Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

FP7

ERACONFCY Résumé de rapport

Project ID: 314120
Financé au titre de: FP7-COH
Pays: Cyprus

Final Report Summary - ERACONFCY (Completing the European Research Area in the Context of the Innovation Union)

Executive Summary:

The Conference organised during the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) aspired to be an important milestone in the ongoing policy implementation for the accomplishment of the European Research Area (ERA) by 2014. The objective of the Conference was to bring together a wide range of ERA stakeholders such as research organisations, universities, private enterprises and public authorities to elaborate on the concept of the ERA, and to analyze the factors and preconditions which are required for its realisation by 2014, as called for by the European Council and as identified in the European Commission’s Communication (EC) on “A Reinforced European Research Area Partnership for Excellence and Growth” that was published in July 2012. The measures contained in the EC’s Communication were at the centre of the Conference discussions.

The Conference entitled ‘Completing the European Research Area in the Context of the Innovation Union’ was organized by the Research Promotion Foundation of Cyprus in collaboration with the Planning Bureau of Cyprus with the support of the European Commission. The Conference was one of the Presidency Events. It took place in Nicosia, at the Conference Centre ‘FILOXENIA’, on the 14th of November 2012. It gathered around 160 participants from the broader research stakeholder community. It composed of both plenary and parallel sessions.

The Conference acknowledged the need to join forces and work together to achieve the objectives set in the ERA Communication and there was overall support to the process described by the European Commission. It has been concluded that the realisation of ERA will bring multiple benefits to the European research in its totality and for this to happen joint efforts and well orchestrated measures are needed from EU member states, the Commission and the stakeholder organisations.

The Conference conclusions were presented at the Competitiveness Council of December 2012.

Project Context and Objectives:
European Research Area is a unified research area open to the world based on the Internal market, in which researchers, scientific knowledge and technology circulate freely. Through ERA, the Union and its Member States will strengthen their scientific and technological bases, their competitiveness and their capacity to collectively address grand challenges.

ERA was set up following the Lisbon European Council (March 2000) and was given new impetus in 2007 with the European Commission's Green Paper on ERA. In 2008, the Council activated the "Ljubljana Process" to enhance the political governance of ERA and adopted a shared ERA 2020 vision. Implementing a number of novel partnership initiatives proposed by the Commission in 2008, cooperation was strengthened in the following areas: careers, working conditions and mobility of researchers; joint design and operation of research programmes; creation of world-class European research infrastructures; transfer of knowledge and cooperation between public research and industry and international cooperation in science and technology.

Since the introduction of ERA notable progress has been made, however, the EU has not yet fulfilled its research and innovation potential. At the same time, the financial crisis has created an overwhelming need for growth and jobs, coupled with the increasingly urgent need for solutions to problems caused by the ageing of the population or climate change, and the fact that science underpinning innovative and potentially growth-intensive solutions to such problems is becoming more collaborative. All these factors mean that ERA is an idea whose time has come.

An ERA framework and supporting measures were announced in the 2010 Innovation Union (IU) flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 Strategy. On two occasions (in February 2011 and March 2012) the European Council has called for ERA to be completed by 2014 by overcoming the remaining obstacles rapidly to create a genuine single market for knowledge, research and innovation.
Adhering to this mandate, the European Commission published in July 2012 a Communication on “A Reinforced European Research Area Partnership for Excellence and Growth”. According to this Communication, given the time constraints, the most effective and pragmatic approach to meet the 2014 deadline is a reinforced ERA partnership - deeper, wider and more efficient than to date - between Member States, the Commission and research stakeholder organisations. This approach focuses on key priorities and is responsibility-based and action-oriented with the onus on all parties to deliver concrete improvements to the EU research system within the remit of their competencies.

In that context, the Cypriot Presidency in close collaboration with the forthcoming Presidencies of the Council in 2013 (Ireland and Lithuania), aspired to contribute to the reinforcement of the initiatives taken towards the completion of the ERA both through the regular decision making channels in the institutional process as well as through the organisation of a Conference dedicated on ERA policies during the Cypriot Presidency.

The objective of this Conference during the Cypriot Presidency was to offer the opportunity to a wide range of stakeholders, research organizations, universities, private enterprises and public authorities to elaborate on the concept of the European Research Area, and to analyse the factors and preconditions which are required for its realisation by 2014 as called for by the European Council. Thus, the Conference Programme, objectives and outcomes were tuned to the specific measures contained in the EC’s Communication.
Objectives of the Conference
• Understand the importance of completing the ERA by 2014 by implementing the measures described in the ERA Communication and discuss their implications with a wide cross-section of the EU research stakeholder community
• Understand the political context and follow-up in relation to the 2014 milestone
• Develop and deepen the consensus and commitment to act much more purposely than has been the case to date to complete ERA, and on how to do this in an efficient and effective way.

To achieve the abovementioned objectives, the Conference was designed to be a one-day event. The title of the Conference was ‘Completing the European Research Area in the Context of the Innovation Union’. It was organized by the Research Promotion Foundation of Cyprus in collaboration with the Planning Bureau of Cyprus with the support of the European Commission. The Conference was one of the Presidency Events. It took place in Nicosia, at the Conference Centre ‘FILOXENIA’, on the 14th of November 2012.

The Conference composed of both plenary and parallel sessions. Further to the opening Plenary Session, the event continued with a Plenary Session giving prominence to the importance of completing ERA by 2014. That Plenary Session focusing on the long term future for research and researchers and on research and innovation in times of crisis followed a more fact-based exploratory format, from which conclusions were derived.

The Conference continued with six thematic sessions on the main ERA issues identified in the ERA Communication such as the effectiveness of national research systems, the open labour market for researchers and gender issues, the research infrastructures, the knowledge transfer and open access issues, the cross border cooperation and the competition of research actors, the international cooperation and, as sixth cross-cutting issue, the transparent monitoring. The Parallel Sessions focused on accelerating the ongoing work in the light of the ERA Communication measures. Each session gave rise to a short set of conclusions which was presented in a plenary feedback – closing session.

