Newsletter no. 4

BilatUSA Newsletter #4

Our 4th Newsletter is now available!

As you all know our previous issue was solely dedicated to the possibilities for U.S. participation in a Horizon 2020 Project. Thank you very much for your very positive feedbacks!

In this issue we will focus on the upcoming and the final work programme of H2020, discussions about the new Framework programme, European Competence Centres and NSF’s Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers as well as project activities and events. Additionally you’ll find an interesting article by Consortium for Ocean Leadership that outlines various recommendations on EU-U.S. cooperation in ocean research, which is vital to our planet.

We hope you have a great last quarter of the year 2017!

Your BILAT USA 4.0 Consortium


H2020 2018-2020 Work Programme is about to come out!

The final Work Programme (WP) under Horizon 2020 for the years 2018-20 will be available by October 2017. It is expected that total amount of around €30 billion EU funding will be allocated in this WP, which will be the largest single integrated programme of publicly funded research and innovation during this period across the EU. The final WP will also be in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which is expected to lie on the core of the next framework programme.

This final WP will be built upon the achievements of the previous programmes with approximately 29 million euro allocated in over 10,000 projects (as of October 2016).

Considering the experience and feedbacks the major topics and approaches to be considered in the upcoming Work Programme are:

  • Challenge based approach with sufficient flexibility (big mission-oriented high impact calls and broader topics)
  • Innovation will continue to be one of the main points (focusing on addressing the barriers for innovation and market creating innovation)
  • Cross cutting priorities will be embedded in calls
  • flagship initiatives of large scale and scope in order to support international cooperation
  • Improving the simplification measures
  • Complementary measures and reinforce synergies to minimize the gap between MS in terms of in terms of research and innovation performance
  • Continues support for the Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation agendas

Read more

What to Expect from the Next Framework Programme?

Debates and positions on the next framework programme (so called the “9th FP”) have gained speed in Europe. Major input and position papers on this topic can be found at the following address:

One of the most important reports prepared by a group of independent high level experts chaired by Pascal Lamy have been generally welcomed in the European S&T community.

Titled “Lab-Fab-App Investing in the European future we want”, the report claims that science and innovation are not only key for economic growth, but also for preserving the values of enlightenment and democracy and to tackle global challenges of our time. Currently, Europe is challenged in turning its scientific power, represented by over 1.8 million researchers who produce around 30% of the world’s scientific publications, into innovation and growth and this deficit is considered as a collective responsibility of the EU and the Member States. The expert group made the following recommendations to tackle these challenges with the next framework programme:

  1. Prioritise research and innovation in EU and national budgets
    Action: double the budget of the post-2020 EU research and innovation programme.
  2. Build a true EU innovation policy that creates future markets
    Action: Foster ecosystems for researchers, innovators, industries and governments; promote and invest in innovative ideas with rapid scale-up potential through a European Innovation Council.
  3. Educate for the future and invest in people who will make the change
    Action: modernise, reward and resource the education and training of people for a creative and innovative Europe.
  4. Design the EU R&I programme for greater impact
    Action: make the future programme’s pillars driven by purpose and impact, fine-tune the proposal evaluation system and increase flexibility.
  5. Adopt a mission-oriented, impact-focused approach to address global challenges
    Action: set research and innovation missions that address global challenges and mobilise researchers, innovators and other stakeholders to realize them.
  6. Rationalise the EU funding landscape and achieve synergy with structural funds
    Action: cut the number of R&I funding schemes and instruments, make those remaining reinforce each other and make synergy with other programmes work.
  7. Simplify further
    Action: become the most attractive R&I funder in the world, privileging impact over process.
  8. Mobilise and involve citizens
    Action: stimulate co-design and co-creation through citizen involvement.
  9. Better align EU and national R&I investment
    Action: ensure EU and national alignment where it adds value to the EU’s R&I ambitions and missions.
  10. Make international R&I cooperation a trade-mark of EU research and innovation
    Action: open up the R&I programme to association by the best and participation by all, based on reciprocal co-funding or access to co-funding in the partner country.
  11. Capture and better communicate impact
    Action: brand EU research and innovation and ensure wide communication of its results and impacts.

