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General European Highlights

Horizon 2020 launched with €15 billion over first two years
The European Commission has presented the draft work programmes 2014-2015 and the first calls for projects under Horizon 2020. Worth more than €15 billion over the first two years, the funding is intended to help boost Europe's knowledge-driven economy, and tackle issues that will make a difference in people's lives. In particular it is already possible to consult the draft work programme of Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie actions, European Research Council, industrial leadership and secure, clean and efficient energy. The first published calls are available on the participant portal ( 

Experts sought for Horizon 2020
The European Commission needs independent experts for Horizon 2020. The call for applications was launched on November 22nd. As well as attracting the best academic researchers, the Commission wants to boost the number of specialists from the world of business. Apart from evaluating proposals for funding, experts are needed for monitoring funded projects as well as programme evaluation and policy development. A broad range of fields are covered including science, technology, innovation, social sciences and humanities, business and more. The objective is to ensure that EU grants are awarded only to the best research and innovation proposals, based on a rigorous peer-review process.
EuCheMS responded to the public consultation on the sustainable use of phosphorus
On July 2013, the European Commission launched a public consultation on how to use phosphorus in a more sustainable way. Phosphorus is widely used in agriculture and is an essential component in fertiliser and feed, but it is a non-renewable resource. Supplies are limited and much phosphorus is currently wasted, creating concerns about future supplies in the EU and worldwide. The consultation asked how to ensure that reserves are available for future generations, and about ways to minimise the undesirable side effects phosphorus use can have on the environment.
EuCheMS submitted its contribution based on the input from EuCheMS Division and experts from EuCheMS member societies.
Green light for Erasmus+
Erasmus+, the new EU programme for education, training, youth and sport, due to begin in January, was approved by the European Parliament. Aimed at boosting skills, employability and supporting the modernisation of education, training and youth systems, the seven-year programme will have a budget of €14.7 billion. More than 4 million people will receive support to study, train, work or volunteer abroad,. Students planning a full Master's degree abroad, for which national grants or loans are seldom available, will benefit from a new loan guarantee scheme run by the European Investment Fund. Erasmus+ will also provide funding for education and training staff, youth workers and for partnerships between universities, colleges, schools, enterprises, and not-for-profit organisations.
EC and OECD launch website for universities to measure entrepreneurial impact
The European Commission, together with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), is launching a new online self-assessment tool for universities to measure how entrepreneurial they are. It enables institutions to assess their performance in seven areas: leadership and governance, organisational capacity, teaching and learning, pathways for entrepreneurs, university-business exchange, the internationalised institution, and impact measurement. It also helps the institution improve its performance by providing links to customised examples of good practice.
Tenure track: key to attract top researcher?
Recruiting and retaining the best researchers is a key challenge for Europe. Talks about introducing an attractive career structures with prospects for advancement, such as a tenure track, are ripe. Well-established in the US and increasingly in the UK, tenure track provides a clear, merit-based system that takes excellent researchers from postdoc to professor.
Compromise reached on lowering car CO2 emissions
MEPs and member states reached a compromise agreement on new rules for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from cars, postponing a limit of 95g/km for all new cars until 2021 from 2020. The deal agreed also gives more flexibility to car manufacturers, which will be able to use “supercredits” from low emission vehicles in their fleet to compensate for polluting models.

Greek EU presidency to focus on growth, migration, energy
The upcoming Greece Presidency of the EU will focus on fostering growth, regulating immigration and promoting maritime issues with emphasis on undersea energy exploration. Priorities would be "to complete the banking union, dealing with migration flows and an across-the-board maritime agenda including policies to develop undersea energy wealth", the Greek prime minister said. After Greece, the EU Presidency will be held by Italy.

