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Brexit, Refugees, Big Data and Energy Union - 2nd quarter 2016
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This EU Science Quarterly for University of Southern Denmark 2nd quarter 2016 contains the essential updates and information on EU research, innovation and education funding.
The newsletter is written by me, Eric Björklund, Brussels based EU Representative for University of Southern Denmark. If you have any questions about this, or other matters regarding EU funding, you are of course welcome to contact us directly at the South Denmark European Office
The summer break is getting ever closer in the calendar and the first six months are drawing to a close. The time has come to look a little bit ahead so that when our invigorated and refreshed selves return to the office in time for the next semester we know where to get started and how to get up to cruising speed again. First of all, the Horizon 2020 (H2020) programme committees will start looking in more detail at the next work programme (WP, 2018-2020) and also making adjustments to the 2017 WP. Therefore, the SDU background group members will be hard at work providing qualified input to the official Danish position on the work programme. It’s a very important job, as this is the primary opportunity for SDU to affect the direction of European research.
 
In the wake of the British decision to leave the the European Union one of the million questions are what will happen to existing projects and proposals in the making where UK partners are involved. Here I’ve quote the Horizon 2020 Financial Helpdesks initial reaction:
 
"On the 23 June 2016 the UK held a referendum on whether to remain part of the EU. The results of this referendum showed a vote to leave by a small margin."
 
What happens now?

One of two things can happen:
  1. The UK Parliament can agree and start negotiating to leave the EU
  2. The UK Parliament can disagree and either outright ignore the result or request another referendum
Let’s assume for the moment that the UK does indeed leave the EU, what will this mean for the EU projects? Firstly, there will be no difference for projects that have signed Grant Agreements. In addition, there is a 2-year period where the UK Government negotiates with the EU some sort of association agreement. During the negotiations, the UK remains a member on exactly the same terms as today.
 
In short, do not panic. Let’s wait and see what the UK Parliament will do.
We will keep you updated.
 
Apart from what the Brits are up to - what is “everybody” talking about and what do I see on the horizon?
Refugees and migration
A major point of discussion in the whole of Europe today is of course the Refugee and migration crisis. I will not risk much by guessing that some new topics will be included to cover some aspects of the crisis. Some say that the cost need to be deferred and policies need to change. H2020 will probably carry some of this by calls for proposals asking for qualified research input.

The single digital market is expected to deliver on sustainable growth, social cohesion and many other areas that are within the remit of the Union. Some of these strategies will probably be strengthened further in the coming year within H2020. This is of course good for SDU, that have so many competences in these and related fields. 
Big Data
According to the Big-Data Value Association only 3% of available data is used today. Therefore, the innovation potential is huge. Big data, internet of things and high performance computing (HPC) will most likely be major themes in many thematic areas, including for instance Health, as the “digital” focus of the EU is only getting stronger. One key evidence of this is that data is becoming more widely available also in H2020 with the introduction of the Open-data platform.

Providing project and research data is no longer a voluntary pilot project but compulsory for all participants in H2020 funded projects - as long as you don’t have a really good excuse not to. This is also linked to the widespread discussions on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) which is a reoccurring theme that will affect the way we conduct our projects in the future.
Energy Union
The Energy Union strategy has focused on energy efficiency in buildings and concluded that “40% of energy used in the EU is consumed in buildings, of which 80% is used for heating and cooling”. It’s therefore not a long shot to guess that Energy Efficiency in Buildings and Heating and Cooling will continue to be a focus area in the energy theme, possibly even strengthened. 
What's next?
We are organizing close to tailor made workshops for interested researchers that want to engage in European research and Horizon 2020 projects. We help you get started, advice you on existing processes or just inform you about the possibilities. Contact me directly or your faculty support office for further information. On our part here in Brussels we will do our utmost to assist you with any EU related query you might have. So feel free to contact me!

Enjoy your summer!
- Eric Björklund

Publications 
The European Commission has published an 
2016 Open Innovation 2.0 yearbook, at the OI2 Conference which took place in Amsterdam from 23th of may until the 24th of may. It shows how Open Innovation 2.0 is done in practice. Open Innovation has a focus on all stakeholders in the process, in order to gain most of the new, ever-changing technologies

The European Commission presented its reform plans on integration in its Action Plan on Integration the 6th of June. The Action Plan aims to support Member States of the European Union (EU) in the integration of Third-Country Nationals (TCN) to the EU.

Events 
The European Commission is organizing an Information Day on the 2017 calls for proposals of Horizon 2020's Societal Challenge 5 "Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials". Registration will open in July.

Excellent science, research and innovation are essential for a sustainable development of the European economy. 
The International Conference REinEU2016, which will take place from 26th to 28th October 2016, will thus discuss innovation in the field of nanotechnologies, advanced materials, manufacturing and production technologies. 

Analysing, communicating and improving social impact is one of the most pressing demands to all scientific fields. 
The 1st Conference on Social Impact of Science, SIS2016, will provide a framework where research groups from diverse contexts and domains will be able to discuss these existing good practices, as well as the processes for further improvement.

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