Hub 4 : Horizon Europe
Hub 4 was mainly targeted at DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING HORIZON EUROPE and visualising the importance of an impact-driven programme. In all sessions the importance of digitisation, green transitions and the recovery from the coronavirus crisis were pointed out.
Also, the co-design process and the co-creation activities have been emphasised and the discussion during the different sessions will be used for further shaping the programme and the clusters.
Co-designing Horizon Europe: Digital Industry and Space – Cluster 4
In the interactive session, Peter Dröll presented the expected impacts and destinations of Cluster 4. In the discussion he pointed out that there are no missions directly related to Cluster 4 but that Cluster 4 will contribute to all Missions as this cluster has a strong technology component that will support different applications and missions. Also, the partnerships in Cluster 4 will contribute to the missions. A lesson learned from the corona crisis is the need for resilient industries and supply chains which will be reflected in Cluster 4. No target with regard to SME participation is foreseen but SME participation is highly welcome. The tendency goes in the direction of smaller projects hoping that a broader portfolio will contribute to a better impact. Other important elements of Cluster 4 will be standardisation and accessible research results. With regard to synergy programmes like the DEP the EC pointed out that HEU and DEP are complementary. While HEU will focus on R&I, DEP will focus on deployment.
Co-design Session “HE partnerships transitioning to more effective Open Science and Open innovation – How EOSC can help you"
EOSC is a platform for European Research, a Web of FAIR data and services, federation of e-Infrastructures that is organised in 5 working groups: Landscape, Rules of Participation, Sustainability, Architecture, FAIR. Not every set of data needs to be “open to all”, there might be more restrictive policies as well (e.g. sensitive personal data). In the EOSC PS Member States are not allowed. MS should send “mandated organisations” to participate in the PS. EOSC will cooperate with other Partnerships (like PS on Ocean, Water4All, …). However, it is not defined which PS is developing which services. EOSC will start with simple data sets available, but ultimately has to serve all research communities. Data stewardship has to be recognised as career path on the same level as research careers.
Dealing with REGULATORY BARRIERS TO INNOVATION: From theory to practice
Regulators are usually lacking behind and innovators are addressing a problem but usually do not talk to policy makers and regulators. There is a need to work together and to address these new issues in time. There are promising examples of sandbox strategies to allow the testing of highly innovative products and services in real life. Other examples include the European Battery Alliance and the Green Deal approach in the Netherlands that aims at testing new ideas and providing the laws to realize them. Communication and collaboration among innovators and regulators have been identified as a high priority to reduce innovation barriers.
Co-designing Horizon Europe – Interactive Session on Cluster 3 – supporting the achievement of the Security Union strategic objectives through Security Research
During the session the different speakers pointed out that R&I is necessary to implement the objectives of the Security Union Strategy. A multidisciplinary, coordinated and integrated approach including stakeholders from different backgrounds is seen as crucial to achieve the targets of the Security Union Strategy and to improve the resilience of EU citizens. Industry partners need to know better the specific requirements of those who will deploy research outcomes and end-users like Law Enforcement Agencies will need research results that are quickly usable and reliable. From the policy side there is a need to know how to tackle new threads to society and how to enable practitioners to take up new solutions. The role of European Agencies like Europol has been emphasised as they can provide the necessary infrastructures for end-users to establish capabilities. The co-design process that involves stakeholders from different disciplines, including civil society, has been recognized as very fruitful. It is also accepted that considering the societal dimension and social innovation in the field of security research will improve the acceptability of security solutions and the trust in security research as well as the outcome itself.
Two exciting events took place in this hub addressing on the one hand the vision of the European think tank ESIR of a Post-covid world and on the other hand the new political approach towards the European Partnerships in Horizon Europe.
Protect, prepare, and transform Europe in a POST-COVID world: the ESIR vision
Sandrine Dixson-Declève, chairing the ESIR Group, briefly introduced ESIR as new Think Tank, composed of 15 internationally recognised experts who cover sustainability issues from a variety of aspects. Emphasis is given on stakeholder engagement, co-designing outputs and activities. Actors outside the R&I community are considered with their point of view.
Francisca Martins, student at the Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences in Portugal, provided the perspective of the young generation in this Post-Covid 19 crisis. She highlighted the aspects of misssing education, the danger of unemployment and the importance of protecting jobs, increase of R&I investments and sustainablility. She asked to include policy makers of all levels for upcoming discussions, having a consistent dialogue, thinking about long term objectives and foster societal resilience.
Kirsten Dunlop emphasized, like others from the panel, that we need to design for the next pandemic, seeing Covid-19 just as a first crisis, with other ones that might follow. We need to keep complexity elements in mind, trying not to look on individual solutions. Again, employment and prosperity had been highlighted as essential for all of us. The regeneration of environment and a more systemic approach for transformation as well as incentives for collaboration is much more required.
