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European Research, Innovation and Education

November 2013 – 2013/11

Contents SEEN FROM BRUSSELS “Europe has delivered!“


RESEARCH Who do Europeans trust in science and technology?


European entreprises invest more in R&D


> Publications


LERU’s 25 Assembly


Adoption of Horizon 2020


Your chance to become an expert for Horizon 2020


Launch of EU-Russia Year of Science



INNOVATION Eurostars 2 will offer opportunities to SME


Access to finance as concern for SME


> Publications


Horizon 2020 to speed up innovation


Europe will continue presence in space


Commission explores ways to fund start-ups


EDUCATION Challenges for European Education & Training


Fruitful November for Europe of education


> Publications


More efficient mutual recognition of qualifications


Learning mobility outside Europe


Entrepreneurial universities: fact or fiction?


INTRA MUROS … Swiss ‘Boson’ Lecture


Erasmus+ traineeship for Swiss HEI


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 98, rue du Trône in 1050 Brussels • Tel. +32 2 549 09 80 • Fax +32 2 549 09 89 •

SEEN FROM BRUSSELS “Europe has delivered!“ The European Parliament (EP) has adopted the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) - the overall budget of the European Union (EU) from 2014 to 2020 - on 19 November 2013 clearing the way for final approval by the Council. Therewith, the final adoption of the European funding programmes– including Horizon 2020 for research and innovation and Erasmus+ for education, training, youth and sport – is within reach and the programmes can start on time on 1 January 2014. For the first time ever in the history of the EU, the overall budget of €960 billion is €34 billion lower compared to the prior period. But the budget for research and innovation increases by 30% to €79 billion (with Euratom) and the one for education increases by 40% to €14.7 billion. The EP on 21 November adopted Horizon 2020 as “a centre-piece of the EU's drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe”. It will provide support to ‘excellent research’ (€24.44 billion), strengthen ‘industrial leadership’ (€17.02 billion) and it will help address major ‘societal challenges’ (€29.68 billion). Horizon 2020 should thus bridge the gap between research and market.

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) will receive €2.7 billion to enhance links between higher education, research and business. The Competitiveness Council on 3 December or the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy (TTE) Council on 5 December should formally adopt Horizon 2020. The first call for proposals is expected on 11 December.

The EP on 19 November adopted Erasmus+ with 632 votes in favour to 29 against and 30 abstentions. Aiming at boosting skills and employability, it will support more than 4 million people to study, train, work or volunteer abroad, including 2 million higher education students, 650’000 vocational training students and apprentices, as well as more than 500’000 going on youth exchanges or volunteering abroad. Up to 200’000 students will benefit from a new loan guarantee scheme to complete a master abroad. The TTE Council should formally

adopt Erasmus+ on 5 December and the first call for proposals is expected by the end of December. The EU after two and a half years of intense negotiations will succeed in passing all budgets and programmes on time. Moreover, it is not only crawling out of the economic crisis, but also agreed to direct substantially more funds into research, innovation and education, i.e. it undertook a reform of big policies. The EU will even launch as high-level expert group on own resources of the EU budget! Importantly, the Council has also passed the mandate to the EC to negotiate the association of Switzerland to both Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ and both sides are currently preparing this association. But the political context is shaky as pointed out by José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, on 10 November in Zurich: the future steps in Switzerland relating to the Swiss-EU relations will be crucial. The vote of the Swiss citizens on 9 February 2014 will be a critical test.

EP MFF press release EP Erasmus+ press release NZZ interview Barroso

29 November 2013  SwissCore


RESEARCH Who do Europeans trust in science and technology? On 14 November 2013, the European Commission (EC) published a report on ‘Responsible Research and Innovation (R&I), Science and Technology (S&T)’ conducted by TNS Opinion & Social. This report takes the form of a Eurobarometer, with the objective to gain insight into public opinion and to measure the effort of the EC in improving the citizens’ engagement with science, research and innovation.

