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European Research Council to make more than €2.4 billion available in 2022 for frontier research

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The European Commission has adopted the work programme of the European Research Council for the year 2022. This is the second work programme of the European Research Council (ERC) under Horizon Europe, following the first calls announced in February. It includes over €2.4 billion of funding that will be granted to an estimated 1,100 scientists and scholars in the EU and associated countries, in a series of grant competitions. The funding will support projects that push the frontiers of human knowledge in all scientific domains, encourage interdisciplinary research and help ERC grantees explore the social or commercial potential of their discoveries.

Thanks to these grants, some 8,000 jobs for post-doctoral fellows, PhD students and other research staff are expected to be created in the ERC grantees' teams. Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said: “This work programme is backed by the biggest ever annual budget for ERC grants – a powerful sign of Europe's continuing support for frontier research. I am also delighted to see that most of the financial support is earmarked for grants for early and mid-career researchers. It is vital that we support this new generation of European talent.”

Researchers of any nationality or scientific domain are eligible, as long as they work in Europe or are willing to do so. The programme includes among others the second edition of the ERC Public Engagement with Research Awards, whose purpose is to recognise grantees engaging with audiences outside their domain and communicating their EU-funded research. More information is available in the ERC press release.

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European Commission

Commission adopts proposal for a Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe

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The Commission has adopted its proposal for a Council Recommendation on ‘A Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe' to support the implementation of national European Research Area (ERA) policies. The Pact proposal defines shared priority areas for joint action in support of the ERA, sets out the ambition for investments and reforms, and constitutes the basis for a simplified policy coordination and monitoring process at EU and member states' level through an ERA platform where member states can share their reform and investment approaches to enhance exchanges of best practices. Importantly, to ensure an impactful ERA, the Pact foresees the engagement with research and innovation stakeholders.

A Europe fit for the Digital Age Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager said: “The pandemic has shown us the importance of uniting research and innovation efforts that swiftly bring results to the market. It has shown us the importance investment in jointly agreed strategic priorities between Member States and the EU. The Pact for Research and Innovation we propose today, will facilitate better collaboration and join our efforts to tackle research and innovation objectives that matter the most for Europe. And it will allow all of us to learn from each other.”

Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said: “The Pact for Research and Innovation is the first milestone in our ambition for a simplified and more efficient European Research Area. The objective of the Pact is to foster the future dialogue process with key actors putting a clear emphasis on sharing best practices and facilitating the collaboration of member states to invest in and coordinate on common research and innovation objectives.”

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The Pact was announced in the Commission's Communication on ‘A new ERA for Research and Innovation' of September 2020 and endorsed by Council Conclusions on the new ERA in December 2020. You will find more information here.

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European Research Council

#Research - The world needs an open approach to scientific engagement

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"The nationalization of scientific activity – country by country – is not what the world needs at this time," Abraham Liu, Huawei’s Chief Representative to the EU Institutions, today told a webinar for Beijing based research and science attaches from Europe and from the European Union, on the subject of research collaborations in Europe.

He said:

"The events surrounding Covid-19 have given us all some time to reflect upon many different issues – some are of a micro or personal scale – others have a larger macro-economic dimension.

But as the world is embarking on finding a vaccine for Covid-19, there is one clear dawning realization for us all to reflect upon.

Research, educational, private and public bodies from all different parts of the world must collaborate together in carrying out basic and applied research activities. Without intensive international engagement and co-operation society will not be able to benefit from new innovative products and services. Governments and the private sector alike must substantially invest in basic scientific research if the new products of tomorrow are going to be delivered into the global marketplace.

The process of innovation must not be confined inside any one company or geographically inside any one country. The best scientific excellence working together across borders can invent new products that positively address key social and economic challenges in the world today. That is why so many multi-jurisdictional research teams across the globe are working on finding a vaccine for Covid-19.

The same principle – namely the need for international engagement and co-operation – applies to the ICT sector and to the capability to bring new technological innovations into the marketplace.

Huawei is one of the most innovative companies in the world.

Under the EU industrial scoreboard for research and development 2019 Huawei ranks fifth in the world in terms of the levels of financial investment that the company makes in the fields of R&D. This a  finding of the European Commission having surveyed 2500 companies in the world that invest a minimum of 30 million euro in [email protected] activity per annum.

International collaboration is at the heart of the Huawei business model when it comes to our research activities. Huawei has 23 research centres in 12 countries in Europe. We have over 240 technology partnership agreements with research institutes in Europe. We have research collaborations with over 150 European Universities. We employ 2400 researchers and scientists in Europe. Huawei is now investing 15% of our global revenues into research per annum and this level of investment is going to increase.