Key ERA stakeholders and distinguished speakers from all fields (policy makers, researchers, industry / business, funding organisations) as well as high level representatives from the relevant EU Institutions were invited to present their views and to facilitate at the same time the implementation of the specific ERA measures. The speakers were carefully selected by the Conference Steering Committee (CSC) that was responsible for the realisation of objectives of the Conference in general, the content of the Conference Programme and the invitees’ list. Gender balance issues on speakers’ selection procedure were taken under consideration. In addition, official groups for the promotion of gender balance issues were invited as participants. In addition, specific topics promoting gender balance issues were addressed through the Conference Programme (e.g Parallel Session: Career prospects, employment conditions and mobility). Finally, efforts were made to have a balanced representation of participants between public and industry and business sector.

It managed to gather around 160 participants from the broader research stakeholder community (119 participants and 40 speakers). The participation was by invitation only. The working language of the Conference was English.

The Conference was the first official forum for discussion after the adoption of the Communication of the European Commission on ERA policy agenda (June 2012). The Conference acknowledged the need to join forces and work together to achieve the objectives set in the ERA Communication and there was overall support to the process described by the European Commission. It has been concluded that the realisation of ERA will bring multiple benefits to the European research in its totality and for this to happen joint efforts and well orchestrated measures are needed from EU member states, the Commission and the stakeholder organisations.
Dissemination activities for the promotion of the Conference awareness were performed prior to its organisation. In addition, as a Conference follow-up, the Conference’s main conclusions were drafted in the form of a paper summarizing the discussions and opinions expressed during the Conference and presented to the Competiveness Council of the December 2012 as well as published on the Directorate’s General for Research and Innovation website (relevant section for ERA).

The organisation of the Conference was done in close collaboration with the Planning Bureau of Cyprus which is the responsible Government Department for the formation of the R&D policy and the Secretariat of Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU which had the responsibility of the central coordination / administration of all Presidency Events.

From an administrative point of view regarding the project implementation, to meet the project’s objectives a series of contributory objectives, defining actions crucial to achieve the overall targets was led such as:
• Formation of an effective management team
• Sound management structure and procedures to ensure an effective coordination of the work performed during the contract duration and support in order to smoothly develop and implement all the tasks at high standards
• Involvement of all relevant actors at national and EU level in order to ensure visibility and success of the Conference
• Close cooperation with EC officers in order to increase the efficiency of all actions
• Well planned activities for all phases of the Conference (preparation, organisation / implementation, awareness raising / follow –up) and clear indication of milestones during the project’s lifetime
• Effective use of the support / services provided by the Secretariat of Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU that had the responsibility of the central coordination / administration of all Presidency Events
• Best available in market choices on subcontractors to ensure the best value for money and economic selections
• Cost efficient management of resources and according to contractual obligations

Project Results:
The abovementioned objectives were accomplished by a coherent set of activities and tasks performed designed and grouped into four Work Packages (WPs).

• Project Management (WP1)
• Preparation of the Conference (WP2)
• Implementation of the Conference (WP3)
• Awareness Raising (WP4)

Project Management (WP1)

1) Objectives
• Effective coordination of the work performed during the GA duration
• Support in order to smoothly develop and implement all the tasks at high standards
• Communication with and reporting to EC
• Fulfilment of the contractual obligations

2) Tasks undertaken and results achieved

Task 1.1: Project Monitoring & Coordination

In this context, a Management Committee (MC) was set up immediately after the start of the project. MC was composed by representatives of the CO and the Planning Bureau and was responsible for the monitoring of the implementation of the project. A kick off meeting was organized on the 28th of May 2012 at the premises of RPF with all local parties. At this meeting, the organizational strategy of the conference was discussed and the distribution of tasks was agreed. The Kick of Meeting Presentation and the Minutes are attached as Deliverables of this task (APPENDIX D1.1 part of Final Report). The MC had daily communication via email, phone conversations and meetings whenever it was necessary and especially during the implementation of WP2.

All RPF staff met regularly with the Coordinator in face-to-face meetings in order to ensure the smooth progress of the work performed and to resolve any minor issues as and in case they appeared. The team interaction was crucial where techniques had to be optimized or strategies modified.

A Conference Steering Committee (CSC) (up to five members) was set up responsible for the content of the Conference Programme, the speakers and the invitees’ list.

CSC Members:
• Dr. Vassilios Tsakalos, Director General of RPF
• Dr. Kalypso Sepou, Head of Unit, European Research Programmes and International Cooperation, RPF
• Mrs Lina Tsoumpanou, Coordinator of ERACONFCY Project, European Research Programmes and International Cooperation Unit, RPF
• Mr. Costas Iacovou Director of Planning, Directorate of Competitiveness and Research, Planning Bureau
• Ms Mina Stareva, DG RI, European Commission

On the 23rd of July 2012 the 1st Conference Steering Committee Meeting took place in Cyprus at RPF premises. The Agenda of this meeting was the following:
• Short update on Conference preparation progress
• Programme
• Speakers
• Participants
• Invitations
• Scheduling / Timetable
• AOB

The 1st CSC Meeting Presentation, the Agenda and the Minutes are attached as Deliverables of this task (APPENDIX D1.1 part of Final Report). A 2nd Meeting between members of the CSC from RPF and the Planning Bureau was held in September (04.09.2012) at the premises of the Planning Bureau.

For the implementation of task 2.5 (Preliminary Conference Programme, Participant List and Announcement of the Conference) and task 3.1 (Final Conference Programme) the CSC communicated on a constant basis through telephone conversations and exchange of e-mails.