As the previous reports have shown, more than half of the European citizens are interested in developments in S&T. However, 58% express their lack of knowledge about these developments due to insufficient information. A strong correlation has been found between the level of information about development in S&T and the level of innovation performance in member states.

The report analyses the European citizens’ general attitudes towards S&T and particularly the following topics: citizens’ interest and information’s level, attitudes towards S&T, the sources of information about S&T, the level of involvement citizens should have in S&T, the role of ethics and ethical behaviour in research, young people and science, gender issues and science, open access to research results and finally a comparison of opinion with the last survey in 2010. Face-to-face interviews with a total of 27’563 citizens with different social and demographic backgrounds were conducted during spring 2013.

Moreover, while university or government scientist are trusted when it comes to behaving responsibly towards society (81%) and are seen as the best qualified to explain the societal impact of S&T development (66%), government representatives are not trusted when it comes to decisions about S&T.

The following conclusion can be derived from this report: 77% of citizens are convinced that S&T have a positive influence on society. However, they are also concerned about the potential environmental and health related risks from new technologies. 84% of them find it important that R&I is carried out with due attention to gender balance and for 76% of them the ethical principles take on a crucial importance. 55% share the opinion that public dialogue should take place when performing R&I.

Based on this report’s results one clear conclusion can be drawn: there is a need to support science education where the citizens feel a lack of information, i.e. especially in the Southern and Eastern member states. The support for science education is broad; nevertheless 65% have the opinion that their government isn’t pro-active enough when it comes to stimulate young people’s interest in S&T. The European Union did not wait for the report’s conclusion to take actions: the Lithuanian presidency this month organised a conference in Vilnius to address the issue of human resources in R&I along the topics of funding opportunities, doctoral training and networking and research careers.

TNS report (pdf) EC press release

29 November 2013  SwissCore




European entreprises invest more in R&D Research does not only take place in universities, but happens to in private companies. This observation is even more relevant for a country such as Switzerland where most of Research and Development (R&D) activities happen outside the public sector. Underlining the importance of private R&D, the Joint Research Centre and the Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission (EC) released a report outlining trends and monitoring in private R&D spending in Europe and the world. The report analyses data from around 1’500 leading companies globally selected based on their R&D investments, which exceed €35 million a year. Together, the listed companies account for €510 billion yearly R&D investments. 405 of these companies are based in the European Union (EU) and 40 in Switzerland. Two Swiss companies are ranked amongst the top 50 of the most R&D intensive firms in the world, i.e. Novartis (4) and Roche (7). The findings of the study mainly confirm that research-intensive companies are recovering from the downturn of the economic crisis. Indeed, the average annual growth in corporate R&D spending has reached 8.9% in the EU in 2011 compared to 6.1% in 2010 and a decrease of close to 4% in 2009. This trend is not only visible in the EU, but also in the United States of America (US) where the average growth is even higher. Companies in Japan, due to the aftermath of the tsunami and the Fukushima incident, show a very limited increase in R&D investments (1.9%) and Chinese firms haven’t made the breakthrough yet and are only marginally present in the study. The growth in R&D spending is also clearly linked to a strong increase in the staff numbers

in the assessed companies. Interestingly, the report also describes a trend towards more differences in specialisation between firms in the US and the EU. For example, it appears from the data that the US show higher R&D investments in health and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) than the EU. Also, companies in the EU tend to invest more in mediumtech R&D activities compared to the US. In terms of share of private R&D spending, firms in the US account for 35% of global private R&D spending as identified by the study. This percentage amounts to 28% in the EU, 22% in Japan and 4% in Switzerland. In the EU, the percentage is broken down between Germany (10%), France (5%) and the UK (4.5%), which would make Switzerland the fourth country in Europe, ranked by total amount of R&D investment by the most R&D intensive companies. Horizon 2020 has largely been designed to improve the European economy by strengthening the links between research that takes place in academia and R&D activities in companies. The priorities set under the ‘Industrial Leadership’ and ‘Societal Challenges’ parts of Horizon 2020, as well as the links with Joint Technology Initiatives and Public-Private Partnerships, are clearly a result of the EU’s will to foster technology development, knowledge transfer and research that support the deployment of new products and services. The set of Key and Enabling Technologies (KET) identified by the EC in Horizon 2020 also correspond to the areas where the EU lags behind the US in terms of private R&D spending, namely ICT and bio- and nanotechnology.