In her statement, Céline Charveriat, Executive Director of the IEEP, stressed the importance of key investments for R&I, stronger operations that lead to innovation and a profound citizen engagement.
Andrea Renda from the Center for European Policy Studies emphazised the stability of jobs and the burden of unemployment. He mentioned the possibility of creating incentives to solidarity trusts and the importance for optimizing a new globalisation.
Pierre-Alexandre Balland confirmed that for a prospering European economy large scale systems are needed. Like others on the panel he also stressed the importance of AI and digital tools.
EUROPEAN PARTNERSHIPS: Stepping up the game
Jean-Eric Paquet, General Director, DG RTD opened the session with a statement on European Partnerships: They are vehicles in Horizon Europe for working with a clear strategic vision and a systematic approach. The impact driven character of the partnerships is essential for Horizon Europe. The partnerships are on the final straight of implementation: at this stage, the mobilization of national and other non-EC funds is essential. The success of the partnerships will determine the success of Horizon Europe.
Hilde Eggermont (IUCN Regional Councillor/ Belgian IUCN National Focal Point Coordinator Belgian Biodiversity) took the example of the Biodiversity partnership to point out the relevance of the concept of the partnerships for mainstreaming R&I into policies and action.
Angels Orduna (Executive Director, A.SPIRE) stressed the importance of transformative system change in the industrial and public sector. Additionally she underlined the importance of circularity and competitiveness to reach the goals of the European Green Deal.
Janez Potocnik (special adviser to the EU) stressed the importance of R&I to tackle the current crises: climate crisis, biodiversity crises and the social / economic crises caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. R&I has a major role to play to deliver on the European Green Deal as the partnerships can contribute evidence and knowledge areas which are currently left grey in the Green Deal document.
Henrik Johnson stated the relevance of the partnership concept for international cooperation. It is seen as an attractive instrument which is open to other countries to join as each Partnership provides clear strategic orientations.
The session highlighted the relevance the partnerships can / will play for implementing European strategies, foremost the European Green Deal. Partnerships combine formerly fragmented ambitions and commitments to create a critical mass led by strategic vision. Partnerships are expected to generate leverage for true systematic change.
FORESIGHT for a resilient Europe in the post-COVID world
The session addressed a new demand for foresight. Uncertainty and the constant evolution of scientific knowledge, expertise and understanding provided a fertile breeding ground for imagination and analysis that fed the policy responses on the ground.
Amidst the pandemic, the first European Foresight Report will aptly focus on Europe’s resilience. Recently the first Annual Strategic Foresight Report was published by the EC with the aim to exploit the strategic value of foresight. It should be used when preparing major initiatives across all policy areas. In addition, an EU-foresight network with other institutions (Member States, Think Tanks, academia, civil society and international organisations) is called for. The aim is to establish world-class forward-looking governance. Furthermore, the report starts applying strategic foresight to resilience as this is becoming a new policy compass.
On 18 and 19 November 2020, the next European Strategy and Political Analysis System Conference will be an opportunity to discuss the topic of the next year's Strategic Foresight Report.
Co-designing Horizon Europe – Interactive Session on Cluster 3 – supporting the achievement of the Security Union strategic objectives in Cybersecurity
The funding of RTD in the field of cybersecurity is important for everyone, as security breaches can cause severe economic damage and even death. The aim is to develop systems that are cyber-secure and to support enterprises, especially SMEs, that are agile and dynamic. The needs of the market, of operators of critical infrastructures and of public administrations in terms of cybersecurity and digital privacy have to be meet likewise. Demand and supply side have to be better connected in order to develop more secure and resilient systems.
Several initiatives have been started at European level, e.g. the proposal for a European Cybersecurity Competence Centre that will be able to bundle RTD investments in cybersecurity and in common cybersecurity systems. This will be supported by ENISA, the EU agency for cybersecurity, that is mainly responsible for raising awareness and skills development.
The biggest challenge is data protection wich requires proper governance. AI and machine learning can be helpful, e.g. to detect anomalies but at the same time AI can be attacked or misused. The EU has a long lasting tradition of excellence in this area, especially in the field of cryptography. But the US and China are investing more, and they are at the forefront when it comes to deployment.
The use of quantum technology for cybersecurity was addressed as well. Innovation is key to become competitive in quantum computing in Europe. Although Europe is excellent in this field, the EU leadership is under constant thread. It is therefore necessary to invest not only in small but also in larger projects and to apply this technology worldwide.
In the discussion on cyber security it was pointed out that the budget has not yet been fixed. Deployment initiatives in cybersecurity will be financed by the Digital Europe Programme (DEP). Interested parties can associate with existing initiatives namely the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO) and the 4 pilots (ECHO, CONCORDIA, SPARTA and CyberSec4EU).