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European Research, Innovation and Education

June 2012 – 2012/06

Contents SEEN FROM BRUSSEL Sommet de la dernière chance

2

RESEARCH Horizon 2020 at heart of Cypriot presidency

4

Focus: Will COST find its way into Horizon 2020?

5

> Publications

6

Galileo to be extended from 2014 to 2020

6

Innovating Europe out of the crisis

6

Report on impact of science

6

INNOVATION Innovation must lead Europe out of crisis

7

A systemic approach to prioritising Key Enabling Technologies

8

> Publications Online data protection in Europe needs improvements

10 10

EDUCATION Quiet Cypriot presidency in education

11

Europe 2020 targets far from reach?

12

> Publications

13

Leonardo da Vinci in a statistical nutshell

13

Looking into traineeships and apprenticeships

13

Europass gains visibility

13

INTRA MUROS Traineeships at SwissCore

This edition of the SwissCore Synopsis as well as previous editions are available on our website. SwissCore - Contact Office for European Research, Innovation and Education Rue du Trône 98 • B-1050 Bruxelles • Tel. +32-2-549 09 80 • Fax +32-2-549 09 89 infodesk@swisscore.org • www.swisscore.org

14


SEEN FROM BRUSSELS Sommet de la dernière chance With serious pressure on the Eurozone through speculative attacks by the financial markets, the last weeks contained turbulent episodes around the Euro. Moreover, the European Union (EU) found itself in midst of crucial negotiations around its next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) from 2014 to 2020 therewith framing the budgets for and adoption of future programmes like Horizon 2020 and Erasmus for All. Overall, there seems to be a trend towards also investing in growth and jobs. The European Commission (EC) on 30 May has published the communication ‘Action for stability, growth and jobs’ containing a package of countryspecific recommendations for budgetary measures and economic reforms to enhance financial stability and a vision for boosting growth and creating employment: member states are on the whole taking the necessary action to restore financial sustainability, but in several cases consolidation should be more growth-friendly. Barroso’s call from 13 June for an inter-institutional agreement on growth, including a stronger Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) along with a banking union, was strongly supported at a meeting between François Hollande and Mario Monti on 18 June. This new Franco-Italian axis of ‘imagination and innovation’ is directed against the German standpoint of budgetary rigour and opposition to ‘quick fixes’ such as Eurobonds or a common European bank guarantee fund. The European Council on 28 and 29 June – le sommet de la dernière chance – confirmed the trend towards also investing in jobs and growth as Germany gave in to the refusal of Italy

and Spain to accept the ‘Compact for Growth and Jobs’ of €120 billion without relief on the Excessive Dept Procedure: countries undertaking the necessary reforms may from now on ask for financial support from the EU under the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) only. The meeting of the General Affairs Council on 29 May 2012 revealed deep divisions on the MFF. While a group of seven net-paying countries wanted a smaller budget than the EC had proposed, the ‘friends of cohesion’ of 15 countries defended the EC with “cohesion policy as a major tool for investment, growth and jobs”. While many states called for an abolition of rebates (Spain, Hungary, Romania, Greece, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Bulgaria), the few profiting from them defended them. Also the system of own revenues for the EU and the ways to generate them was highly disputed. The European Parliament (EP) is strongly opposed against any cuts of the proposed budget and clearly envisages own resources through a European tax in for example carbon emissions, financial transactions and/or mobile telephones. While the Danish presidency proposed to get GMES and ITER back into MFF, Portugal and Bulgaria supported the EC in keeping GMES and ITER outside MFF. Projects bonds allowing a number of predefined infrastructure projects total limited to €230 million, a considerable increase of the European Investment Bank (EIB) capital and the use of unspent part of community funds were achieved by the end of May however. The objective is still to reach an agreement on the MFF before the end of this year.

03 July 2012 • SwissCore

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Le sommet de la dernière chance did provide an adoption of a ‘Compact for Growth and Jobs’ and the EU financial support to countries, but it delayed the crucial decisions on the further integration towards a fiscal and a banking union until December and no substantial progress was made on the adoption of the MFF.

The serious disagreements between the EU institutions on how to combat the financial crisis, as well as on the MFF thus stay as a black cloud above the budgets allocated to Horizon 2020 and Erasmus for All with the threat of the EP to delay the adoption of the MFF as the worst case scenario.

