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Issue 3 - January 2016
 
Opportunities Document
Events
Publications 
Projects
Expert Group
Opportunities for Researchers from the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) in Horizon 2020 in Work Programme 2016/17
Net4Society has recently published the new document "Opportunities for Researchers from the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities", which contains the full texts of SSH relevant Horizon 2020 Topics in Work Programme 2016/2017. This document lists current funding opportunities with relevance to socio-economic sciences and humanities in various research areas within Horizon 2020, including topics of all Societal Challenges - as well as topics from "Industrial Leadership" and "Excellent Science" part of Horizon 2020. The document serves as a guideline and is meant to demonstrate the wealth of possibilities for SSH scientists within Horizon 2020. Included are Topics that contain SSH-related themes of substantial relevance to the SSH community. Topics of some minor SSH relevance are mentioned as well, but are not fully outlined.Download the document here
Events
Understanding and Tackling the Migration Challenge: The Role of Research
International Conference, 4-5 February 2016, Brussels

The Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission organises a two-day conference to explore and demonstrate how European research can support policy makers in designing effective and sustainable migration policies. To this end, past and current research on migration - including on integration, circular migration, migration and development, data and statistical modeling - will be presented and debated from a policy perspective. Findings from social sciences and economic research will feature at the conference alongside short- to long-term health care needs of migrants as well as the link between climate change and current and future migratory processes. The identification of future research needs, both immediate and long-term, will be a cross cutting theme throughout the conference. The Science4Refugees initiative, designed to identify and provide opportunities for refugees with scientific qualifications within the European Research Area, will also be presented at the conference. Conference Rationale and Draft Agenda
U-Turn on Addictions: Biological and social sciences to re-frame drug policy,
17-18 February 2016, Barcelona

ALICE RAP project will host an on-site and online final debate to present and discuss key research findings coming out of the project, their policy implications and the science with the greatest potential to contribute to smart and evidence-based global drugs policy.
The event will be attended (either in person or remotely) by high-level scientists, policy actors from national and international organisations and expert civil society actors, and is expected to shape the messages from multidisciplinary addiction science for drug policy influencers and implementers. Discussions will be stimulated by short scientific presentations on key topics around two broad pillars:
  • "the scientific basis for a U-turn on addictions" - presenting and discussing the latest evidence and knowledge on drug use, harms and mechanisms.
  • "U-turning in the mosaic of time and place" - examining policy and programme options to mitigate the harm caused by addictive products.

Combating Environmental Crime: Priorities and Opportunities for further EU Action
17-18 February 2016, Brussels

EFFACE project final conference will bring together key stakeholders involved in addressing environmental crime at the local, national, European and international levels including legal, judicial and crime experts; environmental policy experts; EU and Member State policy makers, customs and law enforcement officials; representatives from civil society / NGOs; and others.The programme will include sessions on:
  • Key conclusions and recommendations from EFFACE, (including from case studies on wildlife, logging, fishing, mining, wastes, etc.);
  • Priorities for further action by the EU; and
  • Facilitating the role of NGOs and civil society in combating environmental crime
Publications
Humanities Scientific Committee Opinion Paper
Radical Innovation: Humanities Research Crossing Knowledge Boundaries and Fostering Deep Change December 2015

This Opinion Paper highlights the role of arts and humanities play, in concert with technology, in addressing societal challenges using an approach of radical innovation. It advocates the need for a wider and deeper understanding of the concept of innovation, in order to better prepare Europe for dealing with global challenges with a stronger leadership.
Among European best practices FP7 interdisciplinary SSH project MEMOLA (Mediterraneous Mountainous Landscapes) brings Humanities and Natural Sciences researchers together and works closely with local communities in investigating traditional uses of soil and water in Mediterranean mountains. To strengthen local communities ties to their ancestral traditions brings radical and sustainable solutions to aging societies sustained by a fragile landscape.