Task 1.2: Project Administration
Communication with the subcontractors

For the selection of subcontractors, the Beneficiary complied with the applicable national law regarding Procurement Legislation (for public bodies) which among others applies the basic principles for selection (transparency, equal treatment, best value for money). All tender procedures complied with the terms of the GA.

Communication with the EC (Project Officer)
In order to ensure the successful monitoring and coordination of the project, the Coordinator (CO) was in close contact with the respective officers in DG Research and Innovation (DG RI), through daily communication via email and phone based on the needs and on the actions required. The support of DG RI was essential in order to discuss progress in the project and possible troubleshooting.

Communication with the Planning Bureau and the Secretariat of the Cyprus Presidency
Daily communication was established with the Secretariat of Cyprus Presidency of the Council of EU the Secretariat of Cyprus Presidency and two meetings took place during the project lifetime, one for the training on the registration system (03/05/2012) and a second for the organisational specifications at the conference venue (03/08/2012). The communication with the Planning Bureau of Cyprus was based on a daily exchange of emails and phone calls and apart from the formal kick off meeting, several other informal meetings were organised in order to coordinate the efforts for the successful organisation of the Conference.

Communication with the Conference Steering Committee
On the 23rd of July 2012 the 1st Conference Steering Committee Meeting took place in Cyprus at RPF premises. A 2nd Meeting between members of the CSC from RPF and the Planning Bureau was held in September (04.09.2012) at the premises of the Planning Bureau. Also, the CSC communicated on a constant basis through telephone conversations and exchange of e-mails.

Implementation of the contractual obligations
The administrative aspects of the project management were also arranged by the Coordinator and his team (RPF’s full time personnel). RPF employs experienced administrative personnel that are responsible for overseeing the administrative aspects of each project to ensure the smooth implementation of the contractual obligations.

Task 1.3: Project Finances & Reporting
The CO supervised all expenses occurred during the project and collected all the financial documents needed for reporting to the EC. The CO submitted the Final Report to the EC.

3) Deliverables
D1.1 Final Report, including financial documents (present report)
D1.1a Kick of Meeting Presentation and Minutes (APPENDIX D1.1a)
D1.1b 1st CSC Meeting Presentation, Agenda and Minutes (APPENDIX D1.1b)

Preparation of the Conference (WP2)

1) Objectives
To prepare the Conference according to the contractual obligations of the EC Grant Agreement.

2) Tasks undertaken and results achieved
Task 2.1: Drafting of Timetable & Description of Tasks Performed at each Stage – Distribution of Responsibilities

The Coordinator prepared a specific timetable and distribution of the tasks among the RPF and PB team (APPENDIX Deliverable D.2.1) after the kick off meeting. The timetable included deadlines for different tasks and deliverables and it was sent to all participants as an implementation guide.

Task 2.2: Definition of Specifications of the Conference
All necessary specifications for the organisation of the conference were decided. The date, the duration, target number of participants, target audience, terms of participation, working language, conference venue, registration system, accommodation, transportation, catering and networking dinner, media coverage and print outs.

Task 2.3: Drafting of an Organisational Guide
D2.2 Organisational Guide

Date: After consultation with the EC officials, the Commissioner’s Cabinet and the Secretariat of Cyprus Presidency of the Council of EU and taking under consideration the timetable for the Presidency Agenda regarding R&D issues and EC’s future steps regarding ERA measures and policies as well as the availability of keynote speakers, the 14th of November 2012 was selected as the most appropriate date for the Conference

Duration: 1 day event (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Target number of participants: 150 - 200
Target audience: ERA stakeholders
1 European Commission
2 European Parliament - ITRE Committee
3 ERA groups (ERC, ERAC, HLG for Joint Programming, ESFRI,
Steering Group on Human Resources and Mobility, Knowledge Transfer Group, EIT, Experts
4 Council - Governments
5 Stakeholders: industry, academia, research institutes and councils,
social political NGOs, philanthropic)
6 Helsinki Group Women
7 FP7 Programme Committee 'Cooperation'
8 IGLO
9 EU Organisations & Associations
10 Cyprus officials and research community

Terms of participation: By invitation only. Participants covered their own expenses. The project covered only the speakers’ travel and accommodation expenses.

Working language: English

Conference venue: The selection of the exact conference rooms at FILOXENIA Conference Centre was made in close collaboration with the services of the Secretariat of Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU, along with all other relevant logistics.

International Conference Centre ‘FILOXENIA’, Nicosia
• Plenary & Parallel Sessions: Zenon Kitievs 2 Hall Kerynia Hall
• Lunch & coffee breaks: Halkos Restaurant
• Informal Breakfast for speakers: Elia Restaurant

Registration system: NOVENTO SYSTEM. The registration procedure was performed using NOVENTO, the central registration system used for all events of the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of EU.

Software for accreditation that allows:
• The registration of the various participants for a meeting
• The validation of their application for accreditation
• The management of transportation and accommodation
• The edition of badges: Badge holders can access to different zones/areas according to the color of their badges, for the created meetings in Novento

The system opened on the 24th of September 2012 until three weeks prior to the meeting. The deadline for the registration was finally extended until the 5th of November 2012.

The system was adapted as much as possible to the Conference needs and it allowed the monitoring of the registration procedure at all stages. Since the Conference was by invitation, codes and passwords necessary for the registration procedure were included in the formal email invitations. A document containing guidelines for registration (and accommodation) was also prepared in order to assist any interested parties (APPENDIX D2.2a & D2.2.b ERA Conference_Information Leaflet_Speakers & Participants).

Accommodation: In order to ensure the availability of accommodation, a number of rooms were reserved at local Hotels with special rates for Conference Participants. As previously indicated, the Participants’ Information Leaflet, displaying information about the Conference Venue and Accommodation, is attached as Product of this task.

