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Adapting to new digital realities: Main issues and policy responses

19-04-2018

Digital technologies have changed the way we live and transformed the world around us at unprecedented speed. They have affected all important aspects of life, both at work and at home, and have influenced almost everything from human relations to the economy, to the extent that access to the internet has now become a basic human right recognised by the United Nations. This profound change presents both opportunities and threats to our society. Citizens need specific skills and access to be able ...

Digital technologies have changed the way we live and transformed the world around us at unprecedented speed. They have affected all important aspects of life, both at work and at home, and have influenced almost everything from human relations to the economy, to the extent that access to the internet has now become a basic human right recognised by the United Nations. This profound change presents both opportunities and threats to our society. Citizens need specific skills and access to be able to meaningfully take part in society and work. European businesses need an adequate policy framework and infrastructure to capture the enormous value created by the digital economy. Supporting innovation, removing barriers in the digital single market, and effectively managing and using data are the necessary tools to assist them and boost economic growth in Europe. The European Union takes an active part in shaping the digital economy and society, with cross policy initiatives that range from boosting investment, through reforms of copyright and e privacy, to removal of geo-blocking and development of e-government. This multifaceted approach is necessary to facilitate adaptation to complex new realities. The European Parliament, as co legislator, is involved in shaping the policy framework which will help citizens and businesses fully utilise the potential of digital technologies.

Die Vorbereitung auf RP9: Die Gestaltung des Nachfolgeprogramms für das Rahmenprogramm für Forschung und Innovation Horizont 2020

11-04-2018

Der Vorbereitungsprozess für ein EU-Rahmenprogramm für Forschung und Innovation umfasst eine Reihe von Aktivitäten: die Bewertung des vorhergehenden Programms; Expertenstudien zur Festlegung des Umfangs und der Prioritäten des neuen Programms; sowie Vorschläge für neue Instrumente. Auch die EU-Institutionen, die Beratenden Ausschüsse, die Mitgliedstaaten und andere Interessenträger haben ihre Erwartungen und Stellungnahmen im Hinblick auf Form und Inhalt des Programms geäußert. Diese Arbeit bietet ...

Der Vorbereitungsprozess für ein EU-Rahmenprogramm für Forschung und Innovation umfasst eine Reihe von Aktivitäten: die Bewertung des vorhergehenden Programms; Expertenstudien zur Festlegung des Umfangs und der Prioritäten des neuen Programms; sowie Vorschläge für neue Instrumente. Auch die EU-Institutionen, die Beratenden Ausschüsse, die Mitgliedstaaten und andere Interessenträger haben ihre Erwartungen und Stellungnahmen im Hinblick auf Form und Inhalt des Programms geäußert. Diese Arbeit bietet einen Überblick über alle Aktivitäten, die entwickelt wurden, um zur Vorbereitung des RP9 beizutragen. Darüber hinaus werden auch die Standpunkte aller Akteure zu zehn wesentlichen Diskussionspunkten analysiert, unter anderem der schwierige Kampf um den Haushalt von RP9; das Spannungsfeld zwischen der Förderung der Exzellenz und der Notwendigkeit der Kohäsion; die Straffung der Instrumente und Vereinfachung der Prozesse; Forderungen nach einem größeren EU-Mehrwert durch das Programm in Zusammenhang mit seinem Verbundcharakter; die Rolle der Mitgliedstaaten bei der Verwaltung und Durchführung des Programms; und die erwarteten Neuerungen: der Europäische Innovationsrat und eine auftragsorientierte Herangehensweise.

Interim evaluation of Horizon 2020

21-03-2018

As required by the regulation, the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 – the European Union (EU) framework programme (FP) for research and innovation – began in October 2016 with a public consultation to gather feedback from stakeholders three years in. The Commission performed its own mid-term evaluation and asked experts to evaluate the programme's specific instruments. In parallel, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the advisory committees conducted their own, separate evaluations ...

As required by the regulation, the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 – the European Union (EU) framework programme (FP) for research and innovation – began in October 2016 with a public consultation to gather feedback from stakeholders three years in. The Commission performed its own mid-term evaluation and asked experts to evaluate the programme's specific instruments. In parallel, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the advisory committees conducted their own, separate evaluations of the programme. The Commission adopted its conclusions on the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 in January 2018, confirming that the programme was relevant and presented clear EU added value. Implementation was considered to be efficient and the first results suggested that the programme was also effective in reaching its objectives. The integration of research and innovation and the Horizon 2020 pillar structure provided for greater internal coherence compared with previous framework programmes. All the evaluations highlighted four key issues to be addressed by the next FP. First, the programme budget needs to match better the funding required to bring the success rate back to acceptable levels. Second, the unbalanced distribution of FP funding across the EU raises concerns regarding the impact of the use of the excellence criterion and calls for changes to enable the various EU funds to generate more synergistic effects so as to maintain EU competitiveness and promote EU cohesion in research and innovation. Third, the evaluations highlight the will to improve the shared, multi-level governance between the EU, Member States and regions and to promote the co-design and co-construction of the FP with the public and civil society. Finally, there is widespread agreement that the EU research and innovation funding landscape has become too complex and should be streamlined, questioning the EU added value of each of the instruments and partnerships.

