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Agriculture

Science 2.0: the deep unbundling

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Abstract in English: 
This paper briefly outlines possible futures scenarios of science 2.0, analyses its implications and draws policy recommendations “fit for the future”. Science 2.0 is more than open access: it refers to the emergence of open, data-intensive and citizen science across the full research cycle, from data gathering to reputation management.
Science 2.0 is here to stay and it is already growing well beyond individual projects. On the supply side, an ecosystem of services and standards is emerging. Adoption is growing and becoming mainstream already in some phases such as preprint publication, reference sharing, open access publication. Impact is already visible and will address some of the most burning issues of science, such as the slowness of the publication process and the challenge of reproducing research results.
Based on the extrapolation of existing trends and on analogies from different domains, we anticipate a set of “scenario snippets”:
- The full integration of data, publications and intermediate product will enable reproducibility by default. But adoption of such sharing culture will require time and a new system of incentives based on impact metrics and career structure.
- Evaluation metrics will become multidimensional, granular and instantaneous;
- The work of scientist will change with greater collaboration and independence from institutions.
Overall, we will see an unbundling of services, which are today integrated. Research will be separated from teaching, data collection from data analysis, publication from reputation management. Different specialised service will emerge and displace the incumbents such as publishers and universities. At the same time, the value chain will reorganise through vertical integration around new platforms. These could be built around unexpected positions in the value chain, including electronic reading devices.
In terms of implications, these scenario show opportunities and risks in three main areas.
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Using foresight to support the next strategic programming period of Horizon 2020 (2016-2018)

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Abstract in English: 
This report is based on a study of foresight into the drivers of change and disrupters affecting the future of Europe and the strategic responses that the European Commission should consider in shaping the second strategic programme (2016-2018) of Horizon 2020. Importantly, the study was designed to use available foresight material. It is therefore focused on sense-making, rather than the generation of original intelligence.
Whilst the study cannot claim to be comprehensive, it nevertheless points out that foresight used in strategic planning offers insights, generates ideas and brings to the fore important cross-cutting domains. The use of foresight can help ensure that Horizon 2020 strengthens the competitiveness of Europe and enables it to respond to the significant current and future societal challenges.
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The Future of Open Innovation

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, February 24, 2014
Abstract in English: 
Open Innovation has been a growing topic of both practice and research for over a decade. The term originated from the USA but has spread globally into many industrial sectors. This paper has a number of purposes:
- To define Open Innovation, OI.
- Outline the history of Open Innovation and the evidence for its success or otherwise in promoting innovation and contributing to new industries.
- Discuss the connection with Forward Looking Activities (FLAs), Open Access and Open Source software.
- Discuss possible policy options for the EC in relation to OI.
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Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Abstract in English: 
Europe 2020 Strategy “Promoting smart, sustainable and inclusive growth” places research and innovation at its core.1 The Strategy aims to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The Strategy, which proposes increased spending on R&D to 3% of total European GDP by 2020, is positioned as a key tool in implementing the Innovation Union2 -- a flagship initiative which provides a comprehensive set of actions for improved research and innovation performance through a seamless approach. Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation3 is a key tool in implementing EU Innovation Flagship. Horizon 2020 brings together key funding streams for research within the European Union with a Budget of €90.4 billion (current prices) to establish a single specific programme for implementation with a single set of Rules for Participation and Dissemination. Horizon 2020 emphasises the links between research and innovation, proposing to fund activities throughout the innovation cycle. As such, Horizon 2020 will foster public-private partnerships, emphasise involvement of SMEs throughout the R&D and innovation activities, make available risk finance for early stage projects and commercialisation of new technologies, and provide for improved intellectual property management within EU. Horizon 2020 has identified three major focal areas for funding, namely, “Excellent Science”, “Industrial Leadership” and Actions to address “Societal Challenges”. Section Two of this paper briefly describes these three focal areas with more detailed description of the proposed activities within “Health, Demographic Change and
Wellbeing” theme within the Societal Challenges area. The paper then discusses in Section Three the key contextual challenges face by the European member states, followed in Section Four by a brief overview of EU health system responses to these challenges, with gaps that need addressing. Section Five of this paper proposes a number of areas for consideration for funding within Horizon 2020 activities, and briefly compares these with the priority actions identified within Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing theme. A sub set of the proposed areas is identified as early candidates for funding, with a brief rationale for the proposition.
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Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and the Bio‐Economy

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Abstract in English: 
Since the food riots of 2007‐2008, global food security has been the subject of renewed attention and has become a hot topic in forward looking activities, thereby inducing a change of perspective: if food security and sustainable agriculture have always been interlinked then, since the riots, the importance of the composition of diets and economic access to food are more worthy of consideration than ever. Conversely, it is striking that in the forward looking literature, there are no studies that deal directly with the bio‐economy. The bio‐economy is addressed as a transversal concept that can be appreciated under economic and technological variables.
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Global megatrend update 5: Continued economic growth?