Hotel Rooms
Castelli 15
Holiday Inn 15
Hilton 80
Hilton Park 50
Classic 15
Centrum 8
Almond 10
Total confirmed pre-booked rooms until 31/10: 178

A document containing guidelines for accommodation (and registration) was also prepared in order to assist any interested parties (APPENDIX D2.2a&b ERA Conference_Information Leaflet_Speakers & Participants).

Catering: Lunch «Buffet ‘B’ Number 2 (A Taste of Cyprus)» and two coffee breaks (for details please see APPENDIX D2.2c Catering).
Transportation: Arrangements with a bus company, a taxi company and a travel agency.

Speakers Logistics The Organisers’ travel agency contacted all Speakers and arranged their travel schedule according to the date and time of their presentation. Based on their travel details the Organisers then arranged for their transportation from and to the airport and their accommodation.

The Speakers’ Flight Schedule, the Speakers’ Airport Transportation Schedule and the Guidelines for Speakers are attached as Products of this task (for details please see APPENDIX D2.2d Transportation).

Participants Logistics
Participants were required to arrange and cover their own travelling schedule, transportation from and to the airport and accommodation.

Transportation from and to the Conference venue was provided by the Organisers for all Participants residing in the recommended Hotels of the Conference. Prior to the Conference, a Practical Guide containing all relevant information about the organisation of the Conference and practical information about Cyprus was sent to all Participants.

Networking Dinner: Chateau Status Restaurant (APPENDIX D2.2e Dinner menu)

Media coverage: Arrangements for video and photo coverage & live web streaming.
Print outs: Arrangements for the following:

• Design and Printing of a booklet (21cm x 21cm) – Programme
• Design and Printing of a practical guide (21cm x 21cm)
• Design and Printing of banner and posters
• Design and Printing Foam boards
• Sticker notes set


Task 2.4: Completion of the Subcontracting Procedures

For the selection of subcontractors, the Beneficiary complied with the applicable national law regarding Procurement Legislation (for public bodies) which among others applies the basic principles for selection (transparency, equal treatment, best value for money). All tender procedures complied with the terms of the GA.

Subcontracting
• Design and printing of all the promotion and other informative material that was printed for the needs of the conference (e.g. booklet, poster, logo, conference programme, practical guide, banner, foam boards, sticker notes set
• Photographical coverage of the event and video recording of Conference proceedings and live web-streaming
• Local transportation from and to the airport for speakers and to and from the conference venue & dinner for all participants
• Conference venue including Rooms for parallel Sessions and relevant equipment (audio visual equipment, other possible equipment and services)

Task 2.5: Preliminary Conference Programme, Participant List & Announcement
The CSC was responsible for the content of the Conference Programme, the speakers and the invitees’ list. On the 23rd of July 2012 the 1st Conference Steering Committee Meeting took place in Cyprus at RPF premises. The Agenda of this meeting was focused on the structure of the Conference Programme, the selection of the speakers, the identification of the participants and the timing of the announcement of the conference and the invitations to be sent.

Prior to this meeting, the Coordinator prepared a draft programme, and draft lists for speakers and participants and sent it to the CSC for feedback.

During the CSC meeting an extensive discussion was made regarding the Conference programme. All participants contributed to the discussion regarding the following issues:
Confirm session titles
Define content of each session

After consultation with the EC Officer, it was agreed to skip the idea of a 2nd Plenary Session (Subject: Research in Innovation Union & HORIZON 2020) as emphasis should be on the ERA dimension and keep only the Plenary Session 1 (Subject: Setting the theme: Completing the ERA in 2014 – Vision versus Pragmatism) as well as the Opening and the Concluding Plenary sessions. In addition, the 1st and 2nd Parallel Sessions were agreed to be a longer that the rest as more issues need to be covered. After several suggestions, the titles and the timetable were defined as follows:

• 8:30 – 9:00 Registration
• 9:00 – 9:45 Opening Plenary Session
• 9:45–11:15 Plenary Session: Completing the ERA in 2014 – Boarding Time
• 11:15 – 11:45 Coffee Break
• 11:45 – 13:15 Parallel Sessions 1 & 2
• Researchers: Career Prospects, Employment Conditions and Mobility
• Laying down the Foundations of the ERA: An Open Approach Towards European Research Infrastructures
• 13:15 – 14:45 Lunch
• 14:45 – 16:00 Parallel Sessions 3 & 4
• The Free Movement of Knowledge: Optimism and Realities – Knowledge Circulation and Open Access to Data in the Context of a Completed ERA
• From Lappland to the South-eastern Mediterranean: Can Cross Border Operation of Research Actors be Strengthened?
• 16:00 – 16:30 Coffee Break
• 16:30 – 17:30 Parallel Sessions 5 & 6
• The ERA Communication and the Completion of the ERA from the Perspective of Small Players
• The International Dimension of the ERA: Strengthening Cooperation with our Neighbours
• 17:30 – 18:00 Concluding Plenary Session
• 20:00 Networking Dinner

Also the idea of organising a working breakfast during the day of the Conference for the speakers, the Chairs of the sessions and the Minister was explored. It was agreed that this could be of great value for the conference discussion and the overall outcome. The RPF team would explore this possibility with the Secretariat.

Finally, it was agreed to compile a short description for each session (objectives, expected outcome) that will be sent to the speakers in order to enlighten them for their own contribution to the session. The RPF and the Planning Bureau worked on that in close collaboration with the European Commission.

The discussion on the speakers for each session was concentrated on the following issues:
How many speakers?
Who?
Chair of Session?
Need of Rapporteur?
Distinction or expertise on a specific field relevant to the topics
Balanced representation of all ERA stakeholders
Gender balance criteria
List of “alternate” speakers

It was agreed that a 2nd draft list with speakers be prepared by the Coordinator according to what has been discussed at the CSC meeting and to be sent to all participants for comments and contributions in order to finalise the speakers list by the end of August 2012. It was agreed to send the invitations to speakers at M5 of the project (end August – mid September 2012). A deadline of maximum 2 weeks was given in order to respond to the invitation. High level speakers were contacted informally by the Planning Bureau or the Minister at an earlier stage.