Europe is home to 25% of all global [email protected] investment. A third of all scientific publications that are reviewed in the world today emanate from European researchers. Europe is home to the best scientists in the world. And this is why so much of Huawei investment on the research side is based in Europe.

Huawei has participated in 44 collaborative research projects under both FP7 and under Horizon 2020. We have engaged in research activities that have covered, for example, 5G, cloud and device technologies and in the building of ICT platforms that will deliver the smart cities of the future. So Huawei has a strong embedded imprint on the research side in Europe for a long time and this will be the case for many years to come. In fact, Huawei’s first research facility was opened up in Sweden in the year 2000.

Horizon Europe – the next EU research, innovation and science instrument 2021-2027 will play a central role in delivering upon the policy agenda of the EU institutions. This includes strengthening the industrial strategies of the EU, delivering upon the EU Green deal and tackling the UN sustainability goals. Huawei can positively support the implementation of this exciting new EU policy agenda.

The ‘nationalization’ or ‘de-compartmentalization’ of scientific and research activity – country by country - is not what the world needs today. The public, private, educational and governmental sectors  need to take an open approach to scientific engagement. This will ensure that the key global challenges facing the world today can be positively addressed for all of mankind. "

 

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Artificial intelligence

International collaboration in the field of #ICT research is a central cog in the wheel in tackling the global challenges of today

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Researchers and scientists from all over the world are working together to find a vaccine to combat Coronavirus. Companies from Europe, China, USA, Australia and Canada are at the forefront in seeking to find medical solutions to tackle Covid-19. But there is one common denominator in the work of all these specific research programmes. They bring scientists together from different parts on the world to work on this incredibly important field of health research, writes Abraham Liu, the Huawei chief representative to the EU institutions.

 

Abraham Liu, the Huawei chief representative to the EU institutions.

Abraham Liu, the Huawei chief representative to the EU institutions.

The pursuit of scientific excellence does not stop at any defined geographical border. If governments or companies alike want to deliver the most innovative products and solutions into the marketplace, they should pursue a policy of international co-operation and engagement.

In other words, ensuring that the best scientists in the world are working together in the pursuit of a common purpose. For example, this can relate to collaborative research activities in combatting chronic health disorders, tackling climate change and in building the most environmentally friendly and energy efficient cities of the future.

Advances in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT) now, underpin today the innovative development of all vertical industries. The energy, transport, health, industrial, financial and agriculture sectors are being modernized and transformed via the process of digital ingenuity.

  • 5G can now ensure that medical operations can be carried out remotely.
  • Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) can help in identifying Covid-19 via cloud applications.
  • Innovations in the field of the Internet of Things (I.O.T) ensure the more efficient operation of water supply systems by automatically identifying faults and leaks.
  • Today 25% of all traffic congestion in cities is caused by people looking for parking spaces. By properly using data centres and by integrating the use of video, voice and data services, traffic-light and parking systems are operationally more efficient.
  • 5G will deliver self-driving cars because the latency response times in carrying out instructions are now much lower compared to 4G. Car companies are now using server computers to test new vehicle models as opposed to deploying physical cars for such demonstrations.
  • 85% of all traditional banking services are now carried out online. Advances in AI are also leading the fight in combating credit card fraud.
  • By properly using sensors to identify the blood pressure and heartbeat levels in cattle, milk production can increase by 20%.

At the core of all these advances is a very strong commitment by both the public and private sectors to invest in basic research. This includes areas such as mathematical algorithms, environmental sciences and energy efficiencies. But international co-operation and engagement is the key component in delivering the digital transformation that we are witnessing today.

The policy objectives of Horizon Europe (2021-2027) will be successfully achieved through positive international collaboration. This research programme of the EU will help make Europe fit for the digital age, build a green economy, tackle climate change and implement the sustainable development goals of the United Nations. Huawei can and will help the EU fulfil these vitally important social and economic policy goals.

Huawei is committed to continuing our policy of international engagement in delivering new innovative products and solutions into the marketplace. Huawei employs over 2400 researchers in Europe, 90% of whom are local recruits. Our company works with over 150 universities in Europe on a range of different research activities. Huawei is an active participant in EU research and science initiatives such as Horizon 2020.

The private and public research and educational communities from all parts of the world – by working together - with a common sense of purpose - can and will tackle the serious global challenges facing us today.

Where we are united, we will succeed. Where we are divided, we will fail.

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