Blog of Random Thoughts and Pictures

Irish Consultation on the next EU research funding programme

March 30th, 2011

This has been cross posted to my TSSG blog.

This was a short 1/2 day workshop I was recently invited to participate in. The Framework Programmes (FP7 and everything before) have to date, been the European Union’s chief instrument for funding research. Preparations for the next programme 2014-2020 (now called Horizon 2020) and the new Common Strategic Framework for Research and Innovation are now underway and the priorities are being discussed at national and European levels. Ireland has the opportunity to influence the direction and balance of European research and so the purpose of this workshop was to provide input to Ireland’s national submission to the European Commission in response to its Green Paper “From Challenges to Opportunities: Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding [pdf]”.

This European wide consultation began in February of 2011, with its purpose to collect opinion on the future of research and innovation funding and co-operation into the next decade in Europe.

The paper itself asks (27) questions about how future funding systems might improve on previous ones, whether new mechanisms are needed and how the elements of the funding system should be balanced, which would have a direct effect on the funding allocated to certain schemes.

This Irish national consultation was led by the Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (ACSTI) and the drive of the workshop was to refine and develop the views gathered so far from the research and innovation communities in Ireland on the questions put in the European Commission’s Green Paper.

The workshop was opened by the chair Professor Anita Maguire were upon the purpose, structure, key themes and issues for discussion was explained.

  • Benefits of being in the Framework Programmes;
  • Making research and innovation funding more attractive and easy to access for participants;
  • Public-private partnerships;
  • Training and exchange schemes;
  • How to best cover the whole innovation cycle;
  • How to strengthen industry participation;

Once this overview was given the room was split into groups and each group was given the task of commenting on a sub-set of the questions, I was in the group for questions 1 -7. While I though the majority of the responses were fine I was a little concerned with the responses to questions 1 and 2, it seems with group I was in thought so too.

We offered feedback, and in some small way I’m glad to see it was considered as the process is now complete and the final Irish submission to the green paper can be read off this link [pdf] changes to questions 1 and 2 afoot.

In fact there were 13 responses from Ireland, Chemical and Physical Sciences Committee of the Royal Irish Academy, Electricity Supply Board, Forfas, Health Research Board, Irish Research Staff Association, Irish Universities Association, Marine Institute, National Committee for Geographical Sciences, Royal Irish Academy, Science Foundation Ireland, University College Dublin, and one from our very own Jim Clarke, Waterford Institute of Technology for which I also offered some input.

While the process can seem long winded, in fact all the opportunities are there to have your spoke in the programme, you just have to take the time to source those opportunities well in advance.

Some new hair cuts for the girls

March 19th, 2011

There have been some drastic new hair cuts for Kate & Mia.

15th Meeting of the COST Domain Committee for ICT

March 4th, 2011

This has been cross posted to my TSSG blog

Some early morning fog in Brussels had me held up a little on arrival but once we touched down it turned out to be a glourious spring day in Belgium. I’m was here in Brussels for the COST ICT domain committee meeting and hearings, where we are listening to and deciding on some new COST actions in ICT.

We are also here to discuss the COST ICT Domain budget update, full proposal selection process and the proposal ranking algorithm, and had an overview of the outlier tool.

There were also some changes in final event handling (as of Nov. 2010) and some e-COST updates that needed to be discussed and of course the monitoring of ICT Actions in progress.

We went through the evaluation of completed and ending actions which included:

2010 Completed Actions

With the action ended the rappatours were giving an overview of some of the final news items from the Actions.


Action 2100 was highlighting its joint workshop on Wireless Communications, 1 – 2 March 2011, Paris, France. JNCW 2011 was organised jointly by the European Network of Excel- lence in Wireless Communications (NEWCOM++) and the European Cooperation Action on Pervasive Mobile and Ambient Wireless Communications (COST 2100).


Action 2101 was highlighting its Biometric ID Management Workshop ( BioID 2011 ) which was the Third International Workshop organised by COST Action 2101. The BioID 2011 will be held in the city of Brandenburg in the Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences.


Action 2102 was higlighting a publication announcement of the Proceedings of the PINK COST 2102 INTERNATIONAL Conference on “Analysis of Verbal and Non Verbal Communication and Enactment: The Processing Issues”, in LNCS and also its Third International Training School notes from March 15-19, 2010.

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