The discussion on the participants was concentrated on the following issues:
Define categories of participants & quota on each category
Define number of invitations to be sent in order to have around 150 -180 participants

It was agreed that the target was to send out around 350 invitations in order to have at least 150 participants.

At the end of the meeting, all participants agreed to submit proposals regarding the participants list and the speakers in order to have a 2nd draft.

A 2nd Meeting between members of the CSC from RPF and the Planning Bureau was held in September (04.09.2012) at the premises of the Planning Bureau.

In general, for the implementation of task 2.5 (Preliminary Conference Programme, Participant List and Announcement of the Conference) and task 3.1 (Final Conference Programme) the CSC communicated on a constant basis through telephone conversations and exchange of e-mails.

In order to ensure maximum participation and publicity of the Conference, a “Save the Date” invitation was sent out to relevant stakeholders approximately 3 months prior to the event (APPENDIX D2.3.e SAVE THE DATE ERA CONFERENCE.msg).

Task 2.6: Practical Information Guide for Participants
APPENDIX D2.4 Practical Information Guide for the Participants

3) Deliverables
D2.1 Timetable Report
D2.2 Organisational Guide
D2.2a ERA Conference_Information Leaflet_Speakers
D2.2.b ERA Conference_Information Leaflet_ Participants
D2.2c Catering
D2.2d Transportation Speakers
D2.2e Dinner Menu
 D2.3 Preliminary Conference Programme & Announcement of Conference
D2.3.a ERA Conference Programme.msg
D2.3.b ERA Conference Programme.msg
D2.3.c ERA Conference Programme.msg
D2.3.e SAVE THE DATE ERA CONFERENCE.msg
 D2.4 Practical Information Guide for the Participants

Implementation of the Conference (WP3)

1) Objectives
To organise a successful Conference

2) Tasks undertaken and results achieved

Task 3.1: Final Conference Programme

The Conference Programme was designed in detail including: title, date, place, titles and descriptions of plenary & parallel sessions (including timing), names and affiliations of speakers and chairs. Also a short cv and photo of each speaker was included (APPENDIX D3.1a Final Conference Programme).

The final Conference Programme composed of both plenary and parallel sessions. The Conference was opened by the Research and Innovation Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn video message and two keynote addresses by Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General of DG Research and Innovation and Ms Eleni Mavrou, Cyprus Minister of Interior, responsible for the Research Portfolio during the Cyprus Presidency. Further to the opening Plenary Session, the event continued with a Plenary Session giving prominence to the importance of completing ERA by 2014. This Plenary Session focusing on the long term future for research and researchers and on research and innovation in times of crisis followed by a more fact-based exploratory format, from which conclusions were derived.

These were followed by six thematic sessions on the main ERA issues identified in the ERA Communication (17 July 2012) – i.e. effectiveness of national research systems, open labour market for researchers and gender issues, research infrastructures, knowledge transfer and digital ERA, cross border cooperation and competition of research actors, external dimension of ERA and, as sixth cross-cutting issue, transparent monitoring. The Parallel Sessions focused on accelerating the ongoing work in the light of the ERA Communication measures. Each session gave rise to a short set of conclusions which was presented in a plenary feedback – closing session.

FINAL PROGRAMME
09:00 – 09:45 Opening Plenary Session
Video Message by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science
Keynote address by Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General of DG Research and Innovation
Keynote address by Eleni Mavrou, Cyprus Minister of Interior, responsible for the Research Portfolio during the Cyprus Presidency

09:45 – 11:00 Plenary Session: Completing the ERA by 2014 – Boarding Time
Costas Iacovou, Director of Planning, Planning Bureau Cyprus – Chair of the Session

ERA – An Opportunity for Action, Andreas Demetriou, President of the Cyprus Scientific Council, Former Minister of Education and Culture

European Research Sector: Attractive Enough for Top Researchers? Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), European Parliament

The Role of ERA in Making National Research Systems More Effective, Luke Georghiou, Vice-President for Research and Innovation, University of Manchester

Bridging Industrial and Academic Research in Europe - Some New Ideas, Léopold Demiddeleer, President, European Industrial Research Management Association (EIRMA)

11:00 – 11:15 Family Photo

11:15 – 11:45 Coffee Break

11:45 – 13:15 Parallel Sessions 1 & 2

(1) Researchers: Career Prospects, Employment Conditions, Mobility and Gender Issues
Fulvio Esposito, Chair of Steering Group on Human Resources and Mobility – Chair of the Session

Structural Change for Gender Equality in Science and Technology, Inés Sánchez de Madariaga, Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, Ministry of Economy and Competitivity, Spain

Mobility and Employment Conditions - The Case of Germany, Klaus Uckel, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Germany

Mobility and Employment Fostering Innovation – Perspectives in University and Non-University sectors, Lidia Borrell-Damian, Senior Programme Manager, Research & Innovation, European University Association

Career Prospects, Mobility and Gender Issues, Iain Cameron, Head of Research Councils United Kingdom (RCUK)

European Research Council - Τhe Funding Organisation for Scientific Excellence in Frontier Research, Maria Teresa Lago, European Research Council (ERC) Member

(2) Laying Down the Foundations of the ERA: An Open Approach Towards European Research Infrastructures
Susana Gota-Goldmann, Member of the Executive Board of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) – Chair of the Session

Developing Research Infrastructures for 2020 and Beyond – Implementation of the ERA Recommendations, Philippe Froissard, Directorate General for Research and Innovation

A Regional Perspective of Research Infrastructures and Their Role in ERA,Guðrún Nordal, Chair Nordforsk

Vision for the Future of an Open e-Infrastructure and ERA, Gudmund Høst, Chair e-IRG Reflection Group