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Abstract in English: 
In 2010, the EEA produced its first assessment of global megatrends as part of its five-yearly assessment of the European environment’s state, trend and prospects (SOER 2010). In preparation for SOER 2015, the EEA is updating each of the megatrends, providing a more detailed analysis based on the latest data. This publication is one of the 11 updates being published separately in the second half of 2013 and early-2014. In 2014 the chapters will be consolidated into a single EEA technical report, which will provide the basis for the analysis of megatrends included in SOER 2015.
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Horizon 2020: boosting industrial competitiveness

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Abstract in English: 
The philosophy and governance of the Horizon 2020 have also been radically modernised. Public-private partnerships, in which industrial stakeholder participate in the setting of priorities for research and contribute to the support programmes, are at the core of the approach. In the industry-led Joint Technology Initiatives for aviation, new medicines, energy storage, electronics and bio-technology, industry investments are expected to be more than 1.5 times the EU budget contribution of 6.2 billion Euros. Horizon 2020 is already the biggest single instrument in Europe to support the development of key enabling technologies such as nano-electronics or photonics, fostering their application in the products and services of the future.
Horizon 2020 will make a vital contribution in supporting innovative SMEs at all stages of the innovation cycle, from lab to market. As SMEs provide two out of every three private sector jobs and contribute to over half the total value-added by EU businesses, it is of the crucial importance that the innovative potential of these businesses is fully realised. With the EU helping to fill funding gaps for pioneering research and innovation and to bring new products to the market, our SMEs can become true innovation leaders worldwide.
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China and developing Asia: the big picture

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Abstract in English: 
The Chinese empire prospered during the middle ages, albeit largely isolated from the rest of the World. This isolation had a side effect though, as China completely missed the opportunity of the Industrial Revolution. At its peak, near the beginning of the 19th century, China accounted for almost one third of the global economy. However, after the defeat from the British, during the two Opium Wars, the Chinese Empire and its economy collapsed to a mere 5% contribution to global GDP, by the mid 20th century. It remained near this level until Deng Xiaoping assumed power in 1977 and began growing ever since. Now this contribution exceeds 17%, a level similar to the one it had in 1870, indicating an economic cycle closing after more than a century.
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National development plan 2030: Our future - make it work

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
President Jacob Zuma appointed the National Planning Commission in May 2010 to draft a vision and national development plan. The Commission is an advisory body consisting of 26 people drawn largely from outside government, chosen for their expertise in key areas.
The Commission’s Diagnostic Report, released in June 2011, set out South Africa’s achievements and shortcomings since 1994. It identified a failure to implement policies and an absence of broad partnerships as the main reasons for slow progress, and set out nine primary challenges:
1. Too few people work
2. The quality of school education for black people is poor
3. Infrastructure is poorly located, inadequate and under-maintained
4. Spatial divides hobble inclusive development
5. The economy is unsustainably resource intensive
6. The public health system cannot meet demand or sustain quality
7. Public services are uneven and often of poor quality
8. Corruption levels are high
9. South Africa remains a divided society.

(...) This is a plan for South Africa. It provides a broad strategic framework to guide key choices and actions. Its success will depend on all South Africans taking responsibility for the plan, led by the President and Cabinet.This overview is a high-level summary of the plan. The 15 chapters address the major thematic areas in detail, providing evidence, recommendations and clear implementation frameworks.

Following publication of the plan, the Commission will focus on:
Mobilising society to support the plan, and exploring a social compact to reduce poverty and inequality through investment and employment.
Conducting research on critical issues affecting long-term development.
Advising government and social partners on implementing the plan.
Working with relevant state agencies to report on the progress of the objectives.
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World agriculture towards 2030/2050. The 2012 revision

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, June 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
"This paper is a re-make of Chapters 1-3 of the Interim Report World Agriculture: towards 2030/2050 (FAO, 2006). In addition, this new paper includes a Chapter 4 on production factors (land, water, yields, fertilizers). Revised and more recent data have been used as basis for the new projections, as follows: (a) updated historical data from the Food Balance Sheets 1961-2007 as of June 2010; (b) undernourishment estimates from The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2010 (SOFI) and related new parameters (CVs, minimum daily energy requirements) are used in the projections; (c) new population data and projections from the UN World Population Prospects - Revision of 2008; (d) new GDP data and projections from the World Bank; (e) a new base year of 2005/2007 (the previous edition used the base year 1999/2001); (f) updated estimates of land resources from the new evaluation of the Global Agro-ecological Zones (GAEZ) study of FAO and IIASA. Estimates of land under forest and in protected areas from the GAEZ are taken into account and excluded from the estimates of land areas suitable for crop production into which agriculture could expand in the future; (g) updated estimates of existing irrigation, renewable water resources and potentials for irrigation expansion; and (h) changes in the text as required by the new historical data and projections.
Like the interim report, this re-make does not include projections for the Fisheries and Forestry sectors. Calories from fish are, however, included, in the food consumption projections, along with those from other commodities (e.g. spices) not analysed individually.
The projections presented reflect the magnitudes and trajectories we estimate the major food and agriculture variables may assume in the future; they are not meant to reflect how these variables may be required to evolve in the future in order to achieve some normative objective, e.g. ensure food security for all, eliminate undernourishment or reduce it to any given desired level, or avoid food overconsumption leading to obesity and related Non-Communicable Diseases."
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