EC Communication (pdf) Non-paper pleading for freezing EU Budget (pdf) Conclusions European Council (pdf)

03 July 2012 • SwissCore

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RESEARCH Horizon 2020 at heart of Cypriot presidency For the first time in its history, Cyprus will hold the presidency of the Council of the European Union (Council) from 1 July to 31 December 2012. Of the four overarching priorities of the presidency, two clearly set their focus on research and innovation: ‘A more efficient and sustainable Europe’ and ‘A better performing and growth-based economy in Europe’. Considering the priorities from a research point of view, the negotiations on the adoption of Horizon 2020 will remain central to the Cypriot presidency. While the Council has recently reached a partial general approach on the regulation establishing Horizon 2020, the Rules for Participation and Dissemination (RfP) and the Specific Programme Implementing Horizon 2020 (SP) still need to be discussed. The integration of the European Institute of Technology (EIT) into Horizon 2020 is another key issue that will be debated. On the RfP, the presidency aims at reaching an agreement during the Competitiveness Council scheduled for 10 October. A strong debate is expected between the member states, as the proposal of the European Commission (EC) came under fire from the European Parliament (EP) on issues such as the flat rate for the recovery of indirect costs or the single reimbursement rates for all participants and all activities. The Cypriot presidency has announced as well its ambition to reach a partial general approach on the Specific Programme (SP), the third legislative document of Horizon 2020. The agreement should fall during the last Competitiveness Council meeting on 11 December. Decisions on the total financial envelope and the exact budgetary al-

locations for Horizon 2020 are however directly linked to the adoption of the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF), which is rather unclear at this moment (see page 3). On the EIT, the Cypriot presidency publically underlined its importance for achieving Europe’s goals in research, innovation and growth. The EIT has become a major element of Horizon 2020: the EC proposed a tenfold budget increase and it will be fully integrated into Horizon 2020. A strong debate on the EIT legislative proposals is currently under way in the EP. The presidency has committed itself to reaching an agreement in the Council in December, after an important conference in Larnaca from 8 to 9 November. Additionally, the EC has foreseen the release of two important communications that will highlight its vision for a) the completion of the European Research Area (ERA) and b) its International Cooperation (INCO) in Science and Technology (S&T). The Cypriot presidency will lead discussions between member states and present Council conclusions on the ERA framework in December. Emphasis will be set on open access, human resources and cross-border cooperation. The Council conclusions on the INCO S&T communication should only fall under Irish presidency in spring 2013. In conclusion, Horizon 2020 will be at the heart of the Cypriot presidency because of the many Horizon 2020related dossiers that need a formal agreement at the Council.

Website of the Cypriot presidency

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RESEARCH

Focus: Will COST find its way into Horizon 2020? Founded in 1971, the European Cooperation in Science in Technology framework (COST) brings together researchers from 35 countries across Europe, plus Israel as ‘cooperating state’. COST was set-up to provide nationallyfunded researchers with instruments for cooperation, networking and dissemination of scientific results. COST is often seen as a precursor for the European Research Area (ERA), because of its early foundation date its ability to link national research funding organisations. Due to its success, COST received €240 million from the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), even though it is an intergovernmental organisation. For the next framework programme (Horizon 2020), COST wishes its budget to be increased to €560 million from 2014 to 2020. This would allow the organisation to support 1’190 new actions across the next seven years. Recent developments on the negotiations on Horizon 2020 have offered support to COST. During the Competitiveness Council on 31 May 2012, a partial general approach was reached on the regulation establishing Horizon 2020. The Council emphasises the need of widening participation across Europe and the building up of synergies and complementarities with other funding programmes. In that sense, COST has received special attention. It was explicitly mentioned in an article on

cross-cutting issues aiming at strengthening ‘international networks for excellent researchers and innovators’. The rationale behind this decision builds on the success of COST as predecessor of the ERA and on the will of the member states to use COST to link researchers from scientifically weak regions to leading ones without compromising on the ‘excellence’ intention of the framework programmes. The direct uptake of COST in Horizon 2020 by the Council is however only a first step. The final adoption of the text is conditioned by the negotiations with the European Parliament and the European Commission. In a document released on 21 June 2012, COST’s executive body stressed the organisation’s commitment to widen pan-European participation, to encourage capacity building and to increase cooperation with neighbouring countries. These conclusions are in line with the Council’s recommendations and highlight a broadly shared common vision for Horizon 2020. COST has communicated as well its will to address societal challenges and foster scientific excellence, which clearly fits into Horizon 2020 objectives. The organisation further insists on the efficiency and simplicity of its networking instruments that allow the diffusion of knowledge and facilitate the linking of ‘pockets of excellence’ throughout Europe.