With regard to internationalization aspect, the Report recommends aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals to frame large scale R&I missions to foster international cooperation on global societal challenges by using a centralized fund which can be mobilized when needed. Furthermore, co-funding measures as well as reciprocal funding to provide access to R&I funding in partner countries are underlined.

Another measure recommended by the Group is to associate some non-EU countries to the FP based on excellence criteria and turn the framework programme into a global programme for open science and open innovation, as an effective and an efficient response to globalization conditions.

Last but not least, UK shall continue to be part of the European Research Area.

Read more

European Competence Centers and US Centers of Excellences: Is Trans-atlantic cooperation possible?

Industry-Academia collaboration is a challenge for national and regional innovation support agencies and policy makers all around the world. At the European level, in addition to the Horizon 2020 Programme, all Member States have their national programmes to facilitate this dialogue and support collaboration. Additionally, various European networks and initiatives provide analyses and recommendations at policy and operational level.

TAFTIE, the network of European Association of 30 National Innovation Agencies, established a Task Force on Competence Centers (CC) among its members in 2014 with the aim of enhancement of the next generation of CC Programs (CCP) and to gain suitable recommendations for the development of future competence center programs. Task force analyzed and compared various CCP models in Europe and finalized its report by 2016 and remains as a Network.

The report is available at the following link: _LV.pdf

In this report, internationalization is identified as one of the major challenges for the future development of CCPs due to funding requirements, geographical proximity and activity of the foreign enterprise/organisation in the host country, legal conditions and especially IP regulations due to national funding regulations. Nevertheless, it is recommended to provide more incentives and measures to allow CCPs to operate at an international level, in order to further increase the quality of research performed within centres.

BILAT USA4.0 identified similarities between the Competence Centre Programmes in Europe and the NSF’s Industry–University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) Program. With IUCRC, NSF aims to promote research programs of mutual interest, contribute to the nation's research infrastructure base, enhance the intellectual capacity of the engineering or science workforce through the integration of research and education, and facilitate technology transfer.

As of today there are 77 IUCRCs operating in the United States with over 200 university sites in USA and a very few international sites in Europe and Asia.

It is emphasized by IUCRC that international expansion of the program offers unique opportunity to fulfil national STI objectives such as increasing the competitiveness and creating next generation workforce with global perspective.

Click here to view the list of US IUCRC Centres.

As BILAT USA4.0 team, we invite national/regional funding agencies as well as European and US Centres to look at the possibilities for transatlantic cooperation and contact us if you need any support.

The Consortium for Ocean Leadership Strengthening EU Bonds

By Jonathan White (President and CEO) and Callan Yanoff (Science and Education Community Support), Consortium for Ocean Leadership

The ocean impacts every single human life—it supplies oxygen, medicine, and food. If the sea is our most precious resource, why aren’t organizations across the globe better communicating about breakthroughs in ocean science?

The Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL) supports every aspect of oceanic discovery across the globe. A nonprofit organization representing the leading ocean science and technology institutions, we shape the future of ocean science and technology by advancing ocean research and education programs related to ocean exploration, observing, and partnerships. In doing so, we have managed over a billion dollars in science funding in activities ranging from advancing ocean observing capabilities to studying the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and have advocated for sound science policy and funding on Capitol Hill.

As our ocean faces daunting challenges, there are great opportunities for collaboration to ensure its health and future, and we look to new and improved collaboration with the European Union. We believe some fruitful topics for possible alliance include addressing the issue of ocean sound, increasing exploration research, encouraging sustainable aquaculture, and making logical choices about decommissioned oil rigs. Ocean literacy is another collaborative opportunity, and a program we hope to see spread internationally is our National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), which provides informal ocean science education for high school students.

Opportunities for Collaboration

Expanding ongoing international collaboration among these U.S. research activities promises great advances and new discoveries.

Building Alliance to Better Understand Ocean Sound. While our interest in the topic may vary, ocean noise impacts all regions of the world. There is much about the topic we don’t know but need to as we consider the implications of our activities in, on, and around the ocean. We must study and utilize emerging technologies to close this knowledge gap and seek to come together as a team across the international ocean science and technology communities to inform the best possible decisions and behaviors regarding the sound we put into the sea.

