Since 2008, the NET4SOCIETY network has supported researchers from Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) and National Contact Points (NCPs) with information and targeted services connected to the European research framework programmes.
To guide SSH researchers in their quest for EU-funding, NET4SOCIETY has regularly highlighted the SSH-relevant topics in different calls for proposals via its well-known “Opportunities” document. The project has actively supported networking and international consortia building in the SSH research community by establishing its research directory of key SSH players and an online partner search support. In addition we regularly organised brokerage events that facilitate face-to-face encounters between researchers. These were often connected to large conferences on different SSH aspects, such as “Social Innovation” (Vienna, 2011), “Active Ageing” (Dublin, 2012) and “Impact of SSH” (Athens, 2014). At the same time, NET4SOCIETY has aimed to increase the visibility of SSH research in European research programmes.
Last but not least, a major objective has been to improve the quality of consulting services of the National Contact Points for SSH and Societal Challenge 6 in Horizon 2020. In this context, NET4SOCIETY has brought together National Contact Points from around 50 countries in Europe and abroad, that work in very different environments. Still, many challenges for NCPs are similar, no matter which country they come from. The project enabled us as NCPs to learn from each other and to join forces. NET4SOCIETY’s services for researchers such as partner search support need common action and cannot be implemented solely on a national level.
This will be the final newsletter of the current EU-funded project NET4SOCIETY3 that ends in November 2014. However, NET4SOCIETY as a network of NCPs for the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 6 “Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies” strives to continue beyond the current project phase. Provided that the European Commission decides to fund a follow-up project, we will continue to offer the well established services of NET4SOCIETY starting in 2015. This follow-up project would set a specific focus on supporting the integration of SSH in Horizon 2020 and on helping researchers to build interdisciplinary consortia.
For more information on NET4SOCIETY and its services, please visit www.net4society.eu
Full integration of SSH is a key factor in promoting innovative research collaborations. SSH researchers have the expertise to analyse and understand deep change; changes in people’s persuasive values, cultures of practice and modes of communication.
Social Sciences and the Humanities being one of the main cross-cutting thematic areas well integrated in Horizon 2020, has been given great emphasis within all the branches of the programme, primarily in that of societal challenge 6 ‘Europe in a changing world: Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies’. According to the Director-General of DG Research and Innovation Robert Jan-Smith, about 26.7% of all topics in the Challenges work programmes 2014 - 2015 will include an SSH component. This also signifies that SSH has not been embedded in almost 75% of the Societal Challenges, while the humanities are “only addressed in about a third of the SSH-flagged topics1.
The following table concludes how SSH is embedded in 26.7% of the Societal Challenges 2014-2015:
|Total Budget (in M€)||Budget SSH-relevant Topics (in M€)||Percentage of SSH-relevant Topics (in terms of budget)|
|SC 1: Health||1192||393||32.9%|
|SC 2: Food security||461||139||30.1%|
|SC 3: Energy||1298||319||24.5%|
|SC 4: Transport||867||146||16.8%|
|SC 5: Environment||736||226||30.7%|
|SC 7: Secure Societies||400||100.4||25.1%|
On top of the societal challenges for Health, Food Security, Energy, Climate Change, Transport, Security and ICT which feature ample SSH related topics within their respective calls, it is pertinent to note that the Excellent Science pillar is to be considered as a very important instrument to support SSH research in view of the European Commission’s indication that €700 million of the ERC and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie budget represented research in SSH. This strongly supports the notion that “SSH will be mainstreamed as an essential element of the activities needed to tackle each of the societal challenges2.
In the first work programmes of Horizon 2020, 199 out of the 540 topics were flagged as SSH relevant, resulting in an estimate of 37% of all topics, with an estimate budget available of €448 million.
In the 2015 calls within Societal Challenge 6, one will have the opportunity to embark on an array of research spectrums, ranging from lifelong learning, youths, emerging technologies, cultural heritage, international cooperation, the European Union, open innovation and governance. SSH is a medium that utilises different approaches through which we can generate knowledge, policy responses and efficient applications that are highly relevant for the future of European societies. Therefore, one can say that SSH research will play an important role when it comes to advising policy makers and providing information for better decision-making. The previously mentioned topics will be identified in the following five calls under SC6 for 2015:
1. Call for Overcoming the Crisis: New Ideas, Strategies and Governance Structures for Europe (Deadline: 28 May 2015)
2. Call for the Young Generation in an Innovative, Inclusive and Sustainable Europe (Deadline: 28 May 2015)
3. Call for Reflective Societies: Cultural Heritage and European Identities (Deadline: 28 May 2015)
4. Call for Europe as a Global Actor (Deadline: for the topics INT-1-2014/15 and INT-2-2014/15 the deadline is 12 May 2015, for all other 2015 topics the deadline is 28 May 2015)
5. Call for New Forms of Innovation (Deadline: 28 May 2015, with the exception of the SME-instrument topics INSO-9-2015 and INSO 10-2015, which have several cut-off dates).
