On July 8, 2015, The European Institute held a breakfast discussion with Dr. Vladimir Šucha, Director-General of the EU Joint Research Committee. Dr. Šucha highlighted the challenges of effectively integrating scientific evidence into policy-making. He emphasized the need for evidence-based policy making and the importance that trust, timing, and finding the right formulation of both formal and informal advice play in encouraging effective and timely cooperation between scientists and policy-makers. Dr. Šucha also encouraged a more holistic approach to societal challenges and thinking outside the box in order to formulate effective policies for a more complex, interconnected and accelerated world.
On June 1, 2015, The European Institute held a discussion on the EU’s approach to science diplomacy with The Honorable Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. Commissioner Moedas highlighted his efforts to embed science in the bloc’s diplomatic efforts, stressing that science diplomacy offers both Brussels and Washington a matchless opportunity to address some of the key political, demographic and environmental challenges of our age: food, water, energy and public health. A tri-dimensional effort, Commissioner Moedas said the EU is seeking to inform foreign policy objectives with scientific advice; facilitate international science cooperation through Horizon 2020, and using science cooperation to improve international relations between countries.
On June 1, 2015, The European Institute welcomed Dr. Patrick Prendergast, President and Provost of the Trinity College Dublin and Member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). Dr. Prendergast detailed the goals and work of the EIT and its efforts to overcome the so-called European Innovation Paradox. He emphasized the importance of cooperation between education centers, research and industry as the key to future, sustainable innovation. As examples, Dr. Prendergast cited the role of the Knowledge Innovation Centers (KICs) on climate, industry, energy, raw material and health and listed the two new KCIs on active aging and healthy living. He also cited the successful public-private partnerships that Trinity College Dublin has had with creative industries and companies like Google, Twitter or Facebook and put a special focus on the idea of publicly funded innovations and R&D in the College’s new strategic plan. Finally, Dr. Prendergast underlined ongoing projects at Trinity, such as the establishment of the New Trinity Business School which will be co-located with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship hub; the “LaunchBox" project, a business incubator for undergraduates; and “FoodCloud”, a social enterprise spin-out.
Alternative financing portals are proliferating throughout the European Union as more and more investors put their toes in the water of a new generation of high-risk start-ups they hope become a Skype, Rovio or Storify one day. With interest growing exponentially, though, questions are emerging about the adequacy of investor protections that new national regulations plan to address. The challenge ahead is to implement such protections without burdening entrepreneurs with regulatory overkill.
On January 10, 2014, The European Institute in cooperation with the Embassy of Italy hosted a luncheon discussion with The Honorable Maria Chiara Carrozza, Italian Minister for Education, Universities and Research. Minister Carrozza discussed the vital importance of furthering transatlantic research and innovation cooperation and of strengthening the European Science and Technology Union. During Italy’s upcoming Presidency of the Council of the European Union, she said, priority will be given to ensuring continuity in the implementation of the European Union’s ambitious Horizon 2020 initiative. Michael Nelson, Principal Technology Policy Strategist at Microsoft moderated the discussion.
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