EC report (pdf)

29 November 2013  SwissCore




> Publications LERU’s 25th Assembly On 15 November 2013, the League of European

for publication: one concerns the research data

Research Universities (LERU) held its 25th Assem-

and the other is about the innovative practice in

bly at the University of Oxford. Alain Beretz, Presi-

doctoral training. Finally, the LERU Rectors had the

dent of the University of Strasbourg, was appoint-

occasion to exchange views with the European

ed as LERU’s 4th Chairperson. Bert Van der Zwaan,

Commission on European research policy and more

Rector Magnificus of Utrecht University, will be-

particularly on the memorandum of understanding

come a new Board member. As of 18 May 2014,

LERU signed with the European Commission in

the new LERU Board of Directors will be constitut-

2012 concerning the universities contribution to

ed of Beretz, Van der Zwaan and Andrew Hamil-

the realisation of the European Research Area

ton, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford.


Moreover, two LERU papers have been approved LERU press release

Adoption of Horizon 2020 On 21 November 2013, the European Parliament

results, the European Institute of Innovation and

approved the legislative package of Horizon 2020.

Technology (EIT) and the strategic innovation

The legislative package is composed of five regula-

programme of the EIT. With an approved budget

tions: the establishment of the framework pro-

of €79 billion (with Euratom), i.e. an increase of

gramme, the specific implementing programme,

30% compared to FP7), Horizon 2020 offers many

the rules on participation and dissemination of

opportunities to be grasped by Swiss institutions.

EC press release

Your chance to become an expert for Horizon 2020 On 22 November 2013, the European Commission

zon 2020 and experts under the Seventh Frame-

(EC) published a call for expression of interest for

work Programme for Research and Technological

experts for Horizon 2020. With the call for pro-

Development (FP7) are invited to reaffirm their

posals expected on 11 December closing in Spring

interest in being expert for Horizon 2020. Regis-

2014, the EC needs experts to evaluate proposals,

tration takes place through the Horizon 2020 par-

monitor the programme and offer expert advice.

ticipant portal.

The call will be constantly open throughout HoriEC press release Participant portal

Launch of EU-Russia Year of Science On 22 November 2013, the European Commission

the European Research Council and in large re-

announced the launch the EU-Russia 2014 Year of

search infrastructures of pan-European relevance.

Science, followed by a formal ceremony on 25

Finally, a new Science and Technology (S&T)

November in Moscow. The EU-Russia Year of Sci-

agreement between the EU and Russia will be

ence will see almost 200 events celebrating the

signed in February 2014, marking the start of a

scientific and technological ties between the two.

renewed period of scientific exchange and cooper-

The event also celebrates the successful participa-


tion of Russia in different EU programmes, such as EC press release

29 November 2013  SwissCore


INNOVATION Eurostars 2 will offer opportunities to SME Under the motto ‘Higher, Faster and Stronger – Eurostars, a vision for Europe's most innovative SMEs’, the Norwegian EUREKA Chairmanship, the EUREKA Secretariat and the European Commission (EC) organised a launch event of Eurostars 2 on 30 October 2013 in Brussels to debate on the political, industrial and technical dimensions of the next Eurostars programme. Following the success of the first Eurostars programme, Eurostars 2 is the only European funding programme specifically dedicated to R&D-intensive Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME), with a 75% project funding contribution of National Funding Bodies (NFB) of the 33 EUREKA member countries and a 25% support of the EC. The target group Research and Development (R&D) performing will remain SME. However, the definition R&D performing SME will be widened by requesting, for example, at least 10% of Full Time Equivalents (FTE) or turnover to be dedicated to R&D (5 FTE for companies under 100 employees and 10 FTE for companies over 100 employees). On top of that, the budget will be tripled to €1.148 billion, the time to contract reduced to a maximum of seven months, possibilities of partnerships with non-European countries

