Category Archives: Blog

9th European Innovation Summit

The 9th European Innovation Summit will take place from 27 November  to 1 December 2017 at European Parliament in Brussels and in the context of the first ever European Innovation Week.

2017 is an important year for the future of innovation in Europe and preparations for the next multi-annual financial framework have started. The summit is an opportunity to reflect on how innovation can be done more intelligently by making better use of available knowledge and resources. The debates should focus on concrete solutions addressing major challenges.
Summit partners have the opportunity to organize their own event as part of the summit programme on a topic of their choice and contribute to the plenary and other conference sessions.

Yannick Legré, Managing Director of the EGI Foundation, will speak at the opening ceremony of the event and will communicate EGI’s role in stimulating innovation practices in Europe.

Have a look at the full programme.

DI4R 2017 associated event: AEGIS workshop

The AARC Engagement Group for Infrastructures (AEGIS) brings together representatives from research infrastructures and e-infrastructures, operators of AAI services and the AARC team to bridge communication gaps and make the most of common synergies. This workshop will offer an interactive session where researchers and research infrastructures present their use-cases and describe how they do their daily work and which obstacles they face to access resources.

Programme of the workshop:

  • Introduction of the day and how we will work together;
  • Federated Access management: why, how and when;
  • Let’s talk: round tables to  understand who the researchers are, where they are, their main requirements (enhance and extend FIM4R), and main problems they encounter;
  • Let’s talk: round table to understand what AAI services are available and what they mean for the researchers. Inputs to define a roadmap for the next 2 years;
  • Summary of main findings and identify where work should continue (AEGIS, EOSC, GN4, and others).

Registration for the event is now open!

DI4R 2017 associated event: OpenAIRE datathon

The OpenAIRE datathon aims at encouraging developers and data scientists to analyse and improve the OpenAIRE Information Space, currently made of a scholarly communication graph interlinking publications, datasets, software, research organisations, funders, and projects. The graph is the result of harvesting metadata from about 3000 data providers.

The data challenges

The datathon encourages teams of computer scientists, data scientists and experts from other fields to join the challenge of studying the OpenAIRE graph to enhance its discovery and statistical capabilities. Four main OpenAIRE datasets will be made available as Linked Open Data, Scholix exchange format (JSON scholarly graph representation), XML collections and full-text collections.

Topics

The buzz-topics leading the challenge are:

  • Enabling multi-disciplinary or discipline-specific discovery and stats functionality
  • Novel techniques to enable measurement of scientific impact, e.g. counters, links, provenance
  • Innovative techniques to measure scientific impact, e.g. measures of quality
  • Enabling reproducibility, e.g. re-use oriented metadata, meaningful interlinking of objects
  • De-duplication of the information space, e.g. disambiguation of authors, disambiguation of organisations.
Prizes

The three teams proposing the most outstanding solutions will be awarded an Apple iPad Pro and a featuring on the OpenAIRE website.

Important dates

The datathon will last for 3 months, from 30 November to 28 February 2018. Registration is open until the 15 January 2018.

See more information.

Twitter: @oaire_datathon

ICT Proposers’ Day 2017

ICT Proposers’ Day 2017 will take place from 9 to 10 November in Budapest, Hungary. This networking event focuses on European ICT research & innovation and the Horizon 2020 Work Programme for 2018-2020. An opening ceremony will be organised by the Hungarian Ministry of National Development and will take place on 8 November.

The event will centre on the 2018 calls for proposals of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme in the field of Information & Communication Technologies and Future and Emerging Technologies (FET). It will offer the opportunity to build quality partnerships with academics, researchers, industrial stakeholders, SMEs and government actors from all over Europe.

See more information.

European Big Data Value Forum 2017

The European Big Data Value Forum 2017 is jointly organised by the Big Data Value Association and the European Commission and will be held in Versailles, France, from 21 to 23 November. The keynotes and presentations will range from industrial applications of big data technologies, innovative business cases of the data economy and insights on EU policy-making and R&D&I funding in this area.