Research Infrastructures for Industrial Innovation, Job Creation, Competitiveness and Economic Growth, Manuel Rodriguez-Castellano, EIROFORUM

Completing the ERA – Implementing the Projects on the ESFRI Roadmap 2010, Leo le Duc, Chair of the ESFRI Implementation Group

13:15 – 14:45 Lunch (Halkos Restaurant)

14:45 – 16:00 Parallel Sessions 3 & 4

(3) Optimal Circulation, Access to and Transfer of Scientific Knowledge in the Context of a Digital ERA
Georg Buchtela, ERA Technology Chair – Chair of the Session

Research and Technology Organisations: Views on Access to Knowledge and Knowledge Transfer, Christopher John Hull, European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO)

An Industrial Perspective on Knowledge Transfer and Completion of the ERA, Jan van den Biesen, President Public R&D Programs, Philips Research

Data Infrastructure for Open Access inScholarly and Scientific Communication, Mike Hatzopoulos, OpenAIRE Coordinator

Open Access Measures for Publications and Data Resulting from Publicly Funded Research, Wim van der Stelt, Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) Representative

(4) From Lappland to the South-eastern Mediterranean: Can Cross Border Operation of Research Actors be Strengthened?
Rolf Annerberg, Chair of the High Level Group for Joint Programming – Chair of the Session

Completing the European Research Area – a Science Europe Perspective, Paul Boyle, President, Science Europe

Building Excellence Through Twinning and Teaming, Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary-General, League of European Research Universities (LERU)

Eurostars – the Joint Programme that Meets the Needs of R&D SMEs in Europe, Michel Vanavermaete, Acting Head of the EUREKA Secretariat, IT & Projects Manager

Cross-border Cooperation seen from a Smaller Member State Perspective, Uffe Toudal Pedersen, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Denmark

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee Break

16:30 – 17:30 Parallel Sessions 5 & 6

(5) Making ERA a Reality – From Proposals to Implementation and Monitoring
Jana Kolar, Head of Research Morana, EIT Governing Board – Chair of the Session

The ERA Monitoring Mechanism (EMM) and The ERA Communication, Fabienne Gautier, Directorate General for Research and Innovation, European Commission

Challenges & Opportunities of the New ERA Monitoring Mechanism (EMM), Jennifer Cassingena Harper, former Director, Policy Unit, Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST)

How Could an ERA Monitoring Mechanism (EMM) Contribute to the Full Realisation of ERA by 2014, Cinzia Daraio, Associate Professor of Management Engineering, University of Rome "La Sapienza"

(6) International Cooperation: The External Dimension of ERA
Riitta Mustonen, Chair of the Strategic Forum for International S&T Cooperation (SFIC) – Chair of the Session

The European Commission’s Communication on EU International Cooperation in Research and Innovation, John Claxton, Deputy Head of Unit, Directorate General for Research and Innovation, European Commission

Perspectives on Europe-USA Cooperation in Basic Science and Engineering Research, Carmen Huber, Head, National Science Foundation Europe/Eurasia Office

Multi-level RTDI Cooperation with International Partner Countries - from Policy Dialogue to Action, Klaus Schuch, Strategic Research Manager, Centre for Social Innovation

17:30 – 18:00 Concluding Plenary Session: Boarding Time, Last Call? Sum – Up / Conclusions / Main Messages

Octavi Quintana – Trias, Director of the European Research Area (ERA), Directorate General for Research and Innovation, European Commission – Chair of the Session

Next Steps During the Irish Presidency, Dermot Curran, Assistant Secretary of the Innovation and Investment Division at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Wrap Up and Final Comments, George Georghiou, Permanent Secretary, Planning Bureau

20:00 – 22:30 Networking Dinner (Chateau Status Restaurant)Task 3.2: Invitations to Speakers and Participants and Opening of Registration

Invitations to Speakers
After finalising the list with the speakers an official invitation was sent as well as a draft Programme and a detailed description of Conference and expected outcome of their presentation (e.g. content, context, objectives, speakers, type of interventions) (APPENDIX D3.1b Invitation to Speakers) as agreed with CSC. In case of a positive answer detailed emails regarding the logistics were sent and emails with detailed guidelines with information about the content of the Conference and the suggested structure of the Sessions and the final Programme of the Conference.

Moreover, Chairs of all Sessions were encouraged to contact their Panelists directly in order to discuss the structure and focus of their Session. Speakers were requested to send their presentation to the Organisers at least one week before the Conference. In cases were presentations deviated significantly from the focus of the Session, this was brought to the attention of the Chair.

The Organisers also hosted informative group meetings for Speakers in the morning prior to the start of the Conference Programme. During these meetings, the Organisers explained the purpose of each Session and offered the opportunity to Speakers for further information or clarifications.

Invitations to Participants
In order to ensure maximum participation and publicity of the Conference, a “Save the Date” invitation was send out to relevant stakeholders approximately 3 months prior to the event. Information on the Conference was also distributed to all European Chambers of Commerce and Trade Associations to ensure participation from the industry community. The organisation of the event was also communicated to high level Research Centres and Universities in the EU, as well as Government Representatives, Policy Officers and Research and Innovation Agencies.

A draft Programme and a guide for registration and accommodation Conference was prepared and sent out along with the official invitations. (APPENDIX D3.1c Invitation to Participants)

Task 3.3: Implementation of the Organisational Guide

D3.2 Report on the implementation of the Conference
All organisational issues were implemented according to the Organisational Guide prepared in Task 2.3 (D.2.2).

The Conference took place on the 14th of November 2012 (9 am to 6 pm) at the International Conference Centre FILOXENIA, in Nicosia. A networking dinner followed (8 pm to 10.30 pm) at Château Status Restaurant in Nicosia.

According to the on-site registration data, 159 Participants attended the Conference. The List of Participants and the Conference Attendance Record are attached as Deliverables (APPENDIX D3.2b List of Participants).