extended (e.g. currently South Korea with Canada and South Africa expected to join) and a higher level of standardisation within the governance of the programme introduced, such as common financial viability criteria and common reporting mechanisms. As a highly market-driven, international programme with no thematic restriction (bottom-up), Eurostars 2 requires that an R&D performing SME leads a consortium with at least two participants from two different Eurostars 2 member countries with a good balance between the partners, i.e. no more than 75% for any country. Projects can run up to three years and a market introduction of the product or service has to be foreseen within two years of the project finalisation. The SME has to cover 50% of the R&D costs. As with EUREKA projects, the funding of the partners is based on national rules and will follow a ranking list established by an independent evaluation panel until national budget exhaustion. With the early launch of the programme, the first Eurostars 2 call for proposals is well on track and is expected to be published in December 2013 with a cut-off date on 13 March 2014.

Eurostars 2 website

29 November 2013  SwissCore




Access to finance as concern for SME The European Commission (EC) and the European Central Bank (ECB) recently published the latest results of their common Survey on the Access to Finance of small and medium-sized Enterprises (SAFE), conducted from August to October 2013. The survey was established in 2008 and is repeated across 37 countries, including the 28 European Union (EU) countries. It was undertaken lastly in 2011 and has a sample of 15’000 Small and Mediumsized Enterprises (SME) across those areas. The report examines the following parameters of SME:  financial situation, growth (past and future), innovative activities and need for external financing;  use of internal funds and external sources of finance;  experiences when applying for different types of external financing;  use of loans, the size and reasons behind taking out specific loans;  views about the extent to which different types of financing are available to them;  expectations about future financing with banks and other sources of finance. Finding customers remained the most frequently cited problem for SME across Europe, followed by access to finance. Availability of skilled staff or experienced managers ranked third and remained stable compared to 2011. Regulation ranked fourth in the list of most pressing problems and showed a significant increase compared to 2011. SME perceived difficulty to access to finance differently depending on the country they were based in, their size and their turnover. Companies in Cyprus, Greece, Spain and Croatia perceived access to finance as the most

pressing issue, whereas SME in the Netherlands, Austria, Germany and Poland had less difficulty finding funds. A little more than half of the sampled SME looked for external financing only, less than a quarter used both internal and external sources of funding, while only a few have used only internal funding sources. One in five had not used any source of financing in the past six months, the same level as seen in 2011. The highest levels of ‘relying on internal funds only’ were in Austria, Hungary and Slovakia and were highest among the smallest SME in Europe with the lowest turnover and newer companies and those with only one owner. Overall, 75% of EU SME used at least one form of debt financing in the past six months, most of which came from loans from bank, with industrial companies being the ones most likely to look for external financing, whereas equity financing has not been common at all and only used by less than one tenth of larger SME. SME reported a negative perception of bank loans due to loan denials, lower sums offered or inacceptable conditions, such as high interest rates. Particularly young and small companies were entirely discouraged to even ask for a bank loan. Insufficient collateral or other bank requirements such as guarantees were the most often reported obstacles that companies faced when seeking bank financing, followed by interest rates being too high. But equity financing, an alternative, was used by only 5% of SME in the survey period. In general, SME in the EU feel less confident to talk about finance with equity investors or venture capitalists than they do with banks. The main challenge concerning this source of financing is its lack of availability or prices being too high.