Expanding Ocean Exploration Efforts. The vast majority of our ocean remains unexplored. Through greater international partnerships, we can build more efficient ocean campaigns that are focused around exploration activities that include the deep ocean and Artic. In the U.S., there are many governmental and philanthropic organizations that are involved in exploration, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which has a congressionally mandated ocean exploration program. We are encouraged by the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation, which has provided the basis for ongoing collaboration between NOAA and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. At the same time, there are additional thematic opportunities around exploration technologies that can be advanced through collaboration between the U.S. and the EU. For example, expanding the usage of environmental DNA (eDNA) to assess and monitor the nature and dynamics of marine life and ecosystems. We must also further our ability to use emerging technology focused around the miniaturization of ocean exploration equipment and for artificial intelligence allowing sensors to adapt to their behaviors based on the conditions they observe.

Improving Worldwide Aquaculture. As aquaculture spreads around the world, the time is right to transform this industry. The ocean plays a major role in nourishing the expanding global human population. Food safety and food security are two important elements of this discussion. Seafood fraud; illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; mariculture; wild-caught fisheries bycatch; crop fertilizers containing fish meal; and how these all connect to our global health and security are critical considerations. We hope to team up with the EU and other countries to make aquaculture not only sustainable but economically beneficial and with improved public understanding.

Making Thorough Decisions on Oil Rigs. The U.S. and many European nations face difficult decisions related to the removal or reconfiguring of decommissioned oil rigs and determining which decision is most environmentally beneficial. COL’s 2017 Industry Forum will focus on identifying alternative and innovative opportunities for re-use of nonactive, decommissioned oil rigs. The forum is unique in its specific goal for cross-sector science- and technology-based dialogue to identify potential resolutions to controversy surrounding these decommissioned rigs, as well as opportunities for science, business, and ecosystems. To expand this conversation on a broader scale, it would be ideal to follow up with a similar international event.

Increasing Ocean Science Education. The National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) is a U.S. academic competition that addresses a national gap in ocean sciences in public education by introducing high school students to and engaging them in ocean science. This program prepares participants for science, technology, education, and mathematics (STEM) careers and helps them become ocean-literate citizens and environmental stewards. Throughout the last 20 years, the NOSB has created ocean science professionals and increased ocean literacy. Building STEM knowledge and ocean appreciation across the world will build a citizenry that prioritizes conserving our oceans, guaranteeing a healthier future.

There are ultimately numerous fields within the ocean sciences for partnership between the U.S. and the EU. COL, representing multinational and U.S. academia, industry and other stakeholders, can help to deepen ties and establish partnerships between these communities and like stakeholder groups in Europe with a goal to share research and data and improve regional-to-global understanding of our ocean.

Upcoming Events

Industrial Innovation Information Days

The European Commission organizes the Industrial Innovation Info Days on 3-4 October 2017 in Brussels with support of external stakeholders with the aim of

  • building the basis for the future of Industrial Research in Europe,
  • Informing relevant industrial technology providers & users about EU activities in the field,
  • enhancing cooperation among stakeholders.

BILAT USA 4.0 and Near US will jointly promote opportunities in the Framework Programme to EU and US researchers and innovators in the exhibition area.

A Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-20 launch event

will take place in the morning of 27 October 2017 in Washington DC. Two high-level key note speakers, Robert-Jan Smits, Director General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission, and Lisa Brodey, Director of the Office for Science and Technology Cooperation, US Department of State. Major cornerstones and thematic research and innovation areas of the new Work Programme will be promoted followed by a Q&A afterwards. Further information, please click here. To register, please click here.

City University of New York International Forum on Research and Education

will host presentation by BILAT USA 4.0 on the H2020 Work Programme 2018-20 on 8 November 2017.
The Forum will be held at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. The Forum’s purpose is to bring together researchers interested in international research and provide them with guidance, advice, and support. The Forum provides an opportunity to both showcase research going on at CUNY and to explore, develop, and improve existing models of international collaboration. Researchers, faculty, and graduate students will be able to talk and to develop professional relationships with foreign research administrators and foreign faculty.