Funding Updates and Awards

European Research Council work programme announced for 2014
The ERC draft Work Programme 2014 (with indications for 2015) has been published.
  • ERC Starting Grants, deadline on 25 March 2014.
  • ERC Consolidator Grants, deadline of 20 May 2014.
  • ERC Advanced Grants, deadline on 21 October 2014.
  • ERC Proof of Concept call, deadlines on 1 April and 1 October 2014.
IMI published indicative topics for its upcoming 11th Call
The indicative topics for the 11th IMI Call are:
  • Applied public-private research enabling osteoarthritis clinical headway (APPROACH)
  • European platform for proof of concept for prevention in Alzheimer’s Disease (EPOC-AD)
  • Blood-based biomarker assays for personalized tumour therapy:
  • Value of latest circulating biomarkers
  • Zoonoses anticipation and preparedness initiative (ZAPI)
  • Generation of research tools to translate genomic discoveries into drug discovery projects
  • Ecorisk prediction (ERP)
  • New Drugs for Bad Bugs (ND4BB)

Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking call for proposals 2013 part II
The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) is a unique public private partnership supporting research, technological development and demonstration activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe. FCH JU published the second part of its 6th annual call for proposals. This second part of the 2013 call for proposals focuses on the large-scale demonstration of buses and refuelling infrastructure; the demonstration of hydrogen production from biogas for supply to vehicle refuelling applications; the demonstration of portable generators, back-up power and uninterruptible power systems; as well as the development of a European framework for the generation of guarantees of origin for green H2.
Deadline: 27 February 2014

Consultations and Roadmaps

Public consultation on the review of the EU copyright rules
The European Commission has launched a public consultation as part of its on-going efforts to review and modernise EU copyright rules. The consultation invites stakeholders to share their views on areas identified in the Communication on content in the digital single market, i.e. territoriality in the single market, harmonisation, limitations and exceptions to copyright in the digital age; fragmentation of the EU copyright market; and how to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of enforcement while underpinning its legitimacy in the wider context of copyright reform.
Deadline: 5 February 2014
Public consultation on a biocidal active substance
In Article 10 of the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR), the concept of active substances which are candidates for substitution is introduced, including criteria for the identification of such substances.
The first public consultation is now launched for the new active substance dinotefuran, which is proposed to be used in biocidal products of product-type 18 (insecticides, acaricides and products to control other arthropods). The information received, if not confidential, will be published during the public consultation.
Deadline: 28 January 2014

Business Updates

EU industrial R&D investment scoreboard 2013
The European Commission has published its 2013 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard. The Scoreboard is based on a sample of 2,000 companies, the world's top investors in Research and Development (R&D) representing more than 90% of the total expenditure on R&D by businesses worldwide. The Scoreboard shows that leading world R&D investors have continued to increase their R&D investments by 6.2% in 2012.
Small companies finally get dedicated EU support
There will be a big boost for small companies when the €2.3 billion programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME), voted through the European Parliament, gets off the ground in January 2014. The programme is intended to create more favourable conditions for start-ups and entrepreneurship, at the same time as providing access to bank loans, venture capital and other forms of finance for SMEs.
New Innovation Union competitiveness report
The Innovation Union Competitiveness report is published every two years. Based on a very broad range of indicators, covering all 28 EU Member States and six countries associated to the EU research framework programme, the report contributes to the Europe 2020 Strategy for jobs and growth by providing an in-depth statistical and economic analysis of the research and innovation systems of Europe and its main competitors. A key conclusion of the report is that Europe remains a main knowledge production centre of the world, but lags behind North America and Asia in fast-growing technologies of the future.

Forthcoming Events

Infoday on the ERA-NET Cofund actions
16 January 2014
Brussels, Belgium
How can the EU support regional growth?
5 February 2014
Brussels, Belgium
2nd Innovation Convention
10-11 March 2014
Brussels, Belgium

Upcoming EuCheMS Recognised Events

European Winter School on Physical Organic Chemistry
2 - 7 February 2014
Bressanone, Italy
12th Chemistry Conference for Young Scientists
27 - 28 February 2014
Blankenberge, Belgium


EuCheMS-STOA meeting on Energy Storage
11 February 2014
European Parliament
Brussels, Belgium

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Produced for EuCheMS by Nineta Majcen.
The information given by EuCheMS in this EuCheMS Brussels News Update has been carefully formulated but is necessarily based on information available and consequently EuCheMS does not accept responsibility if it is in any way inaccurate or incomplete. In this respect EuCheMS does not accept any duty of care and will not be liable for any losses or damages arising from inaccurate or incomplete information. EuCheMS acknowledges that a disclaimer cannot restrict liability at law for personal injury or death arising through a finding of negligence.
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