COST position paper

03 July 2012 • SwissCore

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RESEARCH

> Publications Galileo to be extended from 2014 to 2020 During a Transport, Telecommunications and En-

the period of the next Multi-annual Financial

ergy Council meeting from 8 to 9 June 2012, a

Framework (MFF) from 2014 to 2020. The regula-

partial general approach was reached on a regula-

tion calls for resources reaching up to €7.9 billion.

tion defining a new financial and governance

However, no decision was taken on the exact

framework for the European satellite systems

amount of funding for the two programmes, as the

‘European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Ser-

MFF has not been adopted yet.

vice’ (EGNOS) and ‘Galileo’. The agreement covers Press release (pdf) Partial General Approach (pdf)

Innovating Europe out of the crisis Recently, the

Board

framework for research and innovation and on

(ERAB) has published its third and final report

European

Research Area

ways to maximise ‘high risk - high gain’ research

entitled ‘The new renaissance: will it happen?

in the next framework programme Horizon 2020.

Innovation Europe out of the crisis’. ERAB, in

The report describes as well the views of the board

which Switzerland is represented, has been set up

on a variety of themes ranging from venture capi-

in 2007 to provide the European Commission with

tal to the cohesion of European research and inno-

advice on how to effectively achieve the European

vation. In its final conclusions, ERAB insists on

Research Area (ERA). In this final report, ERAB

promoting more ‘risky’ research projects, proposes

proposes a series of recommendations on research

the creation of a scientific ethical code and stress-

and innovation policy, on a common strategic

es the need for improvements in social innovation.

ERAB report (pdf)

Report on impact of science On 4 June 2012, the Science and Technology Op-

also discusses the first effects of the ‘MEP-

tions Assessment Group (STOA) of the European

Scientists Pairing Scheme’ that was introduced last

Parliament (EP) has released its 2011 annual re-

year with the aim of bringing more understanding

port. STOA is mandated by the EP to carry out

to Members of the European Parliament (MEP) on

studies on the impact of science and technology on

the scientific research process and the benefits of

European policy and evaluate future policy options

scientific

from a technological point of view. In this report,

scheme also provided scientists with a deeper

STOA presents the outcomes of the actions organ-

knowledge on the policy-making process and the

ised throughout the year. The actions focused

work carried out at the EP. Finally, the document

mainly on societal challenges such as the sustain-

highlights the collaboration of STOA with the Joint

able society, e-Democracy and e-Participation,

Research Centre (JRC) and other options assess-

urban transport and modern energy. The report

ment groups.

knowledge.

Reciprocally,

the

pairing

STOA 2011 annual report (pdf)

03 July 2012 • SwissCore

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INNOVATION Innovation must lead Europe out of crisis It has been said many times: Europe needs innovation to overcome the financial crisis and the social crisis resulting from it. But how can innovation be fostered, supported or simply brought about? In a high-level conference titled ‘Mission Growth’ on 29 May 2012 in Brussels, José Manuel Barroso and several of his colleagues presented their vision of a ‘new industrial revolution’, which would help strengthen industry as the fundament of Europe’s economy. The vision entails the gradual substitution of hydrocarbons as our main source of energy by a more efficient and sustainable use of resources. New production techniques based on digital technologies, advanced materials, key enabling technologies, space, robotics, renewable energy, recycling and reuse of raw materials would help reach the set targets. Many economic sectors would be involved, notably manufacturing, services, energy, raw materials, transport, construction, and chemicals. In short, “Europe needs to exploit the business opportunities resulting from the transition to a more sustainable, resource efficient and low carbon economy”, which means relevant policies are needed to provide consistency, coherence and certainty and create the right conditions for innovation. There are however some hurdles to be taken on the way to the industrial revolution. Firstly, the regulatory conditions need to be created in order for an innovation-friendly climate to be spread across Europe. Standardisation is helpful to ensure quality and improve an easier flow along supply chains. The protection of intellectual property rights with a unitary patent is a goal still to be achieved, but the target date of 2014

