Discussions on the new strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation

The new strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation was presented in Brussels and discussed with representatives of the diplomatic community.

The strategy was presented by Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, who highlighted that “international cooperation will continue to be a vital part of the Union's research and innovation policy, and it will be an integral part of the new Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020”.  “An open discussion followed from which broad support for the new strategy emerged and a continued willingness to cooperate with the European Union.”

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Council reached an agreement on Horizon 2020

Last week the Council reached an agreement on a partial general approach concerning the draft regulation laying down the rules for participation in research projects funded under Horizon 2020. This means that the Council has reached an agreement on the essential elements of this regulation, but the European Parliament's opinion is still necessary.

The draft regulation includes the rules on intellectual property rights, use and dissemination.

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Horizon 2020: Reversing the Trend

Increasing industry participation in Horizon 2020 - the new framework programme for research and innovation (2014-2020) - was the topic of the parliamentary dinner debate organised by DIGITALEUROPE at the European Parliament.

Speakers elaborated on the main parameters determining industry participation. These are laid out in the proposed regulation on Rules for Participation: the adequate protection of companies’ intellectual property and the need for appropriate provisions for access to research data and results, as well as provisions regarding joint ownership and the transfer of ownership.

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Progress Report on the “Horizon 2020” package

At the end of last week, the Council of the European Union adopted a Progress Report on the “Horizon 2020” package, which includes the proposals for the specific programme, the new Rules for Participation and the EURATOM programme. This report presents the discussions within the Council on the three proposals, even though according to the document “most delegations have welcomed the aforesaid Commission proposals”.

Concerning the proposal for the new Rules for Participation, delegations expressed some concerns in terms of intellectual property. In fact, delegations have asked “for the insertion of clearer wording for a number of items, such as “background”, “fair and reasonable conditions” [and] “results””. Regarding the dissemination of results, Member States have asked, in particular, clarifications on the following issues:

  • the joint ownership provisions;
  • the “additional exploitation obligations” referred to in Article 40;
  • the “rationale behind the possibility for the Commission to gain access rights to the results of a participant and the possibility that the participant can object to that”; and
  • on the use of “Europe first” provisions, in particular with respect to participation of multi-national participants.”

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CEN CENELEC Position on Standardisation in Horizon 2020

CEN-CENELEC, the European Committees for Standardisation and for Electrotechnical Standardisation, have published their joint position on Horizon 2020.

CEN and CENELEC are fully committed to supporting the Horizon 2020 programme and helping to tackle barriers to innovation in Europe and consider that standardisation can contribute to all three key priorities of Horizon 2020, i.e. excellent science, industrial leadership and societal challenges. In the paper they propose a set of concrete steps to integrate standardisation within the framework of Horizon 2020. They then suggest including references to standardisation opportunities in the Horizon 2020 work programmes, and using standardisation to support the transfer of innovation to the market and increase the impact of research projects.

They also propose that the Horizon 2020 programme provide for the possibility for funding arrangements for necessary standardisation activities to be addressed at later stages of a project.

The CEN-CENELEC position paper is available here.

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