SAFE report

29 November 2013  SwissCore




> Publications Horizon 2020 to speed up innovation On 21 November 2013 the European Parliament

the basis of a continuously open call with three

(EP) approved, alongside the Small and Medium-

cut-off dates per year to evaluate proposals and a

sized Enterprises (SME) Instrument, another new

time-to-grant of maximum six months. Any legal

scheme: the Fast Track to Innovation (FTI). It is a

entity will be eligible for application, with a mini-

new element of Horizon 2020 (see page 2) added

mum of three up to a maximum of five partici-

during the legislative process by the EP and will be

pants in any action and a project volume of up to

launched as a pilot action in 2015. The scheme is

€3 million. The European Commission estimates

designed to support innovation actions under the

around 100 proposals to be funded under the pilot

specific objectives ‘Leadership Enabling and Indus-

phase of the programme, which will last until the

trial Technologies’ (LEIT) and ‘Societal Challenges’,

Horizon 2020 midterm review.

relating to any technology field. It will operate on Factsheet: SMEs in Horizon 2020 (pdf)

Europe will continue presence in space On 20 November 2013, the European Parliament

there will be a total budget of €7 billion available.

approved the financing and governance of the

The European Commission will remain in charge

European Satellite Navigation programmes (Gali-

for the progress of the programmes and their

leo) and the European Geostationary Navigation

overall supervision, whilst the European Global

Overlay Service (EGNOS) for the period from 2014

Navigation Satellite Systems Agency will gradually

to 2020. Their objectives will be to complete the

assume responsibility for the operational man-



agement of the programmes. The European Space

necessary replenishment and replacement activi-

Agency will remain responsible for the deployment

ties, development of fundamental elements such

of Galileo and the design and development of the

as Galileo-enabled chipsets or receivers and, most

new generation of systems.



importantly, the provision of services. For this, Galileo website

Commission explores ways to fund start-ups The European Commission (EC) has launched a

lending and investments in equity. In 2012 crowd

public consultation running until 20 December

funding in Europe saw an estimated 65% growth

2013 on crowd funding. As many surveys show,

compared to 2011 and reached €735 million.

access to finance is still the most pressing issue for

Compared to the shrinking European venture capi-

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) in

tal market of €3 billion, this development is prom-

Europe. Crowd funding could contribute to bridging

ising. There are risks associated with crowd fund-

the finance gap for small firms and innovative

ing, which are mainly due to fraudulent actions of

projects and usefully complement other sources of

Internet platform owners. The aim of the public

finance. While calls for funds to the public are not

consultation is to explore how European Union

new, the phenomenon of using the Internet to

action, including a range of soft-law measures,

directly connect with funders emerged recently.

could promote crowd funding in Europe as it has

Crowd funding has many forms such as donations,

many promising benefits that fit with the objec-

rewards-based schemes, pre-sales, peer-to-peer

tives of the EC.

EC public consultation

29 November 2013  SwissCore


EDUCATION Challenges for European Education & Training On 30 October 2013, the European Commission (EC) published the Education and Training (ET) Monitor 2013. The annual ET Monitor – the first edition was published in November 2012 – examines the evolution of Europe’s ET systems, namely those of the 28 member states of the European Union (EU). Presented every autumn, it sets out progress on the ET 2020 core indicators and the Europe 2020 headline targets on ET, i.e. reducing early school leaving to below 10% and increasing the share of the population aged 30-34 who have successfully completed tertiary education to 40% until 2020. The ET Monitor is accompanied by 28 individual country reports with country-specific recommendations. The ET Monitor 2013 comes along with a number of key findings related to ET systems across Europe. With regards to expenditure on ET, the report highlights that sixteen member states decreased their expenditure at some stage between 2008 and 2011, with cutbacks being most prevalent in tertiary education (in 12 member states). The employment rate of recent graduates with upper secondary education has slightly decreased since 2008 and an advantage of tertiary education attainment with regards to employability is visible in all member states. Nevertheless, 21% of people across the EU with tertiary qualifications are active in jobs that usually require lower qualifications. With the global race for talent in higher education increasing, the policy focus is shifting towards improving completion rates, which are still below 70% in many member states.