Commission presents its evaluation of the 7th Framework Programme for Research
The European Commission has published its ex-post evaluation of the 7th Framework Programme (FP7), the EU's research funding programme between 2007 and 2013.The evaluation is based on a report by an independent group of high level experts, as well as the Commission's response to its recommendations published in two legal documents.The main findings are that FP7 was effective in boosting excellent science and strengthening Europe's industrial competitiveness, contributing to growth and jobs in Europe. The evaluation also identified ways to improve how the EU funds research and innovation, of which many issues are already being taken up by Horizon 2020, the successor programme to FP7.
Projects
Our Neighbours - Research and Innovation in support of the EU’s Neighbourhood Policy
A common foreign policy should have a stronger role in stabilizing the EU's neighbourhood, especially in the light of the current refugee crisis. This was one of the points made by the president Junker in his recent State of the Union speech. This publication presents the finalized and the ongoing research and innovation SSH projects that support the European Neighbourhood Policy. These projects address the interaction of the neighbourhood countries with the EU in terms of people, capital, trade, knowledge and innovation, thus informing the recent review of the ENP. Security and democracy in the eastern neighbourhood, the causes of the “Arab Spring”, youth empowerment and migration are just some of the research topics tackled. Future calls and the topics under the Horizon 2020 programme that are relevant for the European Neighbourhood Policy are also presented.
Mind the Gap - European Research for Combating Inequalities
Tackling inequalities is a political imperative for the European Commission and President Juncker has placed it high in his political agenda. This was underlined by his commitment to create a Europe with a ‘Triple A Social Rating’ and to strengthen the European Social Model through a pillar of social rights. Addressing inequalities is not only a matter of solidarity but also of economic expediency. Scientific evidence shows that higher levels of inequality are not conducive to economic growth and can have negative implications for macroeconomic stability. Inequality creates «negative externalities» for growth since it can potentially lead to higher social conflict, increased rent-seeking behaviour leading to misallocation of resources, lower social mobility leading to underinvestment in human capital and fewer educational opportunities for low income groups. Growth in more unequal countries is also less effective in lowering poverty. This publication presents the most relevant projects in the Social Sciences and Humanities who have taken up the task of addressing the wider issues of inequality, exclusion and social welfare. The projects are a source of ground breaking conceptual work, extensive quantitative comparisons and surveys, profound and in-depth qualitative forays into social challenges and importantly concrete, evidence-based policy recommendations.
Boosting jobs - The Contribution of European Research
The European Commission has an important role to play in putting employment in a sustainable path and narrowing gaps between Member States. Growth and jobs are at the core of the Commission’s agenda for the next 5 years, while President Juncker has made explicit his vision for achieving a «Social Triple A». The Investment Plan will mobilise investments of at least €315 billion in three years. Additionally, the Commission announced a package of measures to support Member States in getting people, especially the long-term unemployed, into work and promote skills.DG Research and Innovation supports the Commission’s policies towards boosting growth and employment. Having access to robust data and solid evidence is paramount for the design of effective policy. The EU’s Seventh Framework Progarmme for research, technological development and demonstration activities and the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme on Research and Innovation finance several research projects on (un)employment and job creation; labour market innovations; vulnerabilities of different groups of workers (youth, women, disabled, migrants); social exclusion and inequalities; quality of work and skills; institutional and social innovations; and policy learning concerning what works, where and why.
This publication presents the most relevant projects in the Social Sciences and Humanities who have taken up the task of addressing the wider issues of employment, growth and inclusion. The projects are a source of ground breaking conceptual work, extensive quantitative comparisons and surveys, profound and in-depth qualitative forays into social challenges and importantly concrete, evidence-based policy recommendations.
Expert group
Expert group on evaluation methodologies for the interim and ex-post evaluations of Horizon 2020
DG RTD Unit A.5 is setting up an expert group on evaluation methodologies for the interim and ex-post evaluations of Horizon 2020.
In line with the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016-2017, Chapter 19 ("Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation"), point 6, DG RTD Unit A.5 is setting up an expert group on evaluation methodologies for the interim and ex-post evaluations of Horizon 2020.The overall objective of the expert group is to design and implement methodologies to identify and assess economic, social and environmental impacts of Horizon 2020 and past Framework Programmes (since FP5). Impacts will have to be quantified and assessed by Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge, by Commission political priority, by economic sector, and by Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative. The work of this group will feed into the interim and ex-post evaluations of Horizon 2020.
The experts participating in this group should have extensive knowledge and experience in designing, implementing and evaluating research and innovation policies; proven thematic experience in one or more sectorial areas in line with the Societal Challenges addressed by Horizon 2020; sound knowledge of econometric tools, including macro-economic modelling techniques; experience in the use of data and/or text mining tools and analysis based on the use of big data; experience in bibliometric analysis, including altmetrics; profound knowledge of statistics; and extensive experience in impact evaluation including novel evaluation methodologies to quantify impacts.
The expert group will work from the first quarter of 2016 until December 2017 and will comprise up to twenty independent external experts. The work will combine remote activities with participation in a maximum of ten meetings. If you are interested in participating in this expert group, please register here and send an e-mail to RTD-A5-SUPPORT@ec.europa.eu confirming your interest by 31 January 2016.
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Net4Society is a Horizon 2020 project funded by the European Union, Grant Agreement no. 649180. The newsletter does not convey the opinion of the European Commission.
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