In addition, there are further funding possibilities for SSH in other parts of Horizon 2020. These are listed in the NET4SOCIETY “Opportunities” document.
Information on the Calls is available on the Horizon 2020 Participant Portal. The calls will officially open on 10 December 2014.
Support for consortium building is available through the NET4SOCIETY partner search support.
More events are available on the NET4SOCIETY website.
- International Academic Conference on Social Science and Humanities, Prague, 13 November 2014
This international conference is set out to gather an array of scholars, educators and PhD students to discuss topics such as linguistics, literature, philosophy, psychology, politics, sociology and social sciences.
For more details visit this site.
- ICSSH International Conference on Social Science and Humanity, Kyoto, Japan, 9-10 April 2015.
This conference aims at promoting research and developmental activities in SSH while promoting scientific knowledge sharing and transfer between researchers, developers, engineers, students and practitioners working all around the world. This yearly held conference is considered to be an ideal stepping stone for people interested in getting to know other individuals working within this field of researchers and to share their views and experiences.
For more information, visit this link.
- Conference “Social Inequalities in Europe”, Athens, Greece, 20 June 2014
This conference opened debates on the social and political implications of rising inequalities, opening the path towards new research and policy scenarios, based on findings and conclusions provided by several research projects funded under the Social Sciences and the Humanities theme of the 7th Framework Programme. Sectors such as gender, healthcare, employment, income, children’s rights and education were the sectors upon which major emphasis was placed on all throughout the event. The phenomenon of social inequalities has increased in the course of various transformations within the above mentioned life domains amongst the many more that we are facing globally.
The link will provide you with an abstract of the presentations.
- Embracing Inclusive Approaches for Children and Youth with Special Needs, Braga, Portugal, 14-17 July 2014
The theme of the conference was “Embracing Inclusive Approaches.” Practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and NGOs from around the world were joined by their international colleagues to engage in lively and informed discussions about the current state of the expertise in meeting the needs of children and youth with special educational needs. Topic areas included research, practice, policy, advocacy, and the arts in special education. An e-book containing a set of papers submitted by the authors during the conference has been published to portray the benefits, both social and academic established through research and practice. Participants shared and learned about evidence-based practices with an emphasis on access, quality and equity; creative, comprehensive inclusive education approaches: innovations in creating inclusive schools and integrating research into practice to create stronger links with stakeholders.
The e-book is available via this link.
Inclusive approaches are included in topics Young-3-2015: "Lifelong learning for young adults: better policies for growth and inclusion in Europe", Young-4-2015: "The young as a driver of social change", Reflective-5-2015: "The cultural heritage of war in contemporary Europe" and also within the Widening Activities supporting COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) in the 2015’s Work Programme.
- Funding Opportunities for Social Sciences and Humanities in the Horizon 2020 calls with 2015 deadlines
NET4SOCIETY has published an update of the document "Opportunities for SSH researchers" that lists the SSH relevant topics in Horizon 2020 calls with deadlines in 2015.
The publication is accessible under the following link.
- Research and Innovation: Pushing boundaries and improving the quality of life
Research and innovation contribute directly to prosperity in Europe and the well-being of its citizens and society and for this reason the EU is active in a wide range of topics, from human rights to transport and trade. There is strong evidence that countries that have historically invested most in research and innovation have outperformed those that have invested less and that it has a multiplier effect, especially at the European level. This publication is part of a series that explains what the EU does in different policy areas, why the EU is involved and what the results are in view of reinforcing Europe’s game to remain competitive with Japan and the United States.
The publication is accessible via the following link.
- Tomorrow’s School
Michela Saputini from the European School speaks of the need to have SSH integrated across potentially all scientific disciplines as it is to be considered as an investment towards building long term relationships in research programmes. She adds on that school/ industry collaboration is what is really needed so as to enhance all the available opportunities in Europe. Collaboration between researchers, citizens, policy makers, business and third sector organisations throughout the so called ‘valley of death is key.