In general, the transition from education to work is still an issue and can be facilitated through quality traineeships, apprenticeships and dual learning models, whereas early school leavers struggle more to enter the world of work (40.1% unemployment). Another focus should be set for developing entrepreneurial skills at all levels of ET in order to support and foster business creation and innovation. All in all, inequalities still persist in and among European ET systems and rethinking how the EU attracts, educates and supports teachers, school leaders and teacher educators will be a pressing issue in the future. In addition, the 2013 ET Monitor outlines that the possibilities of digital technologies and Open Educational Resources (OER) are not being fully exploited in European ET systems. The EC admits that the difficult economic context leaves its marks on the financing of ET. Therefore, member states are urged to pursue growthfriendly fiscal policies. In practice, however, spending on ET is stagnating or even decreasing. The analysis of the Europe 2020 headline targets mentioned above underlines the need to link the worlds of work and education more closely. The EU currently stands at 12.7% for early school leavers and at 35.7% for tertiary education attainment, hence being within reach of the goals set for 2020. In order to do so, member states cannot reduce their efforts, albeit being faced with numerous economic and societal challenges. The next country-specific recommendations, expected for spring 2014, will draw on the findings of this ET Monitor2013.

ET Monitor 2013 report European Online ET Monitor website

29 November 2013  SwissCore




Fruitful November for Europe of education From the approval of the next European Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport (Erasmus+) by the plenary session of the European Parliament (EP) on 19 November (see page 2) to the adoption of conclusions on several topics by the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport (EYCS) Council on 25 November, the month of November has delivered concrete results in the field of education. The adopted council conclusions on ‘effective leadership in education’, on ‘the global dimension of higher education’, on ‘the social inclusion of young people not in employment, education or training’ and on ‘the contribution of sport to the economy of the European Union (EU), and in particular to addressing youth unemployment and social inclusion’ all refer to Erasmus+. Examples of how the programme can contribute to reaching the objectives set out in the conclusions are given, e.g. Strategic Partnerships should be used for the exchange of good practice and development of innovative approaches to effective educational leadership. The issue of leadership in education was addressed by the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU with two conferences, one of which, the Comenius Conference on ‘Developing your school with EU programme support – a conference for school leaders’ from 11 to 12 Octo-

ber, directly tackled the link between policy and programmes. As for the global dimension of higher education, the conclusions highlight – like the communication on ‘European higher education in the world’ of the European Commission (EC) from 11 July (see Synopsis 2013/07) –, the potential of Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 to help develop sustainable partnerships with countries outside Europe and make European higher education attractive to the rest of the world. More concretely, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (mobility of researchers to and from third countries) under Horizon 2020, as well as the Joint Master Degrees, the Capacity Building Projects and the mobility of higher education students and staff to and from third countries should be fully exploited. The first call for proposals under Erasmus+, expected by the end of December 2013, will not include Capacity Building Projects and mobility of higher education students and staff to and from third countries. These two actions will be part of a separate call to be published around June 2014. As for now, Erasmus+ still need to be formally adopted by the Council (see page 2), but it will in any case start as planned on 1 January 2014 with a budget of €14.7 billion from 2014 to 2020 and a handful of opportunities to be grasped by Swiss institutions.

Council press release

29 November 2013  SwissCore




> Publications More efficient mutual recognition of qualifications On 15 November 2013, the revised Professional