for the first European-wide patent is coming closer at a rapid pace, even though there is some progress to be noted in the discussions, like a recent meeting of the European Council in Luxembourg and the narrowing down of options for the future location of a European Patent Court. The second challenge is to raise the demand for innovation as without a market, no new product or service can survive. For this purpose, the EC has launched a Public Consultation tapping into stakeholders’ ideas for generating demand-led innovation, which is running through to 6 September 2012. A third serious bottleneck is the access to finance for SME that typically drive innovation. Financial instruments for the support of research intensive and highrisk projects will be part of the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020) and the Programme for the Competitiveness of enterprises and SMEs (COSME), both starting in 2014. But there are still discussions about a synergies between the instruments provided by both programmes. A serious underfunding of COSME and a far too low ceiling of €150’000 are the main criticisms of the otherwise much appreciated initiative. The fourth major challenge is building up and maintaining skills that are necessary for an innovation and technology-driven boost to the economy. Here one of the main tasks of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is seen in supporting specific training in entrepreneurship and new technologies at the regional level. This is to foster the creation of new companies and hence new employment and to support existing companies in 03 July 2012 • SwissCore

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INNOVATION

their search for skilled workers to help them become and maintain their competitiveness. And last but not least, all programmes starting in 2014 need immediate actions and ideas. The European Commission has launched a second Public Consultation for this purpose, asking for input to develop new initiatives that can deliver substantial results in the short-term. The result of the consulta-

tion, which runs until 7 August 2012 will be published in the review of the industrial policy communication planned for September 2012. After a very busy build-up to the summer, it can be expected that autumn in Brussels will see further discussions on these issues but hopefully also some decisions, notably on the question of the unitary patent.

Mission Growth Consultation on industrial innovation Consultation on industrial policy communication Meeting agenda of Competitiveness Council

A systemic approach to prioritising KET The European Commission (EC) has acknowledged the need for a coherent European strategy on Key Enabling Technologies (KET) and has proposed a systemic approach in its communication ‘A European Strategy for Key Enabling Technologies – A bridge to growth and jobs’ published on 26 June 2012. They are praised as a ‘key source of innovation’ and an important means to solving societal challenges and have therefore been put at the centre of European innovation policy. The following six KET have been defined as being of systemic relevance:  micro-/nanoelectronics;  nanotechnology;  photonics;  advanced materials;  industrial biotechnology;  advanced manufacturing technologies. With a current global market volume of €646 billion with a projection of over €1 trillion by 2015 and a fourfold expected social return on investment in additional taxes and social security contributions, the EC sees KET as the driving force for the economy. The European Union (EU)

currently is the global leader in KET development and holds a strong competitive advantage with one third of all patent applications, which is to be the only region to play a leading role in all six KET. However, this position is jeopardised by the EU’s weakness in capitalising on its knowledge base and to translate it into goods and services and ultimately into growth and jobs. This lack to overcome the so called ‘Valley of Death’ has been put down to several reasons, such as the lack of a common definition and understanding of KET or the missing support for high-risk demonstration and proof-of-concept projects. This can be addressed by creating synergies between EU policies and instruments and ensuring a better coordination of activities at the European and national level. Also, industry is expected to play a much more significant role than before. Therefore, the suggested strategy aims at a more efficient and productive allocation of existing resources without an increase in public funding for KET. Concretely, the measures suggested are 03 July 2012 • SwissCore

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INNOVATION

based on three pillars: technological research; product demonstration; competitive manufacturing and include the following elements:  With €6’663 billion earmarked for KET, research and innovation financing under ‘Industrial Leadership’ within Horizon 2020 will constitute a main part of the KET strategy.  KET will constitute investment priorities for the European Regional Development Fund (EDRF).  The state aid rules for Research, Development and Innovation (R&D&I) may be used for addressing clearly identified market failures under the condition of not distorting competition.  The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide approximately €1 billion for R&D&I-support and risk sharing facilities related to KET.