BILAT USA 4.0 Thematic Workshops

Following the release of the H2020 new Work Programme 2018-20, BILAT USA4.0 will organize series of thematic workshops in 2018 on Health, Transport, Marine and Arctic Science as well as in NMP (Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing) fields. Workshops aim to bring the leading researchers from Europe and US together and facilitate development of new proposals for the H2020 Calls and beyond.

Details of the workshops will be announced on this web-site.

Project Related Activities & Deliverables

Supporting Companies to Go International for Research and Innovation Collaboration: report on the knowledge sharing roundtable now released!

The roundtable “Supporting Companies to go International for Research and Innovation Collaboration,” was held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, during the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo under the auspices of the BILAT USA 4.0 project.

Read more

High-level EU Cluster Mission to the USA 15 to 19 May 2017

A High-level EU Cluster Mission to the USA took place from the 15th until the 19th of May 2017, including a U.S. – EU Cluster Cooperation and Matchmaking Event at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference, Washington DC and cluster visits to Boston, Cambridge and Philadelphia

Read more

Testimonials and Feedback summary

Testimonials from participants

Peter Simkens, DSP Valley, Belgium: “The matchmaking event in Washington, DC, was efficient for me, as I could discuss some opportunities of collaboration for our cluster and our members. As for the visits, I would be interested to learn more about the access opportunities and mechanisms for European companies to the Manufacturing America program that was presented to us. When visiting the Cambridge Innovation Center in Cambridge, MA, I realized that a number of our cluster’s member companies have already used the incubation and consulting services which were a great information mechanism for them and allowed them to enter the US market for sales whilst growing steadily in the EU. Their testimonials could be a great inspiration for others.”

Madlen Schiller, biosaxony e.V., Germany: “biosaxony is the association of life sciences industries in the Free State of Saxony (Germany). Our focus areas are biotechnology, medical devices and health. With over 110 members we are active in site marketing, technology transfer and business development. The cluster mission to the U.S. was a great opportunity for biosaxony to start collaboration with US clusters and business development agencies. The support services for soft landing and technology transfer of Ben Franklin Technology Partners in Philadelphia and the Cambridge Innovation Centre in Boston were particular interesting for us. The trip was well organized and we had the opportunity to talk to different stakeholders from universities, development agencies, cluster associations and start-up incubators.”

Patrick Vuillermoz, PLASTIPOLIS, France: “The US cluster mission including the matchmaking event during the TechConnect Conference has been very fruitful by giving the opportunity to better understand the way American clusters are acting and developing their innovation eco-systems. This enabled to get leading edge practices in the combination of technology and business oriented communities for the benefit of start-ups and innovative companies. For our particular interest, we have been able to build up promising connections with cluster or economic development organizations in Pennsylvania such as Ben Franklin Technology Partners, or in Ohio such as Team Neo, as well as Mass TLC in Massachusetts. As complementary, the TechConnect annual conference in Washington brought us some key insights in technology trends related to our fields of interest such as material technologies, printed electronics, 3D printing or advanced

[1] A selected participant from Bulgaria unfortunately had to cancel his participation due to health problems.

NCURA Global Workshop "Fundamentals of U.S. Sponsored Project Administration"

Provided by NCURA Global faculty members Leslie Schmidt, Assistant Vice President for Research at Montana State University, U.S. and Eva Björndal, Head of Unit, Post-Contract Office at Karolinska Institutet, and hosted by the Vienna Technical University (TU Wien) in Vienna on 18-19 September 2017, this two day workshop focused on the following topics:

  • U.S. research funding opportunities for non-U.S. organizations
  • Applying for and managing of U.S. federal research grants (e.g. NIH, NSF) an
  • Sharing best practices in global research management and Administration.

50 research administrators from 14 countries participated in the workshop and increased their knowledge and understanding about the U.S. Federal and non-federal funding opportunities and fund management.

Berna Windischbaur, from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency participated in the workshop on behalf of BILAT USA 4.0 and made a presentation about the project and its activities.

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EU This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 692468.