The Registration system opened on September 24, 2012 and remained operational until three weeks prior to the meeting. The deadline for the registration was extended to November 5, 2012 at the request of the participants.

The participants were coming from the broader research and innovation stakeholder community such as policy makers and governmental representatives; independent researchers and academic associations of researchers; industrial and business sectors, funding organisations; high level representatives from the relevant European Union institutions; and groups promoting gender-balance issues.

As far as the participants’ background is concerned, it is important to note that the representation between the public, industry and business sectors was balanced (for more details please see APPENDIX D3.2b).

Finally, many of the participants, due to their role as representatives of a respective research and innovation stakeholder community, acted as multipliers for the dissemination of the Conference conclusions.

Regarding transportation, the travel agency acting on behalf of the Organisers contacted all speakers in a timely fashion and made all necessary travelling arrangements. The detailed speakers’ flight schedule, as requested by the Organisers, facilitated their transportation from and to the airport. The Conference venue was easily accessible from the hotels, with the buses provided by the Organisers scheduled for transporting all participants.

The registration system worked properly and efficiently. The relevant guide for registration sent by the Organisers facilitated well the whole procedure.

The pre-booking of hotels and the fixed prices requested by the Organisers allowed all participants to finding suitable accommodation in the Nicosia.

The Conference venue was well equipped, conveniently located at the city centre, and fulfilled all security criteria. The catering provided was of the highest quality, just as the media coverage complemented the Conference well.

Finally, the all-important networking dinner that concluded the Conference brought the participants closer together and produced the necessary grounds and opportunities for further collaboration, thus making the Conference a great success.

3) Deliverables
D3.1a Final Conference Programme
D3.1b Invitation to Speakers
D3.1c Invitation to Participants
D3.1d list of invited Participants

D3.2 Report on the implementation of the Conference
D3.2a Presentations of Speakers
D3.2b List of Participants

Awareness Raising (WP4)

1) Objectives

To disseminate the Conference event and to follow – up the Conference conclusions.

2) Tasks undertaken and results achieved

Task 4.1: Strategy for the Dissemination of the Conference Event

D4.1 Report on Dissemination Strategy
Dissemination activities for the promotion of Conference awareness were performed prior to its organisation. Being one of the four Official Presidency Conferences in the areas of Research and Innovation, the Conference was presented in every given opportunity relating to the Research and Innovation priorities of the Cypriot Presidency of the EU (info-days, press releases, interviews etc).

The main messages delivered were decided in close collaboration with the European Commission (DG for Research and Innovation, Unit B.1: European Research Area Policy). The implementation of the measures adopted in the EC’s Communication and the realisation of ERA by 2014 were the key messages. The slogan ‘Boarding Time’ reflected the urgency for actions to be taken by all involved parties.

The timetable for the dissemination activities was scheduled well in advance. In order to ensure maximum participation and publicity of the Conference, a “Save the Date” invitation was sent out to relevant stakeholders approximately 3 months prior to the event.

The potential audience was identified and lists with their contact details were prepared. Information on the Conference was distributed to the broader research and innovation stakeholder community such as policy makers and governmental representatives; independent researchers and academic associations of researchers; industrial and business sectors; funding organisations; high level representatives from the relevant European Union institutions; and groups promoting gender-balance issues. Information on the Conference was also distributed to all European Chambers of Commerce and Trade Associations to ensure participation from the industry community. The organisation of the event was also communicated to high level Research Centres and Universities in the EU, as well as to Research and Innovation Agencies.

Dissemination of the Conference was done also through the RPF’s and Planning Bureau's and the Secretariat of Cyprus Presidency mailing lists, websites and newsletters. An extensive article describing the R&D Presidency Conferences was published in RPF’s bi-monthly magazine ‘IPSIPETIS’. The Official Announcement of the Conference was sent and publicised in relevant nationwide and europewide magazines and websites.

The RPF and in collaboration with the Office of the Minister of Health (Research Portfolio under CY Presidency) prepared and published articles regarding Research and Innovation – Priorities of the Cyprus Presidency in newspapers in circulation nationwide. Also a Press Release was printed and delivered to Press & Information Office of the Republic and Cyprus News Agency. A Banner Posting with link to Official Announcement was uploaded in several European R&D related websites (EURAXESS, EUREKA, COST, Presidency, CORDIS, DG RI). Many press releases were published in nationwide and europewide magazines and websites.

Furthermore, in order to publicise the event in the local community, a Press Conference was organised one week before the Conference, on the 1st of November 2012, at the premises of the Planning Bureau. Statements were made by Mr George Georghiou, Chairman of RPF’s Board of Directors and Permanent Secretary of the Planning Bureau and Dr Vassilios Tsakalos, Director General of RPF. The Press Conference was successful since it was attended by all major national newspaper reporters and the Cyprus News Agency, which transmits daily news items in Greek, English and Turkish to its subscribers at home and abroad. Subscribers include daily and weekly newspapers, radio and television stations, international and national press agencies, international organisations, local public and private institutions, Cyprus embassies and press offices throughout the world, foreign embassies and diplomatic missions in Cyprus, as well as Cypriot and Greek overseas communities and their media (newspapers, radio and TV) mainly in Britain, Australia, the United States of America and Canada.

For detailed description of the dissemination activities please see Section A Template A2.

In order to ensure a wider outreach of the Conference, sessions were also broadcasted though live web streaming (http://www.livestream.com/eraconfcy). Photographic and video coverage of the Conference was also performed.

The Conference Logo and Templates, the Conference Official Announcement and published articles are attached as Deliverables of this task (APPENDIX D4.1a).

The Live Web Streaming Analysis Report, the Video Recordings of the Conference and the Conference Photos are attached as Deliverables of this task (APPENDIX D4.1b).