 The EC intends to provide a more favourable trade environment with regards to KET.  The EC will launch a forecasting tool for the needs of the labour market with regards to KET.  The EC will set up a monitoring mechanism in 2013 to collect market data on KET. The communication will be discussed in the European Parliament, the Council of the EU, the European Economic and Social Committee as well as the Committee of the Regions. The outcome will feed into the adoption of the abovementioned instruments, including the proposed Knowledge and Innovation Community on ‘Added-value manufacturing’.

EC communication (pdf)

03 July 2012 • SwissCore

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INNOVATION

> Publications Online data protection in Europe needs improvements On 4 June 2012, the Joint Research Centre (JRC)

own responsibility rather than that of policymak-

of the European Commission has published a re-

ers, even though public institutions are trusted

port on the results of the largest survey ever con-

more than Internet companies. Despite an increas-

ducted about behaviours, attitudes and regulatory

ing perception of risk in general, the dangers of

preferences concerning data protection, privacy

online transactions and e-commerce are largely

and electronic identity, both on the Internet and

disregarded. Online-shopping is still undertaken

otherwise in the daily lives. The ‘Pan-European

mainly domestically and is correlated with a gen-

survey of practices, attitudes and policy prefer-

eral trust in companies. The key principles of EU

ences as regards personal identity data manage-

data protection legislation, which guarantee infor-

ment’ was conducted in the 27 member states of

mation when personal data is lost or stolen and

the European Union (EU) in 2010 with a sample of

the option to delete or edit this at any time, is

nearly 27’000. Residents in each EU member state

largely supported by Europeans. However, online

over 15 years were interviewed. The results cov-

data protection is still underdeveloped with only

ered four key areas of the Digital Agenda: Authen-

four in ten using anti-spam or and anti-spy soft-

tication and Identification, e-Commerce, Social

ware. In its report, the JRC argues that user’s

Networking Sites, and Medical Information as

should have easy control of their digital identity

Personal Data. Whereas a majority of three in four

and that trusted technical systems are needed to

Europeans see the disclosure of biographical, so-

ensure an easy way for providing this. There

cial, financial or medical data as inevitable, if they

should be more data controllers, who need to be

want to benefit from the Internet’s full potential,

trusted by users so less regulations would be

very few feel in control of their data. Data protec-

needed.

tion is considered as the companies’ and users’ Survey website

03 July 2012 • SwissCore

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EDUCATION Quiet Cypriot presidency in education Cyprus will hold the presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 July to 31 December 2012. In the field of education, there will be a focus on four priorities: literacy, lifelong guidance, equity and excellence in Vocational Education and Training (VET), and the further adoption of Erasmus for All. The issue of literacy will first be addressed during a conference in Nicosia from 5 to 6 September, where the results of the High Level Group on Literacy appointed two years ago will be presented. There will be further discussions during the Informal Education Council from 4 to 5 October in Nicosia and conclusions will be adopted during the Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (ECYS) Council from 22 to 23 November in Brussels. Regarding lifelong guidance, the objective of the Cypriot presidency is to support member states in improving their national lifelong guidance policies. In order to do so, a resolution based on former 2004 and 2008 Council resolutions will be adopted during the ECYS Council. Moreover, VET will remain a priority under the Cypriot presidency, which will draft and most probably adopt conclusions on equity and excellence in VET. The communication of the European Commission (EC) on ‘Rethinking skills’ expected for autumn 2012 will serve as a basis for drafting these conclusions, which will not focus on excellence as such, but more on the VET systems and their ability to provide relevant skills for the labour market. Higher Education (HE) will not be addressed during the Cypriot presidency, since the EC communication on the in-

ternational dimension of HE will come out in 2013 only. However, the permeability and pathways between HE and VET will be on the agenda of a joint meeting of the Directors-General for VET and for HE on 23 October in Nicosia. On the side of youth, a Directors-General meeting will take place in Cyprus from 11 to 13 September. Another event worth mentioning is the conference on ‘Opening-up education through technologies’ co-hosted by the Cypriot presidency and Norway, which will take place in December in Oslo. Finally and most importantly, the further adoption of Erasmus for all will of course stay a priority, but the Cypriot presidency will not be able to progress very much in the negotiations, since a partial general approach was already reached by the Danish presidency (see Synopsis 2012/05), the draft report of the European Parliament (EP) will only be adopted on 6 November in the Culture and Education Committee (CULT) and in 2013 in plenary session of the EP, and all budgetary issues will only be discussed once the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) has been adopted, i.e. not before the end of 2012. Therefore, the Cypriot presidency will only engage in informal discussions with the EP and closely follow its proceedings, as well as start preliminary discussions on the Master loan guarantee system and the minimum allocations per sector. All in all, the Cypriot presidency will be less busy than the Danish and the future Irish presidency with the negotiations process of Erasmus for all.