The program of the event, venue and the sponsorship opportunities can be found on the event website.

Call for Papers: Supercomputing Asia 2018

Supercomputing Asia (SCA) is an annual supercomputing conference with a key objective of promoting a vibrant and relevant HPC ecosystem in Asian countries. The event will be held from 26 to 29 March 2018 in Singapore, at the Resorts World Convention Centre.

The technical programme of SCA18 consists of four tracks:

  • Application, algorithms & libraries
  • Programming system software
  • Architecture, network/communications & management
  • Data, storage & visualisation

Important dates:

  • Abstract submissions due: 2 December 2017
  • Paper submissions due: 9 December 2017
  • Notification of acceptance: 5 February 2017
  • Camera-ready papers due: 12 February 2017

See more information on the event.

Take-away from the conference on “European Research Excellence – Impact and Value for Society”

Today, I attended the conference “European Research Excellence – Impact and Value for Society” in Tallinn, organised under the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The conference attracted more than 300 delegates with the aim to demonstrate to policymakers that excellent research is essential to addressing Europe’s challenges and for increasing competitiveness.

Commissioner Moedas opened the event with a video message remarking the importance of developing an European innovation ecosystem and set missions or challenges that people can relate to. Mark Ferguson reported that the most cited articles worldwide have at least an author from the industry and international collaborations and referenced a framework to evaluate impact of any scientific project. He also reported that most of the research results are incremental while disruptive results are less frequent.

Both Valeria Nicolosi and Nicole Grobert, both winners of an ERC grant along their carriers, brought their experience of combining basic research and innovation with industry, reinforcing the message that synergies are possible and should be pursued. Nevertheless, they remarked that basic research needs time and freedom, also, developing relationship with industry, listening to them and understanding their problems is essential. This aspect links to a comment from Pim Tuyls, who stressed the importance of ensuring that there is money for research but also for the next step, to make sure innovation from research results take place in Europe.

Luc Soete reported that one of the differences between Europe and other innovative regions is a low level of investment in R&D from the private sector, and this is caused by different factors such as a still fragmented market and a lack of tax breaks. He referred to the cost of non-Europe in innovation. It was suggested that a possible way to better engage industry is to work on big societal challenges like decarbonisation of society or clean water could stimulate the R&D in the private sector.

Another key message that got my attention is the importance of involving more actors from social science and humanities in the research and innovation activities. Disruptive changes affect our daily life and being able to evaluate the impact so to prepare for the effects is vital for ensuring the maximisation of value for the society. Trust on science by society is also a gap that needs to be closed or at least shortened and a speaker pointed out at a recent article appeared in the Financial Times: “How experts can regain our trust“.

The conference concluded with the announcement of a declaration, the Tallinn Call for Action composed of three main pillars: investment, impact and trust. Robert-Jan Smits, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, endorsed the declaration and commented that one of the key challenges is now to convince the Ministries of Finance to support it.

Above, I shared my main take-aways of a very rich and greatly organised event. This is the first Presidency led by Estonia and you could perceive the energy and passion infused in it to make it a success.

 

 

Take-away from the conference on “European Research Excellence – Impact and Value for Society”

Today, I attended the conference “European Research Excellence – Impact and Value for Society” in Tallinn, organised under the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The conference attracted more than 300 delegates with the aim to demonstrate to policymakers that excellent research is essential to addressing Europe’s challenges and for increasing competitiveness.

Commissioner Moedas opened the event with a video message remarking the importance of developing an European innovation ecosystem and set missions or challenges that people can relate to. Mark Ferguson reported that the most cited articles worldwide have at least an author from the industry and international collaborations and referenced a framework to evaluate impact of any scientific project. He also reported that most of the research results are incremental while disruptive results are less frequent.

