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The launching conference of the Stairway to Excellence Project was held in Prague on October 2-3, 2014. This event offered a first opportunity to identify the key elements for building successful synergies and gave a useful insight into how synergies could be achieved in practice. A diverse set of experiences from five EU countries (CY, CZ, FR, ES and UK) and an international organization were presented as a source of inspiration for other regional and national managing authorities and the research community.
The Smart Specialisation Platform of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre and DG REGIO are jointly organising a launching event of the Stairway to Excellence Project (S2E).
Building excellence in a given area of research and innovation often takes years if not decades of sustained efforts. The development of good national/regional research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation (RIS3) leads regions from targeted EU countries to identify a limited number of research areas and industrial activities with high innovation potential – to be reinforced and developed using European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and thus becoming more excellent and competitive in Horizon2020 calls. Supporting synergies between the two funding sources will deliver additional gains in terms of innovation results, close the innovation gap in Europe and promote economic growth.
The "Stairway to Excellence" European Pilot Project is centred on:
- Providing assistance to countries that joined the European Union since 2004 with the aim of closing the innovation gap, promoting excellence in all regions and EU countries;
- Stimulating the early and effective implementation of national and regional Smart Specialisation Strategies.
Objectives of the Conference
The principal objectives of this conference are:
- To launch the project and explain its rationale, objectives and roadmap.
- To raise awareness of the actions needed to enable synergies between different EU funding programmes for research and innovation
- To share experiences in combining Structural Funds and Framework Programme to improve excellence in R&I systems
- Draw lessons for the future
Who should attend?
- National and regional managing authorities both from EU countries and regions very successful in the past Framework Programmes and from the countries targeted by the project
- National contact points both from countries and regions very successful in the past Framework Programmes and from the countries targeted by the project
- National and regional authorities in charge of Smart specialisation strategies from the countries targeted by the project
- Members of the Horizon 2020 programme committee
As an outcome of the launching conference, the European Commission, JRC-IPTS, Seville published in December 2014 the S3 Policy Brief Series No. 12/2014 "Synergies between EU R&I Funding Programmes. Policy Suggestions from the Launching Event of the Stairway to Excellence Project". This Policy Brief addresses the concept of synergies arising from the two major EU funding sources (The European Structural and Investment Funds and Horizon 2020) in the context of the new Stairway to Excellence Project. Read more.
Venue & Date: Corinthia Hotel, Prague (Czech Republic) on 02 and 03 October 2014, Final Agenda
Presentations of Sessions II: Key elements for Building Successful Synergies: Good practice examples
Moderator: Andrea Conte, S2E Project Leader, Knowledge for Growth, JRC-IPTS Seville of European Commission
- Guide on synergies between European Structural and Investment Funds, Horizon2020 - Katja Reppel, Deputy Head of Unit, DG REGIO
- Architecture of R+i programmes for the impulse of regional competitivity - Juan Tomás Hernani, Secretary General for Innovation and Industry, European Spallation Source, Sweden.
- Building Successful Synergies - Lessons Learned by the Alsace Europe Network R&I - Katharina Robohm, Bureau Alsace Europe, France.
- Successful Design of Parallel Horizon 2020-ESIF Project Funding - Martin Palkovic, Managing Director, IT4Innovations national supercomputing center, Czech Republic.
- The Scottish approach to building synergies between H2020 and ESIF into Programme Design - Shane Rankin, Head of European Structural Funds Division, Scottish Government, and Ian McCoull, Director Innovation Support
Presentations of Sessions III: New Challenges and Opportunities from EU R&I Funding Instruments: Good practice examples
Moderator: Marek Przeor, Competence Centre Smart and Sustainable Growth, DG REGIO, European Commission
- Spreading of Excellence and Widening Participation Initiatives - Ciaran Dearle, Policy Officer, DG RTD, European Commission
- Valorising cross-border cooperation in R&I projects - Javier García, Director of Industrial Leadership, EU Programmes Division of CDTI, Spain
- Combining Structural Funds and Framework Programmes to improve excellence in R&I: the case of the Cyprus Institute - Nicolas Jarraud, Scientific Coordinator of the Cyprus Institute, Cyprus.
- Interlinking of funding: never-ending adventure - Jiři Kolman, Scientific Secretary, Gobal Change Research Centre, Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic.
- Participating to the ERA. The challenge for new Member States: Preliminary results from MIRRIS - Anita Tregner-Mlinaric, Manager of MIRRIS Project in META Group, Belgium.