Website of the Cypriot presidency

03 July 2012 • SwissCore

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EDUCATION

Europe 2020 targets far from reach? On 30 May, the European Commission (EC) has published a communication on ‘Action for stability, growth and jobs’ accompanied by country-specific recommendations on all member states’ reform programmes (see page 2). They are based on the implementation progress of the 2011 recommendations and were officially adopted during the European Council on 28 and 29 June 2012. In the area of education and training, the recommendations focus on three priorities, all supporting the Europe 2020 strategy: reforms in the field of Vocational Education and Training (VET); countries’ performance regarding the targets on Early School Leaving (ESL) and higher education attainment; challenges related to specific disadvantaged groups.

Reforms in the field of VET are directly linked to the Youth Opportunities Initiative (see Synopsis 2012/01) launched in December 2011 and to the current endeavour of the EC, the European Parliament (EP) and a large number of member states to push for VET systems able to produce relevant skills for the labour market. Basically, member states which do not have a performing VET system are asked to develop more and better apprenticeship schemes. Regarding the Europe 2020 headline targets, six countries (Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Malta and Spain) specifically need to further address ESL and seven countries (Austria,

Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Latvia and Slovakia) had recommendations on higher education. In order to meet the Europe 2020 education targets, i.e. to reduce ESL to less than 10% and increase the share of 30 to 34 years-olds with a tertiary degree to at least 40%, some member states seem to need to work harder. This was again recently confirmed by figures compiled by Eurostat as part of the annual Labour Force Survey. Figures show that even if member states are making progress – 2011 higher education attainment at 34.6% compared to 33.5% in 2010 and 22.4% in 2000; 2011 ESL at 13.5% compared to 14.1% in 2010 and 17.6% in 2000 – wide disparities still remain, with for example Malta experiencing 33.5% of ESL and Spain 26.5%.

As a result, there is no certainty that these two headline targets will be reached by 2020. Moreover, the EC seems worried that the progress recorded is actually not the result of long-term impact reforms, but more a side-effect of the current high youth unemployment, which forces young people to stay longer in education and training by fear of entering the labour market. In any case, these two headline targets will stay in the loop of the EC, which will report on their latest developments in an ‘Education Monitor’ expected for the autumn 2012 as well as in the 2013 Annual Growth Survey.

EC communication and recommendations Labour Force Survey

03 July 2012 • SwissCore

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EDUCATION

> Publications Leonardo da Vinci in a statistical nutshell On 6 June 2012, the European Commission has

are the top three destinations for placements.

published a brochure presenting a statistical over-

Partnership projects exist only since 2008, but

view

programme's

they are increasingly popular. Some 300 transfer

achievements from 2007 to 2011. The brochure is

of innovation projects and 32 to 42 development

very similar to the Erasmus brochure published

of innovation projects were selected every year.

last month (see Synopsis 2012/05). In the five

Finally, 31 network projects were funded. All to-

years covered in the brochure, 16’700 mobility

gether, the brochure provides a good overview of

projects (equalling to 375’000 placements) were

the types of applicants and the topics and priori-

funded. Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain

ties addressed for each type of projects.

of

the

Leonardo

da

Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci Facts and Figures (pdf)

Looking into traineeships and apprenticeships On 31 May 2012, the Directorate-General for Em-

ty of traineeship arrangements existing in Europe.

ployment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities

Earlier in May, EMPL had published another study

(EMPL) of the European Commission has published

on ‘apprenticeship supply in the member states’,

the study ‘comprehensive overview on traineeship

which provides an overview of the apprenticeship-

arrangement in member states’. The objective was

type schemes in Europe and discusses their effec-

to gather a traineeship-related evidence base

tiveness in easing the transition into the labour

covering all European countries. The study points

market. Both studies result from the increased

out the lack of a common definition of traineeships

policy focus on traineeships and apprenticeships as

across member states as well as the great diversi-

a vector to stimulate youth employment.

