Directorate-General for Research and Innovation
The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation’s mission is to develop and implement the European research and innovation policy with a view to achieving the goals of Europe 2020 and the Innovation Union. As such, the DG contributes to making Europe a better place to live and work, improving Europe’s competitiveness, growth and job creation while tackling the main current and future societal challenges. To do so, the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation supports research and innovation through European Framework Programmes, coordinates and supports national and regional research and innovation programmes, contributes to the creation of the European Research Area by developing the conditions for researchers and knowledge to circulate freely, and supports European organisations and researchers in their cooperation at international level.
For more information please access: http://ec.europa.eu/research/index.cfm?pg=home&lg=en
Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy
The mission of the European Commission’s Directorate General (DG) for Regional and Urban Policy is to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion by reducing disparities between the levels of development of regions and countries of the European Union. In this way the policy contributes positively to the overall economic performance of the EU.
Reducing disparities requires a cohesion policy promoting constant improvements in competitiveness and employment. By co-financing infrastructure projects, developing the information society, accelerating the transfer of know-how, supporting investments in people and stimulating cross-border cooperation, the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy helps regions that are less prosperous or are suffering from structural problems to improve competitiveness and to achieve a faster rate of economic development in a sustainable way. The policy is thus an important expression of the solidarity of the European Union.
For more information please access: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/regional_policy/index_en.htm
The DG helps to harness information & communications technologies in order to create jobs and generate economic growth; to provide better goods and services for all; and to build on the greater empowerment which digital technologies can bring in order to create a better world, now and for future generations.
To help achieve this, we:
1. Support the kind of high-quality research & innovation which delivers imaginative, practical and value-enhancing results;
2. Foster creativity through a European data value-chain in which anyone can share knowledge;
3. Promote greater use of, and public access to, digital goods and digital services, including “cloud” computing, in order to boost the European single market;
4. Ensure that those goods and services are more secure, that people can trust the rapidly evolving technologies which surround them, and that people have the right skills and confi dence to use them as part of everyday life;
5. Work with partners globally to support an open Internet.
We live our values as a creative, responsible and open European Union public service. We work on the best available evidence, and we cooperate closely with all our stakeholders. Our procedures are fully transparent, and we assume accountability for our actions. We seek value for the taxpayer’s money in all we do.
For more information please access: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/connect/en
European Research Council
The ERC’s mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigatorinitiated frontier research across all fields of research, on the basis of scientific excellence.
The ERC complements other funding activities in Europe such as those of the national research funding agencies, and is a flagship component of the ‘Ideas Programme’ of the European Union’s Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7).
Being ‘investigator-driven’, or ‘bottom-up’, in nature, the ERC approach allows researchers to identify new opportunities and directions in any field of research, rather than being led by priorities set by politicians. This approach ensures that funds are channelled into new and promising areas of research with a greater degree of flexibility.
ERC grants are awarded through open competition to projects headed by starting and established researchers, irrespective of their origins, who are working or moving to work in Europe – the sole criterion for selection is scientific excellence. The aim here is to recognise the best ideas, and retain and confer status and visibility to the best brains in Europe, while also attracting talent from abroad.
However the ERC aims to do more than simply fund research.
In the long term, it looks to substantially strengthen and shape the European research system. This is done through high quality peer review, the establishment of international benchmarks of success, and the provision of up-to-date information on who is succeeding and why.
The hope is that these processes will help universities and other research institutions gauge their performance and encourage them to develop better strategies to establish themselves as more eff ective global players.
By challenging Europe’s brightest minds, the ERC expects that its grants will help to bring about new and unpredictable cientific and technological discoveries – the kind that can form the basis of new industries, markets, and broader social innovations of the future.
Ultimately, the ERC aims to make the European research base more prepared to respond to the needs of a knowledge-based society and provide Europe with the capabilities in frontier research necessary to meet global challenges.
For more information please access: http://erc.europa.eu/mission
European Science Foundation
The European Science Foundation (ESF) was established in 1974 to provide a common platform for its Member Organisations to advance European research collaboration and explore new directions for research. It is an independent organisation, owned by 67 Member Organisations, which are research funding organisations, research performing organisations and academies from 29 countries. ESF promotes collaboration in research itself, in funding of research and in science policy activities at the European level. Currently ESF is reducing its research programmes while developing new activities to serve the science community, including peer review and evaluation services.