Task 4.2: Follow Up Process & Task 4.3: Dissemination Conference Conclusions

D4.2 Report on Conference Conclusions
A Conference follow-up was prepared in the form of a paper summarizing the discussions and opinions expressed during the Conference, which was presented at the Competitiveness Council in December 2012, as planned (APPENDIX D4.2a CY Presidency Conferences Outcomes).

Conference Outcomes and Recommendations published in DG R&I (ERA Section) portal:

The Conference acknowledged the need to join forces and work together to achieve the objectives set in the ERA Communication and there was overall support to the process described by the European Commission. It has been accepted by all that the functioning of the ERA will yield multiple benefits to the European research in its totality, and that the reaping of benefits can only start if well orchestrated measures are introduced by EU member states, by the Commission and by the stakeholder organisations. The opening up of national research programmes, cross-border cooperation, the portability of grants, the achievement of homogeneity in researchers careers and the gender issues are elements that need firm commitment and dedicated work. Participants also supported the need of more competition in research, based on international peer reviews.

Other important outcomes of the conference are:

Cross-border cooperation is indispensable for the achievement of ERA.

Member States should open up their national systems to attract best brains from all over the world, and remove barriers to recruitment, retention and career progress of female researchers.

Developing synergies between different national and EU funding sources, including by linking national Research Infrastructure roadmaps to ESFRI Roadmap and Structural Funds and prioritization of research infrastructures included in the ESFRI roadmap.

Improving knowledge transfer between universities, public research organizations and industry is essential. Public-private mobility is crucial for knowledge transfer and open innovation.

Supportive to the principles of open access to publicly funded research, emphasizing that achieving European progress requires collaboration, coordination, follow-up and sharing of experience between government and stakeholder organizations.

Europe needs to join forces globally to tackle global challenges efficiently, and make sure to get access to the best research teams.

The proposed ERA Monitoring Mechanism will indentify the state of play on the proposed ERA actions needed for policy steering, but also contribute to increased transparency, trust, interaction and mutual learning between research actors and national and regional governments. In this line the Indicators for all MS should be comparable. Experiences with ERAWATCH and by organisations such as the OECD should be comparable.

Experiences with ERAWATCH and by organisations such as the OECD should be taken into account in the designing and developing of a Research and Innovation Observatory.


In addition, in her presentation before the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) of the European Parliament (EP), Cyprus' Minister of Interior, Ms Eleni Mavrou, who was also responsible for the research portfolio for part of the Cyprus Presidency, the Cyprus Presidency made substantial progress in the creation of the European Research Area, through the adoption of relevant Council Conclusions.

In order to disseminate the Conference discussions and outcomes, Speakers Presentations were made available for downloading to all participants (https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v7nmvopr8hes02v/-bcn3pDRB5). Also, all videos of the Sessions that took place in the Main Conference Room were made available for online viewing and downloading at http://www.livestream.com/eraconfcy. A Short Video with the highlights of the Conference was also prepared and disseminated through the DG’s R&I portal (http://ec.europa.eu/research/era/news-01_en.htm).

For detailed description of the dissemination activities please see Section A Template A2.

3) Deliverables
D4.1 Report on Dissemination Strategy
D4.1a Conference Logo and Templates, the Conference Official Announcement and published articles
D4.1b Live Web Streaming Analysis Report, the Video Recordings of the Conference and the Conference Photos
D4.2 Report on Conference Conclusions
D4.2a CY Presidency Conferences Outcomes

Potential Impact:
The Conference was successful in terms of achieving its primary objective which was to bring all relevant ERA stakeholders together in Cyprus, with a view to giving appropriate momentum to the actions to be taken in order to realise ERA by 2014, as indicated in the Work Programme ‘Support for the Coherent Development of Research Policies’ of the CAPACITIES Programme.



The Conference was the first official forum for discussion after the adoption of the Communication of the European Commission on ERA policy agenda (June 2012). Key ERA stakeholders and distinguished speakers from all fields (policy makers, researchers, industry / business, funding organisations) from national regional local level as well as high level representatives from the relevant EU Institutions presented their views and facilitated at the same time the discussions for the implementation of the specific ERA measures.

In addition, the Conference discussions achieved the appropriate involvement of all ERA stakeholders in the ERA debate thus giving the signal of an inclusive approach towards ERA implementation. Finally, many of the participants, due to their role as representatives of a respective research and innovation stakeholder community, acted as multipliers for the dissemination of the Conference conclusions.

The topics discussed were touching on the key subjects where most action is needed in order to complete the ERA. The Conference acknowledged the need to join forces and work together to achieve the objectives set in the ERA Communication and there was overall support to the process described by the European Commission. It has been concluded that the realisation of ERA will bring multiple benefits to the European research in its totality and for this to happen joint efforts and well orchestrated measures are needed from EU member states, the Commission and the stakeholder organisations.



Dissemination activities for the promotion of the Conference awareness were performed prior to its organisation. In addition, as a Conference follow-up, the Conference’s main conclusions were drafted in the form of a paper summarizing the discussions and opinions expressed during the Conference and presented to the Competiveness Council of the December 2012 as well as published on the Directorate’s General for Research and Innovation website (relevant section for ERA).

For detailed description of the dissemination activities please see previous section (tasks performed under WP4) and Section A Template A2.



The European added value of the Conference springs both from its content and the invited participants and speakers. The Conference attracted stakeholders from all over Europe and encouraged their discussions on the ERA’s future in the context of the Innovation Union and at the same time signalled the ‘boarding time’ for all ERA actors.

List of Websites:

There was not a public website dedicated to the conference. Official announcement was made through the CY Presidency portal and the conclusions were disseminated through the DG RI portal (ERA section)



http://www.cy2012.eu/index.php/en/political-calendar/areas/competitiveness/presidency-conference-completing-the-european-research-area-in-the-context-of-the-innovation-union


http://ec.europa.eu/research/era/news-01_en.htm

Informations connexes

Reported by

RESEARCH PROMOTION FOUNDATION