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Research

Report to European Forum on Forward Looking Activities: Disruptive Emergencies

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, February 18, 2013
Abstract in English: 
For this project, disruptive emergencies are defined as unplanned and non-routine events that have a significant consequence or impact on people, property and infrastructure, or could seriously damage the security of the EU. The impacts include harm to people (including psychological impacts), short or long term economic damage, and physical damage to property and the environment. Disruptive emergencies have been classified as either:
- Hazards - the results of nature or technical failure, including human error; or
- Threats - the results of terrorist or criminal activity (including state sponsored)
Disruptive emergencies do not include everyday occurrences, such as street crime.
The scope of the project includes emergencies that occur either within the EU (or are covered by the EU Civil Protection mechanism, such as the forest fires in 2007), or events outside the EU, that have a major impact within the EU, such as the potential break down of the energy system due to the decision to close nuclear plants as a result of Fukushima.
In undertaking this project I drew on my experience of undertaking FLA in the UK government and as a consultant; and experience of work on the preparedness for and resilience towards disruptive emergencies. This includes work on disruptive emergencies as part of the UK National Security programme (CONTEST) and the associated National Risk Register. I conducted desk research and interviewed a number of experts on the subject. I also took account of comments made following a presentation to the EFFLA Committee at the commencement of the project.
This report neither covers the provision of humanitarian assistance by the EU after emergencies; nor an assessment of future risks or an audit of the capability of DG Research and Innovation to respond to them.
There is lot of activity by Member States and the European Commission directed towards the anticipation of, preparedness for, response to and recovering from disruptive emergencies. The recommendations cover areas where DG Research and Innovation can contribute to these activities.
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25
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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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Study of FLAs in the area of Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
This report has been prepared in response to the invitation for a study on Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy, in support of the work of the European Forum for Forward-Looking Activities. The aim of this Study is to develop mechanisms for ensuring that Horizon 2020 takes account of a wide range and fuller set of challenges for the area under review. The scope of the study was broadly defined by the societal challenge in this area as set out in the proposal for Horizon 2020, summarised by the objective:
“The specific objective is to make the transition to a reliable, sustainable and competitive energy system, in the face of increasingly scarce resources, increasing energy needs and climate change.” (DS 1293/12, p.93)
The key questions addressed in this report are:
- Will the implementation of the SET-Plan help to link research and innovation programmes?
- Identification of the main challenges and sub-challenges in respect of the transition of the energy system;
- Comparison of these challenges with the announced broad lines of activities under Horizon 2020;
- Assessment of the extent to which these challenges are disruptive for the assumptions or proposals of Horizon 2020;
- Identification of any adjustments to the themes in the light of this; and
- Whether any important challenges or issues are missing from the announced broad lines of activities.
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Study of FLAs in the area of Climate Action, Resource Efficiency and Raw materials

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
The Review of Forward-looking Activities (FLAs) undertaken in recent years at national, European and international level in this area, indicates that while the H2020 proposals on climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials aim to address a highly relevant set of themes, H2020’s proposed approach and the mechanisms for implementation need to be better specified, to ensure that an effective framework for addressing the grand societal challenges is put in place.
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24
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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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