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European Union ministers discuss how to increase the impact of research and innovation

24. July 2017 - 8:38
Tallinn Creative Hub
Tallinn Creative Hub. Photo: Kaupo Kalda

The EU ministers responsible for research will convene at an informal meeting in the Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel) today and tomorrow, 24-25 July, to discuss how to increase the impact of research and innovation in Europe and rationalize the EU research funding landscape.

The meeting is chaired by the Estonian Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps who said that the future of Europe’s competitiveness depends on research and innovation. “Research funding is not a cost but an investment that converts to economic growth, new technologies, a clean and sustainable environment, better health and education, and a more coherent society. We need to convince a wider audience at the EU and national levels that everyone benefits from supporting ambitious investments in research and innovation,” said Minister Reps.

Today, 24 July, the ministers will attend an Estonian e-government presentation where they will be introduced to Estonian e-services and e-residency, cybersecurity and mobile positioning issues, as well as the digital language-learning tool – Lingvist. Later the Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation Lars Heikensten will give a keynote speech on the impact of research.

Tomorrow, 25 July, the ministers will discuss how to strengthen the impact and relevance of research in the EU. There are presentations by the President Emeritus of the Jacques Delors Institute, Pascal Lamy, and by the President of the Academy of Finland, Heikki Mannila. The keynote speaker of the working lunch is Taavet Hinrikus, member of the European Innovation Council and co-founder and Chairman of TransferWise. In the afternoon, the discussions will focus on the question of how to make the EU research and innovation funding landscape simpler and more accessible to potential applicants. Presentations will be made by Jana Kolar, Executive Director of CERIC-ERIC and Luc Soete, a Maastricht University professor.

One of the main topics during the Estonian Presidency is the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020. The EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation is the largest research programme in the world. The discussions on the results of the interim evaluation lead up to the proposals for the next multiannual financial framework, and the next research and innovation framework programme.

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