Catalogue EMPL

Europass gains visibility The European Centre for the Development of Vo-

‘Skills for the future’ held in Copenhagen on 19

cational Training (Cedefop) has recently released

May 2012, as well as a page specifically dedicated

the first issue of the electronic Europass newslet-

to the Europass curriculum vitae. As highlighted by

ter, which should in the future be published three

a recent Cedefop briefing note, Europass is used

times a year, i.e. in May, September and Decem-

by a growing number of European citizens. By the

ber. This first edition contains the results of a

end of 2012, Europass users will be able to create

study on the impact of Europass Mobility on em-

an electronic European skills passport to make

ployability, a short summary of the conference

their

skills

and

qualifications

visible.

Europass newsletter (pdf) Cedefop briefing note (pdf)

03 July 2012 • SwissCore

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INTRA MUROS… Traineeships at SwissCore In June 2012, SwissCore had the pleasure to receive two trainees from our partners in Switzerland. We are delighted they both were willing to report on their experiences: “Brussels as a concept of policy-making with implications on the Swiss science and research landscape may appear far away and somewhat a black box. In turn, and seen from Brussels, the system of Academies was equally disclosed to the political observer. By the author of these lines spending a stage from 4 to 8 June, organised by SwissCore, in Europe’s political capital, mutual insights could be won and ideas to further the interests of the Swiss science community in Europe could be developed. The Swiss Academies are the umbrella organisation of four academies covering the natural, social and human, medical and the engineering sciences, plus the two centres of competence Science et Cité and TA-SWISS. Through their organisational set-up – with scientific societies as members and/or ad personam membership – they have access to scientific expertise, across disciplines and organisations. Important elements in their brief are to serve as sciencesociety/policy interface by promoting dialogue between them and by providing scientific advice for policy-making. These goals are also part of the Swiss Academies’ international approach, whose activities focus on Europe, where an additional area of activity is to influence science policy developments. For this purpose, they are a member of the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) and the All European Academies (ALLEA) respectively.

stakeholders with an interest and mission in the European science landscape, such as the European University Association or Science Europe. The insights from the many interesting and enriching formal and informal discussions were many and seem evident, but maybe not so obvious to be implemented. Among the key conclusions: the academies need to clearly define their European profile and take a niche position that is not taken already by other stakeholders in the European Research Area; it would improve the effectiveness of their interaction with the Commission if there was only one organisation that would represent for the academies in Europe; through their Memorandum of Understanding with the Joint Research Centres (JRC), EASAC has gained privileged access to the Commission and is taken serious regarding the provision of science for policy. As a first step of following up the week in Brussels, the Swiss Academies envisage to rally fellow academies to provide their views on the Commission’s Communication regarding the ERA Framework, expected to be published on 17 July.” by Roger Pfister, Head of the International Cooperation Desk at Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences

SwissCore organised a most helpful visitor’s programme, with relevant interlocutors at the European Commission and 03 July 2012 • SwissCore

14


“SwissCore organised for me a tailormade traineeship of more than 15 meetings from 18 to 28 June. I had the occasion to meet some of my pairs in Brussels as well as several Heads of Unit Communication from different Directorates-General. SwissCore provided me with good contacts and gave me the opportunity to see how the different communication units are organised and what they produce. The main focus of the traineeship was firstly on science communication strategies and activities, but also to have an up-date on the ongoing preparation for the next European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon2020). It was the occasion to convey the communication activities in Switzerland from the ones

made at the European Commission. I also benefited from the expertise within SwissCore making some fruitful exchanges with the team regarding information, best practises and writing rules. This traineeship gave also the possibility for Euresearch to gain visibility among the different meetings made, for instance some synergies were created with the communication unit of Directorate-General Research and Innovation to share the success stories. A traineeship that I definitively recommend to the Swiss actors in the European research, innovation and education community.” by Véronique Sordet, Communication Manager at Euresearch Head Office

03 July 2012 • SwissCore

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Synopsis June 2012  

Synopsis Newsletter June 2012

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