The full article where Ms. Saputini provides her take on the framework programme and how it may benefit STEM education and SSH is found within the quarterly publication for scientists, policy makers and researchers with the title “Horizon 2020 Projects: Portal, Industry".
Horizon, Issue three, accessible via the following link.
Interview with Professor Mónica Casalet Ravenna on her participation on EULAKS.
Professor Monica Casalet Ravenna has a PHD in Sociology, and is a researcher at the Latin American Social Sciences Institute (FLACSO)in Mexico City with a special interest in knowledge societies, networks and innovation. Professor Casalet was part of the Latin American researchers involved in the FP7 project EULAKS, which was funded under the support action scheme.
Q: Who led the project? What was EULAKS about? What were the main goals?
Prof. Casalet Ravenna: EULAKS (European Union-Latin America Knowledge Societies) was an EU FP7 project.
The project was the result of a necessity to bind the efforts made by researchers on both sides related to the construction and dissemination of knowledge.
The main goal of the project was to promote SSH through the support for networks and partnerships between social science communities of EU-LAC (Europe and Latin America).
One of the main results was the “Summer school”, where FLACSO and ZSI were the leading responsible partners.
The project’s activities strengthened the networks between EU and Latin America and focused on the addition of the SSH to knowledge communities.
The consortium participants were: The Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI) from Austria, L’Institut de Recherche pour le Developpment (IRD) from France, The London School of Economics and Political Science, The University of Uruguay (UdelaR) as well as the National University of General Sarmiento from Argentina, and the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) and the Metropolitan Autonomous University from Mexico.
Q: What would you highlight as the most important outcomes?
Prof. Casalet Ravenna: Emphasizing the relevance of the Social Sciences and international cooperation for the construction of knowledge societies, and generating a space to reflect on the factors that play into consideration for the development of the aforementioned knowledge societies, such as management and transfer technologies. This important outcome was reached during the project’s gathering, which we named “Summer School”, that was held in Mexico, from the 17th to the 19th of August in 2009. The participants provided a nice sample of Latin America, because there were representatives from Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Uruguay and Chile, as well as participants from the United States and Canada, Austria, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Its main significance lies in the fact that it served as a bridge between Latin American students and academics on one side, and European researchers on the other.
Q: Are there other relevant issues related to the project?
Prof. Casalet Ravenna: As part of the “Summer School”, we had the opportunity to work with M.A. and PhD. students from Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico, create work days related to the management of knowledge, virtual conferences with universities and research institutions from Peru, Guatemala, and Argentina. We had a guided visit to the Centre of Engineering and Industrial Development (CIDESI) which is one of the Mexican leading institutions related to development and diffusion of knowledge. All this helped to raise the visibility of FP7, the interest and participation of the Latin American academic community, especially Mexican researchers, which showed an increase in projects submissions and it is foreseeable that it will continue in H2020 Challenge 6 proposals.
- Note about the Call CONACYT-Horizon2020
Aiming to support the participation of Mexican entities in the Horizon 2020 Programme (H2020) and in order to strengthen the bilateral relation between the European Union and Mexico in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI); the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt) launched the Call CONACYT-H2020.
For further information, please visit the page.
Questions and comments can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Capacity Building and International Networking Workshop-Uruguay
On May 5th and 6th, in Montevideo, Uruguay, the Capacity Building and International Networking Workshop was held, organized by ALCUE NET, INCONTACT 2020 and INNOVA II. The Workshop aimed at developing the capacities of the Latin American National Contact Points, and strengthening the network of NCPs. During the event the participation opportunities for Latin American Countries, as well as the status change of Mexico and Brazil and the challenges that this change implies for these countries were discussed.
Mexico’s NCP for SSH shared the experiences on International collaboration and as member of the NET4SOCIETY. It was agreed to do further workshops in different countries as part of the efforts of the Latin America, Caribbean and European Union Network of Research and Innovation, which is financed by the Framework Programme.
- ERANet-LAC-Pilot coordination actions
The Pilot for ERANet-LAC Pilot Coordination Actions is available now at http://eranet-lac.eu/Joint_Calls.php and the deadline for submissions is November the 27th 2014. This call is intended to develop strategic joint activities involving funding agencies and other actors from both regions. Two types of activities will be funded: research, and collaboration, which aims to bridge the existing gap between research and commercialization. Researchers from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean are eligible for funding, and the proposals must be submitted by transnational consortia.