Hosted by the European Science Foundation, the publically available MERIL Portal hosts the most comprehensive inventory of openly accessible research infrastructures of more than national relevance in Europe. The portal is thus a unique resource, not only for researchers in the public and private research sectors seeking access to specialised services and equipment, or with an interest in identifying new partners and collaborations, but also for policy makers considering new or joint investment in research infrastructure and regional development. Inclusion in the portal will increase the international visibility of research infrastructures, and offer new networking opportunities, particularly for interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral collaboration.
The MERIL portal is the result of the “Mapping of the European Research Infrastructure Landscape” Project, funded by the EC from 2010-2012 and supported since then by the European Science Foundation’s member organisations. At present approximately 860 infrastructures across all scientific domains are indexed. The MERIL portal will be formally launched during the conference “Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities” (September 24th, 2013, Tuesday, 12:30 in the exhibitors’ area, 1st floor) but will also be continuously open to new entries that meet the threshold criteria of quality, access and management. Presentation will be made on September 24th, 2013, Tuesday, 12:30 in the exhibitors’ area, 1st floor.
For more information please access: http://portal.meril.eu
Science Europe is an association of 53 Research Funding Organisations and Research Performing Organisations from 27 countries, representing around €30 billion per annum. It was founded in October 2011 with the aim of promoting the collective interests of members and providing them with a platform to collaborate at both policy and activity level.
Through its six Scientifi c Committees, Science Europe is informed by direct representation of all research communities in its reflections on polices, priorities and strategies. It works and partners with other entities such as universities, academies, scientifi c intergovernmental organisations and the European Institutions to develop a coherent and inclusive European Research Area.
Further information: www.scienceeurope.org
COST is an intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology, allowing the coordination of nationallyfunded research on a European level.
COST has a very specifi c mission and goal. It contributes to reducing the fragmentation in European research investments and opening the European Research Area to cooperation worldwide.
As a precursor of advanced multidisciplinary research, COST plays a very important role in building a European Research Area (ERA). It anticipates and complements the activities of the EU Framework Programmes, constituting a “bridge” towards the scientifi c communities of emerging countries. It also increases the mobility of researchers across Europe and fosters the establishment of scientific excellence in the nine key domains:
• Biomedicine and Molecular Biosciences
• Food and Agriculture
• Forests, their Products and Services
• Materials, Physics and Nanosciences
• Chemistry and Molecular Sciences and Technologies
• Earth System Science and Environmental Management
• Information and Communication Technologies
• Transport and Urban Development
• Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health
In addition, Trans-Domain Proposals allow for broad, multidisciplinary proposals to strike across the nine scientific domains.
NET4SOCIETY (www.net4society.eu) is the international network of National Contact Points (NCPs) for Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) in the EU’s 7th Framework Programme (FP7) and beyond in Horizon 2020. National Contact Points advise researchers and other applicants on all aspects of Framework Programme funding opportunities for SSH. NET4SOCIETY has established itself as a strong, efficient and evolving network connecting all SSH NCPs, the EU Commission, researchers and other relevant stakeholders. The network facilitates knowledge exchange between SSH NCPs with the aim of improving the support offered to researchers. We actively support networking in the SSH research community and offer help in every respect of FP7 and Horizon 2020 consultation. The network includes National Contact Points from almost 50 countries in 2013. NET4SOCIETY is funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme.
The INTERCO-SSH project sets out to assess the state of the Social Sciences & Humanities (SSH) in Europe and to understand the factors that facilitate or hinder international exchanges. It aims to outline potential future pathways that could promote cooperation across disciplinary and national boundaries. NTERCO-SSH is the first large-scale comparative project that deals with the institutionalisation of the SSH in at least six European countries from 1945 until now.
It also analyses exchanges between those countries and other areas: the US, Latin-America, and countries in the Global South. Furthermore, the project investigates the transfer of knowledge between countries and disciplines, the geographical mobility of scholars and the circulation of ideas.
INTERCO-SSH will allow to identify obstacles to cooperation born from the nationalisation and the disciplinary division of SSH and to propose ways to overcome them. The project will contribute to establish the “SSH studies” as a proper academic fi eld of inquiry, providing the scientifi c means for assessing and guiding the development of the SSH. Systematising an approach which has been tested on national disciplinary cases and/or on shorter periods, and gathering a large group of specialists, it will supply an exemplary study which could be extended to other disciplines and countries. Young researchers as well as some PhD students take part in the project. Specifi c training will be offered in seminars, graduate programmes and in a Summer School. The main impact expected from the project is the strengthening of the European research area, which already concentrates more than any other area skills, cooperation practices and refl exive knowledge about SSH.