and member states shall have two years to trans-

Qualifications Directive was adopted without dis-

pose the revised directive into national law. Two

cussion at a meeting of the Economic and Financial

major features of the revised directive are the


Professional Qualifications

creation of a European professional card – an

Directive, which came into force in 2007, has con-

electronic certificate issued in the country of de-

tributed to the recognition of professional qualifi-

parture that will facilitate the automatic recogni-

cations across Europe. On 19 December 2011, the

tion in the host country – as well as the introduc-

European Commission proposed a revision of this

tion of new possibilities for automatic recognition

directive to make the mutual recognition of qualifi-

through common training frameworks proposed by

cations even more efficient and to further facilitate

national or European professional associations and

the mobility of workers (see Synopsis 2013/07 and


Council. The

2011/12). The proposed revision is now adopted Council press release

Learning mobility outside Europe From 13 to 15 November 2013, the kick-off meet-

with seven European partners, among which the

ing of the project Learning Mobility with non-

University of Basel and the Swiss Commission for

Industrialised Countries (LEMONOC) took place in

Research Partnerships with Developing Countries.

Leuven (Belgium). Funded by the Lifelong Learning

The LEMONOC project should help develop sus-

Programme from October 2013 to September

tainable partnerships with countries outside Eu-

2015, the project aims at providing a quality

rope and as such directly contribute to the objec-



tives set out in the Council conclusions on the

industrialised countries by developing a best prac-

global dimension of European higher education

tice manual on the different aspects of this specific

adopted on 25 November 2013 by the Education,

type of mobility. Organisations from Kenya, India

Youth, Culture and Sport Council (see page 10).





and Uruguay are involved in the project, along LEMONOC website

Entrepreneurial universities: fact or fiction? On 18 November 2013, the European Commission

preneurial university’, which led to the creation of

(EC) and the Organisation for Economic Coopera-

‘HEInnovate’. It helps universities to measure how

tion and Development (OECD) launched the online

entrepreneurial they are by enabling them to as-

self-assessment tool ‘HEInnovate’. European High-

sess their performance in seven areas: leadership

er Education Institutions (HEI) face various chal-

and governance, organisational capacity, teaching

lenges going into the future, such as digitalisation

and learning, pathways for entrepreneurs, univer-

and global competition. One significant challenge

sity-business exchange, the internationalised insti-

has been the development of the ‘entrepreneurial

tution, and impact measurement. The institutions

university’, which puts emphasis on innovation in

are invited to evaluate themselves and, in return,

all areas of a university. Following initial discus-

the website generates results for an institution

sions in 2011, the EC set up an expert panel in

highlighting its areas of strength and weakness.

early 2012 to examine the concept of the ‘entreHEInnovate website

29 November 2013  SwissCore



Swiss ‘Boson’ Lecture Celebrating the identification and recognition of the Higgs boson and with the hope to better understand its (revolutionary) implications for science and beyond, the Mission of Switzerland to the European Union (EU) and SwissCore organised a Swiss ‘Boson’ Lecture with Christoph Rembser, Senior Physicist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), on 19 November 2013 in Brussels. Roberto Balzaretti, Ambassador, Mission of Switzerland to the EU, welcomed about 80 representatives of the European institutions, national representations and stakeholder organisations and underlined the

importance of CERN for European research and for the development of the Geneva region. Rembser strived to answer questions such as: What is the Higgs boson? What consequences could its discovery and identification have for science and for society at large? Rembser is convinced that from 2015 onwards we will see more new particles at CERN, which will help tackle the fundamental questions on our universe. The animated questions and answers session and the long discussions during the reception afterwards proved that advanced notions of particle physics were not necessary to enjoy this lecture.

Erasmus+ traineeship for Swiss HEI From 18 to 20 November 2013, we organised a special traineeship on the centralised higher education actions of Erasmus+. Twenty members of staff of International Offices of Swiss Higher Education Institutions (HEI), as well as one Erasmus Project Coordinator of ch Foundation, participated in the traineeship. During two and a half day, they received generic trainings on the Europe of Knowledge, Education, Research and Innovation com-

bined with technical meetings on specific higher education actions of Erasmus+ with representatives of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, the Directorate-General Education and Culture of the European Commission, the German Academic Exchange Service and the Free University of Brussels. Once again we thank all participants and speakers for their active contribution and look forward to the further cooperation. 29 November 2013 SwissCore


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