EU framework programme processes: Adoption, implementation, evaluation

17-01-2018

Over the past 35 years, the European Union (EU) institutions have adopted eight framework programmes for research. The lifecycles of these framework programmes have been progressively streamlined and aligned with the general guidelines for the adoption of EU programmes. These lifecycles unfold in four key phases: adoption, implementation, execution, and evaluation, with the EU institutions being in charge of all phases except execution. The adoption of a new framework programme includes the preparation ...

Over the past 35 years, the European Union (EU) institutions have adopted eight framework programmes for research. The lifecycles of these framework programmes have been progressively streamlined and aligned with the general guidelines for the adoption of EU programmes. These lifecycles unfold in four key phases: adoption, implementation, execution, and evaluation, with the EU institutions being in charge of all phases except execution. The adoption of a new framework programme includes the preparation of an impact assessment, the preparation of the Commission proposals and the adoption of the various legislative acts by the European Parliament and the Council to establish the programme. The implementation phase covers the adoption of the work programmes and the selection of the projects to be funded. Following the execution of the research and innovation activities, the evaluation phase aims to assess the outcomes of the programmes and whether the initial objectives have been met. In 2018, a new cycle is expected to start for the adoption of the ninth framework programme for research and innovation (FP9) to be effective by 2020. Understanding the processes that take place under each phase of this cycle is important for the preparation and adoption of the key legislative acts, establishing (1) the framework programme itself, (2) the specific programmes for implementation, and (3) the rules for participation, and for dissemination of the programme's results.

Understanding artificial intelligence

11-01-2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) systems already permeate daily life: they drive cars, decide on mortgage applications, translate texts, recognise faces on social networks, identify spam emails, create artworks, play games, and intervene in conflict zones. The AI revolution that began in the 2000s emerged from the combination of machine learning techniques and 'big data'. The algorithms behind these systems work by identifying statistical correlation in the data they analyse, enabling them to perform ...

Artificial intelligence (AI) systems already permeate daily life: they drive cars, decide on mortgage applications, translate texts, recognise faces on social networks, identify spam emails, create artworks, play games, and intervene in conflict zones. The AI revolution that began in the 2000s emerged from the combination of machine learning techniques and 'big data'. The algorithms behind these systems work by identifying statistical correlation in the data they analyse, enabling them to perform tasks for which intelligence is required if a human were to perform them. Nevertheless, data-driven AI can only perform one task at a time, and cannot transfer its knowledge. 'Strong AI', able to display human-like intelligence and common sense, and which might be able to set its own goals, is not yet within reach. Despite the fears portrayed in film and TV entertainment, the idea of a 'superintelligence' able to self-improve and dominate humans remains an esoteric possibility, as development of strong AI systems is not predicted for a few decades or more, if indeed development ever reaches this stage. Nevertheless, the development of data-driven AI systems implies adaptation of legal frameworks on the collection, use and storage of data, due to privacy and other issues. Bias in data supplied to AI systems can also reproduce or amplify bias in the decisions they make. However, the key issue remains the level of autonomy given to AI systems to make decisions that could be life-changing, keeping in mind that they only provide recommendations, that they do not understand the tasks they perform, and that there is no way to know how they reach their conclusions. AI systems are expected to impact society, especially the job market, and could increase inequalities. To counter the abuse of probabilistic prediction and the risks to privacy, in April 2016 the European Parliament and the Council of the EU adopted the General Data Protection Regulation. The European Parliament also requested an update of the Union legal framework on robotics and AI in February 2017.

Understanding nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles

28-09-2017

Nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles need to be understood if the risks and challenges they entail are to be grasped. This understanding starts with two processes discovered in the last century – nuclear fission and nuclear fusion – that have the ability to release a significant quantity of energy from a very limited amount of matter. On the one hand, these reactions can be used to produce energy. Controlled nuclear fission is the process on which nuclear power plants are based. Nuclear fusion, ...

Nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles need to be understood if the risks and challenges they entail are to be grasped. This understanding starts with two processes discovered in the last century – nuclear fission and nuclear fusion – that have the ability to release a significant quantity of energy from a very limited amount of matter. On the one hand, these reactions can be used to produce energy. Controlled nuclear fission is the process on which nuclear power plants are based. Nuclear fusion, meanwhile, requires the ability to control a reaction that occurs at temperatures of millions of degrees. The control of nuclear fusion for energy production is the objective of the ITER project. On the other hand, uncontrolled nuclear fission and fusion reactions can be used to design nuclear weapons whose destructive power is far greater than traditional weapons. The first atomic bombs were produced and used during World War Two and based on nuclear fission. Since then, the design of nuclear weapons has been modified to include nuclear fusion reactions, leading to a sharp increase in the yield of nuclear bombs. The development of nuclear weapons requires mastery of technologies for the production of nuclear fuels (enriched uranium and plutonium), making access to these weapons limited. Advances in the production and design of nuclear weapons have made them smaller and suitable for mounting in the warheads of ballistic missiles. These missiles, whose functioning is similar to space rockets, can deliver their charge at a very long range (up to 15 000 km for intercontinental ballistic missiles).

Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA)

26-09-2017

Following a request made by nine Member States in December 2014, on 18 October 2016 the European Commission adopted a proposal to establish a new public-public Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA) under Article 185 TFEU. PRIMA would focus on two key socioeconomic issues that are important for the region: food systems and water resources. The decision adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in July 2017 establishes the partnership for a period of 10 ...

Following a request made by nine Member States in December 2014, on 18 October 2016 the European Commission adopted a proposal to establish a new public-public Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA) under Article 185 TFEU. PRIMA would focus on two key socioeconomic issues that are important for the region: food systems and water resources. The decision adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in July 2017 establishes the partnership for a period of 10 years, and provides PRIMA with €220 million in EU funds from the Horizon 2020 framework programme for research, to match the commitments of the participating states. The proposal introduces derogations to the rules concerning participation in Horizon 2020 in order to allow third countries to join the partnerships. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

EU-Rahmenprogramme für Forschung und Innovation: Entwicklung und Schlüsseldaten von RP1 bis Horizont 2020 im Hinblick auf RP9

20-09-2017

Das Rahmenprogramm für Forschung wurde ursprünglich in den 1980er-Jahren eingerichtet, um die Annahme von gemeinschaftlichen Forschungsprogrammen zu straffen. Im Zuge der folgenden Durchläufe des Prozesses und Änderungen an den Verträgen wurde das Rahmenprogramm zu einem finanziellen und strategischen Mittel für die Förderung und Umsetzung der Forschungs- und Innovationspolitik der EU. Mit der Erweiterung des Anwendungsbereichs des Rahmenprogramms und der Vervielfachung verschiedener Formen von Instrumenten ...

Das Rahmenprogramm für Forschung wurde ursprünglich in den 1980er-Jahren eingerichtet, um die Annahme von gemeinschaftlichen Forschungsprogrammen zu straffen. Im Zuge der folgenden Durchläufe des Prozesses und Änderungen an den Verträgen wurde das Rahmenprogramm zu einem finanziellen und strategischen Mittel für die Förderung und Umsetzung der Forschungs- und Innovationspolitik der EU. Mit der Erweiterung des Anwendungsbereichs des Rahmenprogramms und der Vervielfachung verschiedener Formen von Instrumenten zu dessen Durchführung förderte das Rahmenprogramm nach und nach sämtliche Tätigkeiten des Innovationsprozesses, wobei die Forschung lediglich eine Tätigkeit darstellt. Vor dem Hintergrund der für Herbst 2017 angesetzten Gespräche zu Struktur und Inhalt von RP9 wird in diesem Dokument die Entwicklung des Rahmenprogramms seit seinen Anfängen dargestellt. Es werden zentrale Fragen hervorgehoben, die in den kommenden Jahren von den europäischen Einrichtungen, den Mitgliedstaaten und Interessengruppen in Bezug auf die Struktur des Rahmenprogramms, seine Ziele und seine Umsetzung zu erörtern sein werden.

Die Beteiligung der EU an der PRIMA-Partnerschaft

07-06-2017

Es ist davon auszugehen, dass das Europäische Parlament während der Plenartagung im Juni 2017 über den Beschluss abstimmen wird, mit dem die finanzielle Beteiligung der Europäischen Union an der Partnerschaft für Forschung und Innovation im Mittelmeerraum (PRIMA) ermöglicht wird. Mit dieser öffentlich-öffentlichen Partnerschaft würden gemeinsame Forschungs- und Innovationsprojekte der Organe der EU und von am Mittelmeer gelegenen Drittländern zu Agrar- und Lebensmittelsystemen und zur Wasserbewirtschaftung ...

Es ist davon auszugehen, dass das Europäische Parlament während der Plenartagung im Juni 2017 über den Beschluss abstimmen wird, mit dem die finanzielle Beteiligung der Europäischen Union an der Partnerschaft für Forschung und Innovation im Mittelmeerraum (PRIMA) ermöglicht wird. Mit dieser öffentlich-öffentlichen Partnerschaft würden gemeinsame Forschungs- und Innovationsprojekte der Organe der EU und von am Mittelmeer gelegenen Drittländern zu Agrar- und Lebensmittelsystemen und zur Wasserbewirtschaftung gefördert. Der Beitrag der Union im Rahmen von Horizont 2020 würde sich über einen Zeitraum von 10 Jahren auf höchstens 220 Millionen EUR belaufen.

European Technology Platforms

17-05-2017

European Technology Platforms (ETP) were the first type of public-private partnership established in the research field at European level. These industry-led stakeholders' fora define and implement a strategic research agenda (SRA) aiming at aligning research priorities in a technological area. Without dedicated funding, ETPs remain coordination and advisory structures, helping to define the topics of research programmes at European, national and regional level.

European Technology Platforms (ETP) were the first type of public-private partnership established in the research field at European level. These industry-led stakeholders' fora define and implement a strategic research agenda (SRA) aiming at aligning research priorities in a technological area. Without dedicated funding, ETPs remain coordination and advisory structures, helping to define the topics of research programmes at European, national and regional level.

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