Both Valeria Nicolosi and Nicole Grobert, both winners of an ERC grant along their carriers, brought their experience of combining basic research and innovation with industry, reinforcing the message that synergies are possible and should be pursued. Nevertheless, they remarked that basic research needs time and freedom, also, developing relationship with industry, listening to them and understanding their problems is essential. This aspect links to a comment from Pim Tuyls, who stressed the importance of ensuring that there is money for research but also for the next step, to make sure innovation from research results take place in Europe.

Luc Soete reported that one of the differences between Europe and other innovative regions is a low level of investment in R&D from the private sector, and this is caused by different factors such as a still fragmented market and a lack of tax breaks. He referred to the cost of non-Europe in innovation. It was suggested that a possible way to better engage industry is to work on big societal challenges like decarbonisation of society or clean water could stimulate the R&D in the private sector.

Another key message that got my attention is the importance of involving more actors from social science and humanities in the research and innovation activities. Disruptive changes affect our daily life and being able to evaluate the impact so to prepare for the effects is vital for ensuring the maximisation of value for the society. Trust on science by society is also a gap that needs to be closed or at least shortened and a speaker pointed out at a recent article appeared in the Financial Times: “How experts can regain our trust“.

The conference concluded with the announcement of a declaration, the Tallinn Call for Action composed of three main pillars: investment, impact and trust. Robert-Jan Smits, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, endorsed the declaration and commented that one of the key challenges is now to convince the Ministries of Finance to support it.

Above, I shared my main take-aways of a very rich and greatly organised event. This is the first Presidency led by Estonia and you could perceive the energy and passion infused in it to make it a success.

 

 

5th ENVRI week will be held in Málaga, Spain

The 5th ENVRI week will be organised in Málaga, Spain, from 6th to 10th November 2017.

The week will be hosted by the University of Málaga, the Málaga City Hall, and the LifeWatch ERIC. ENVRI week is dedicated to Environmental Research Infrastructures. It is organised twice a year, in November and in May.

ENVRI week hosts ENVRIplus project related sessions as well as several other sessions targeting different groups of stakeholders.

More information will follow soon.

Back to school for a Masters in Management of Research Infrastructures

After nine years working on technical aspects of distributed computing in Italy and seven on strategy and policy aspects in Netherlands at the EGI Foundation, I am back to school for a Masters in Management of Research Infrastructures.

The Executive Masters in Management of Research Infrastructures is a new executive programme organised by the RItrain project and hosted at the University of Milano-Bicocca. The goal is to extend the competencies required to manage and lead research infrastructures. This is the first of a series of post about the experience.

As Strategy and Policy Manager of the EGI Foundation, I consider this a great opportunity to further develop in my role, share my experience and challenges, and learn from peers in the different areas tackled by the programme.

The first module

Last week, I attended the first three-day module that focused on “governance and organisation”. We learnt about the approach to design a governance structure and also that informal social structures are as much as important as the formal ones defined by an organogram. We also dived into the organisational complexity of research infrastructures (RIs) that can range from the single-site organisation to a distributed network of nodes with no central authority or legal entity.

Being the first module, I also got to know my new colleagues: 24 professionals with an average age of 45 and from 10 different nationalities. They represent research infrastructures located in 12 countries (either from single-site RIs, national nodes or international coordination bodies).

The video I pasted at the bottom of this post summarises the first three intense days with some inspirational music.

What will we learn next?

Over the next 18 months, we will cover aspects such as strategy management, funding models, international law and compliance, financial management, impact and awareness, leadership and team building, service provision, infrastructure and resource management, business development and innovation, and planning/setting up/leading an operational RI.

All the learning is tailored to the research infrastructure context and each participant will be asked to work on field project to present at the end of this journey. The next exciting step will be to decide the topic of my final project and given all the streams of activities in the EGI context, I’m not definitely short in ideas.

I will keep you posted on the developments and in the meantime, wish me success!