N°4, 31st March 2008
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The 2008 EARTO Annual Conference takes place in Madrid on 28th - 30th May, hosted by FEDIT, the Spanish Federation of Innovation and Technology Organisations.
The theme of the conference is "Impacting New Markets", with three parallel sessions on May 29th devoted to:
â€¢ new geographical markets (Asia-Pacific, India, Latin America ...)
â€¢ new service offerings to RTO customers (beyond traditional R&D services...)
â€¢ measuring RTO impact on customers and economies
The conference will be preceded on the afternoon of 28th May (15:00 onwards) by the EARTO Working Group. Please see following article for the programme.
The full conference programme is available here
The EARTO annual conference will be preceded on the afternoon of May 28th by a meeting of the EARTO Working Group. This is an open meeting for all interested EARTO members and conference guests. The principal items proposed for presentation and discussion are:
Please visit the conference website to register for the Working Group meeting.
EARTO has recently launched a questionaire by e-mail to all members to update its 2000 and 2005 membership surveys of RTO overhead costs. This is a precautionary measure in anticipation of possible proposals to limit the reimbursement of overhead costs in FP7 projects.
There have been such proposals to cap overhead costs in previous Framework Programmes - e.g. at 80% or even 60% of direct labour costs - which EARTO has been able to defeat by demonstrating that the proposed upper limits did not correspond to RTO reality.
First results from the updated survey confirm that most RTOs have overhead costs of over 100% of direct personnel costs.
Members which have not yet returned the completed questionnaire are invited to do so as rapidly as possible.
We reported in a recent edition of EARTO News that in our meeting in February with the Commission Heads of Unit responsible for ex post audits of FP6 projects, it appeared that the Commission would permit RTOs to use average personnel costs in their cost reporting, provided that an auditor was satisfied that the averages could be shown to be accurate on the basis of recalculating the real personnel costs for a sample of FP6 projects involving the same RTO. We are expecting to receive written guidance from the Commission on this issue shortly.
There has been a similar issue with regard to FP6 Collective Research projects involving large numbers of SMEs with small amounts of in-kind costs. The Commission has been demanding individual audit certificates for each individual SME. Now it seems that the Commission will accept an audit certificate based on a sample of the SME cost claims in such a project. This is a result of efforts by the RTO members of the DG Research SME Advisory Group.
Any member wishing for further information is invited to contact hull.at.earto.eu.
The Commission has now published updated general guidance on its certification policy for FP7. Please see the article below.
Meeus is an internet discussion site set up by EARTO and its partners in the DESCA Consortium last November to provide a facility where FP7 uses can exchange experience and help one another with information and advice. Meeus is getting more and more popular. Over 300 users are already registered. They discuss topics such as:
Visit Meeus to see for yourself! here.
Each year, EIRMA - The European Industrial Research Management Association - runs a special residential course for younger, rising R&D managers. The 3 1/2 day course is run by experienced R&D managers from industry or with industrial experience. This year EIRMA is making the course open to EARTO members.
The EIRMA course offers an interactive learning experience for younger R&D managers who are facing their second or third career promotion leading to a number of discontinuities in job content. The Management Study Group is based on exchange of and mutual learning from practical experience of participants, supported by a senior faculty and a series of lectures.
While the first promotion of a scientist or engineer in an R&D organisation brings the individual to the position of leading a small group or a section s/he still participates in direct R&D work, having similar but broader expertise in the subject area than her/his co-workers.
Further promotions and career development lift the responsibilities to the supervision and coordination of work of larger groups. At this level, job content becomes distinctly more heterogeneous and the individual will no longer be fully expert in all the details. Members of the team will probably also come from various disciplines and departments. The new responsibilities comprise to a far greater extent strategic planning and management of project portfolios and aspects of:
The cost of the course, including accommodation and meals, is â‚¬2,200 per person Link
Any interested member is invited to contact taffah.at.earto.eu
The European Commission has updated its audit strategy for FP7, together with further information and guidance on its certification policy and certification instruments for FP7.
The new certification policy for the FP7 Grant Agreements has been designed with the aim of "fixing the future" by focusing on preventive ex-ante verification.
There are two sorts of ex ante certification instruments available in FP7.
Further information and documents about the certificates can be found here.
There is also a guide "Certificates Issued by External Auditors - Guidance Notes for Beneficiaries and Auditors".
FAQs concerning certificates are available here.
For further information, please contact baumeister.at.earto.eu.
The European Parliament has taken the final vote enabling the launch of the EIT.
The next steps in the implementation of the EIT are:
The EARTO Secretariat has worked with the EARTO Executive Board and the EARTO-EUROTECH Special Interest Group to prepare a paper to raise awareness about the important contribution which RTOs can make to the EIT. The paper - Making the EIT A Success: The Essential Contribution of Research and Technology Organisations - can be found in the Members Area of the EARTO website.
The EARTO Secretariat will shortly be coordinating a process among the members to nominate high-ranking RTO candidates for the EIT's Governing Board.
Further information about the EIT can be found on the EIT Website.
