal stakeholders.

On the second day of the event, parallel sessions took place focusing on all the Societal Challenges in Horizon 2020 and their reflection in SSH research. Other parallel sessions elaborated on the emerging trends in SSH and the new organizational needs, such as international and cross-disciplinary research infrastructures. Additionally, emphasis was given to Smart Specialization and Structural Funding and to what must be done to widen SSH participation in the forthcoming ERC Calls.

The final discussions tried to set the next steps. By summarizing all the fruitful discussions that took place, the Vilnius Declaration was composed, focusing on two major pillars: on the benefits of integrating SSH and on the conditions for the successful integration of Social Sciences and Humanities into Horizon 2020. The declaration was handed over to the Lithuanian Minister of Science and Research. More information on the conference and on the Vilnius Declaration can be found here.

Prof. Helga Nowotny (President of the ERC and Professor Emeritus of SSH), who chaired the Steering Committee of the Conference, recently published an article on the results of the Conference and the next relevant steps for SSH. The article is available here.

As Prof. Nowotny noted, ‘the Vilnius Declaration contains several good suggestions; for example, developing research questions in line with Horizon 2020 in open forums and in exchange with researchers from other fields; and creating new forms of interdisciplinary cooperation. In the global competition of research policy regimes, the European way of dealing with SSH is definitely more promising and more ambitious’. Having this inspiring thoughts in mind, NET4SOCIETY will aim to follow-up this conference by organizing a conference devoted on how to achieve impact in SSH in Horizon 2020. Further information about this conference can be found at the NET4SOCIETY project website.

European Commission publishes Sixth Monitoring Report on FP7

The Report focuses on the Framework Programme implementation in 2012, provides an integrating view on the different strands of FP7 activities and also presents a comparative analysis of FP7 implementation during 2007-2012.

In addition, the report also presents a comparative analysis of FP7 implementation during 2007-2012.

The report is available for download.

Adult and continuing education in Europe: Using public policy to secure a growth in skills

This book shows that adult and continuing education has a critical role to play in ensuring Europe copes with the phenomenon of education exclusion, which undermines social cohesion and the growth of employment. 

Public policies must respond to two strategic challenges: to encourage the propensity to invest in adult and continuing education and to guarantee the reduction of educational exclusion.

More information is provided here.

New social and economic challenges arise with the broadening of the European Union and the establishment of tighter economic relations with neighbour countries. Integration meets serious economic and cultural issues, which are usually studied in formal ways and focusing on some quantities indicators.

These challenges include problems of economic harmonization, multicultural management and transition to sustainable development in the region. To find the solution for these issues and define the roadmap for the successful development of Europe, the SEARCH project consortium was established.

SEARCH project members are undertaking research in several directions that affect each other and the development as a whole: political consequences of economic integration, entrepreneurship and innovative development in integrating countries, social capital and human resource management and migration. 
One of the main directions of research was the study of the dependence of the innovative activity of regions in the European Union and neighbourhood countries from the internal capacity to generate knowledge or the ability to implement the borrowed innovation.

The importance of SEARCH to the European community lies in providing recommendations on the improvement of legal and political framework conditions for the economy and social environment of the European Neighbouring area. These recommendations are based on innovation and knowledge dissemination to harmonization of labour and industrial capacity between EU and its neighbour countries.

The Project unites an international team of experts in the framework analysis of various aspects (economic and trade relations, labour migration, scientific communications, technology and the internationalization of innovation activity) of the European Neighbourhood Policy. Developed recommendations of the policy improvements are directed to the strengthening of relations between the EU and neighbour countries.

The SEARCH team carried out several theoretical and empirical studies of patterns of economic interaction between the European Union and bordering countries and the assessment of the interaction’s effects on the region.

Results of the analysis of the role of labour migration and its economic and social consequences for the targeted regions and border states were put into recommendations to the European Commission on advancing the economic policy. A major recommendation introduced in the migration analysis work package of the project is that countries in their policies should try to create the preconditions for a better integration of immigrants in order to achieve a more sustainable and higher economic growth in the long run through social capital creation.

Project teams conducted assessments of the effects of changes in the institutional structure of the bordering countries and regions on the prospects of improving economic development and social cohesion, as well as greater integration with the European Union countries analyzed.

SEARCH results provide recommendations for European policies in economic, social, cultural, environmental and innovative areas for sustainable collaborative development of the region and its neighbours. SEARCH results help to improve the understanding of trade patterns between the EU and the European Neighboring Policy (ENP) countries, the direction and drivers of capital mobility and its effects on the ENP countries, detect the policy implications towards the strengthening of economic integration and the spreading of its benefits on both sides of the external EU borders.

Cooperation and collaborative work of EU and neighbouring countries are seen as the only way to achieve successful development. At the same time, some areas of research which are of central interest in the economic literature on cohesion and have been neglected in the analysis of the impact of the ENP are the focus of SEARCH Project.

SEARCH is a well defined project with members relevant to the social and economic sciences and with an experienced consortium of researchers from European and neighbouring countries (associated members: Turkey and Israel; and ICPC countries: Morocco and Russia). The backgrounds and high quality expertise skills of the members let SEARCH project benefit from broad and diverse visions for enabling it to formulate policies that will strengthen the relationship between the EU and the Neighbouring countries in most effective ways.

SEARCH project is financed by the European Union under the FP7 in the SSH area. The Project budget is about 3.2 billion euros. SEARCH project runs from August 2011 to July 2014 and is coordinated by the University of Barcelona. Information about the project and its main results is available here.