An Open Day for the ARTEMIS & ENIAC Joint Technology Initiatives will be organised by the EPISTEP project in Brussels on April 4th. It is expected that the first Call for Proposals for both initiatives will be launched in April already. This information day is organized in close collaboration with the European Commission and the two industrial associations ARTEMISIA and AENEAS. Further information can be found here.
IMI - Innovative Medicines Initiative - is also organising a major information event in Brussels on April 30th to allow key stakeholders to find out more about IMI. The one-day event will provide details of IMI's scientific priorities. Participants will get initial guidance on the application procedures for consortia considering making applications for funding under the first IMI Call for Proposals. Further information can be found here.
More information about Joint Technology Initatives in general is available here
COPENMIND is a new initiative, global in scope, aimed at facilitating a level of technology transfer and economic matchmaking between research and business which goes beyond traditional trade exhibitions.
The first COPENMIND event takes place in Copenhagen on 1st-3rd September 2008, with a focus on cleantech. The themes in 2009 and 2010 will be energy and health, respectively.
The European Commission has published a draft "Practical Guide to EU Funding Opportunities for Research, Development and Innovation".
The guide explains the principles of FP7, CIP and the Structural Funds. Synergies are seen especially in the area of complementary financing e.g. separate but related activities or parts of a project could be funded by the Structural Funds, FP7 or the CIP; an activity could also first be supported by FP7 or the CIP, and its follow-up later by the Structural Funds, or the other way around.
The guide is not detailed and lacks practical guidance about the need for a wider coordinated strategy between the research organisation and region in order to ensure the complementary financing of projects.
The guide is a draft and the Commission is inviting comments via a public consultation which will close by the end of April.
- Intra-European Fellowships': FP7-PEOPLE-IEF-2008
- International Outgoing Fellowships': FP7-PEOPLE-IOF-2008
- International Incoming Fellowships': FP7-PEOPLE-IIF-2008
Information on the modalities and deadlines for the calls, the work programmes, and guidance for applicants on how to submit proposals is available through the CORDIS Web site
Press release from CORDIS Web site
Official Journal C 74, 20th March 2008
CORDIS Web page on FP7 calls for proposals
FP7 People programme Web page
Link to the article
To find this information please click here.
It provides information about the economic environment in selected European countries, a searchable database of trainers and information about innovation support structures in various countries.
Later the website, www.ip4inno.eu, will also provide materials for trainers, who are themselves being trained in the course of the project. The hope is that by "training trainers" the project will be able to reach a wider audience in participating countries.
"The implementation of the ip4inno project by the EPO is complementing the role that the EPO already plays in the support to innovation in Europe," says EPO project co-ordinator Pascal Phlix. "Through projects that are implemented in co-operation with the national offices of the 34 Member States of the EPO, initiatives have been started to develop innovation in the regions, for example, by fostering technology transfer between public research centres and industry."
Last summer the European Patent Academy co-ordinated the creation of 12 three-hour teaching modules. In addition to explaining the basics of intellectual property rights, the modules cover patent information, commercialisation, enforcement and raising awareness about IP.
In January, the Academy organised the first of four two-day teaching events in Munich, presenting these modules to business advisors and technology transfer offices from across Europe. A second event took place in Berlin in February and events are planned in Vienna on 10/11 March and The Hague on 7/8 April.
Some of the other partner institutions, including the Hungarian Patent Office (HPO), have arranged their own training events, multiplying the number of educators who can provide training to SMEs.
"Education and promotion has been an important task for us from the beginning," says Andras Haszonits from the HPO. "Resources are limited at patent offices, thus decentralisation of information provision and promotion is crucial to increasing the use of IP."
Part of the European Commission's "PRO INNO Europe" initiative, ip4inno aims to further understanding of intellectual property among SMEs and increase their use of it, thereby promoting innovation and competitiveness in Europe, one of the goals of the Lisbon Agenda.
Research for SMEs and Research for SME Associations are two dedicated initiatives to strengthen the innovation capacities of SMEs by providing the support they need to outsource research critical to their core business. The Seventh Framework Programme provides financial support to SMEs in the acquisition of new knowledge from Research and development providers to improve their competitiveness. Projects must render clear exploitation potential and economic benefits to the SME participants.
In order to fully assess the economic impact the Commission is currently looking for experts with industrial / business background to evaluate proposals submitted under the "Research for the benefit of SMEs" calls.
If you are interested please register via the following link on CORDIS https://cordis.europa.eu/emmfp7/index.cfm?fuseaction=wel.welcome.
For further information on SME Research in FP7, please visit:
Since December 2007 the EARTO meeting facilities are available in a reconfigured format.
The EARTO first-floor meeting room is available for meetings of up to 16 participants at cost price to EARTO members.
Bigger meetings can be accommodated in a large, modern meeting room on the 5th floor of our building at a very attractive price.
Members are also welcome to use our small room suitable for up to five people free of charge.
For further information, please contact Kadija Taffah taffah.at.earto.eu at the EARTO Secretariat: +32-2-5028698
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