Hello and welcome to The Insider, a podcast Made in Brussels about research and innovation in Europe, the people and the institutions that make it happen.
Join us in a journey to discover more about the human beings that dedicate their lives to research, science and technology management and science communication.
Find out what drives them, their infinite and diverse career paths.
Discover the institutions that they call home, their research and management struggles.
Explore their perspectives and views: you will hear directly from guests from the European institutions, national governments or your regional funding body, among others.
You will have the opportunity to know more about the leading European universities and research institutes, as well as research-based start-ups and industry leaders.
Join us in these personal, one to one conversations, with the brightest minds of science and technology in Europe.
The podcast "The Insider" logo and banner have been created by Pedro Regadas, designer at INESC TEC.
ESFRI and the future of Research Infrastructures, with Jana Kolar
Welcome back to The Insider, your weekly podcast about Research and Innovation in Europe.
Jana Kolar is the current Chair of ESFRI – the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures. ESFRI has just celebrated 20 years and has had a crucial role in promoting a strategic approach across Europe towards selection and funding of research infrastructures. The importance of the contribution of ESFRI for strategic thinking, not just in research infrastructures, but in Research and Innovation more broadly along these last 20 years is often overlooked. But what is the future holding and how is ESFRI addressing it?
Jana is also one of the most engaging and interesting persons to talk to. It is always a huge pleasure to have these conversations and debates with her and you will surely want to hear this one.
We explore the unique path towards the establishment of CERIC, the RI that Jana is the Executive Director of, but also the vision for Jana’s 2-year first mandate in ESFRI as Chair. We went deep into the challenges of rethinking how to properly develop a landscape and gap analysis across knowledge domains, the importance of impact, sustainability and funding synergies, among others.
20 years in the Brussels bubble, with Charlotte Andersdotter
In today’s podcast I bring you my conversation with Charlotte Andersdotter. Charlotte is currently the Head of Office of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprises in Brussels and allowed us to dive into her 20 years of experience as an expat in the Brussels R&I arena. I can assure you there would be much more I would love to discuss about this issue with Charlotte, as she not only has an extremely interesting and rich professional experience that takes us back to her role as founder of ERRIN, the European Regions Research and Innovation Network, to her experience at the European Commission DG RTD, but she is also a good person, respectful of individuality, of difference and of the diversity across Europe, and those that know me, know that is what I value above all.
We also explore: how well are the Swedish interests represented in Brussels? What is the role of a Brussels-based representation and its challenges vis-à-vis its home institutions? is there a difference between the research and the innovation part, namely the representation of industry or is there complementarity? What role play the Nordic research and innovation councils such as Nordforsk or Norden?
Let’s hear it!
The extra mile? We do it for societal impact! 20 years of INESC Coimbra – with Carlos Henggeler
Welcome back to The Insider! This is a special episode, commemorative of the 20 years of our INESC institutes in Coimbra. It is a very relaxed and informal conversation where I explore with Carlos Henggeler what defines INESC Coimbra, its inherent interdisciplinarity and what distinguishes it, its relation with University of Coimbra and other higher educations institutions in the Central region of Portugal (namely the Polytechnic Institutes of Leiria and Coimbra), it light structure and “living organism” management as a strategic decision and a reflection on what makes a researcher go the extra mile, dedicate the extra hours.
We wrap it up with a vision for the future, including the importance of contract research and international cooperation in EU projects. This was a frank, open and fluid conversation and we sincerely hope you enjoy it.
On Technology Infrastructures: the critical questions - with Sophie Viscido
Welcome back to The Insider! In this week’s episode, we are going to address head on the critical questions being asked about Technology Infrastructures.
How distinct and specific are TIs in relation to other research and innovation support infrastructures? What specific challenges do they face over their lifecycle and how can their capacity be further leveraged? What is their role in a regional, national or transnational R&I ecosystem? Are TIs mostly local or is there a pan-european relevance and action rationale? What kind of governance and funding model should we develop to take the most out of their potential to help us build bridges between science and the market?
The Joint Research Centre, in partnership with EARTO – European Association of Research and Technology Organisations, recently published a report where most of these questions are further explored.
And that is why my guest today is Sophie Viscido, one of the authors of the report and certainly someone who is always very interesting and good fun to talk to. Stick around to the end of this longer than usual episode and you will get a critical overview of the past, present and future of the discussion on TIs.
We’re also giving you a brief rundown of this week’s top headlines from our Morning Brief newsletter, focusing on the entrance of Tunisia into Horizon Europe under association status, the Swiss government’s replacing the grant and equity funding 24 Swiss start-ups were set to receive from EU funds. Also, the Data Governance Act and the Trans-European energy infrastructure at a glance, and fantastic news for the INESC universe.
Here are some of the events coming up that you should keep an eye out for:
· Don't miss the i3S Workshop on Cancer Research, Biological and Molecular Basis taking place between 26 and 29 September this year. Find out more information here.
· Don't miss this webinar, taking place April 21st, providing detailed information on personnel costs on Horizon Europe projects for Legal and Financial NCPs. Register here.
· Vision Understanding and Machine Intelligence – VISUM 2022 – is the tenth edition of a summer school focused on Computer Vision and Machine Learning. This edition is organised by INESC TEC, and will be an on-site event in Porto, Portugal. Find more information here.
· Science Europe is organising its first conference on Open Science, on 18 and 19 October 2022. Click here to find out more.
· Don't miss the EU Green Week 2022 taking place from 30 May to 5 June 2022. Discover more about the event here.
Gender Equality Plans: united in diversity? - with Catarina Valente
Welcome back to The Insider!
"United in diversity", the motto of the European Union, first came into use in 2000 but never made so much sense in the research and innovation domain as it does now that the EU not only made explicit its objectives for gender equality in research but is actively pursuing institutional change in research performing organisations, higher education institutions and research funding organisations.
Today we will be exploring not the numbers and the principles, as we assume you are agree there is work ahead of us towards equality and that this is an important aspect to address. We will be exploring gender issues from the perspective of someone supporting the management of a research institution and that recently had to develop the so-called Gender Equality Plan, which is now compulsory for all research performing organisation and higher education institutions to participate in Horizon Europe projects.
In order to do that, I have here with me Catarina Valente who is part of the interface and co-creation unit, at INESC INOV, she is a researcher with a background in gender issues in research and technology development and is now researching climate resilience and community building.
More to the point, for the purpose of our conversation, Catarina coordinated the development of the Gender Equality Plan of INESC INOV.
We’re also giving you a brief rundown of this week’s top headlines from our Morning Brief newsletter, highlighting the energy crisis in Europe and the two dividing perspectives. One reinforcing the need to step away from non-renewable sources of energy such as oil, that was mostly provided by Russia and enforce the European Green Deal and another which is pushing European oil and coal producing countries to step up their production so that there are no shortages in the coming winter.
Here are some of the events coming up that you should keep an eye out for:
· The KTD Consultation Workshop on Silicon Photonics: The KTD Consultation Workshop on Silicon Photonics is happening March 30. Register here;
· Don't miss the event on Energy Efficiency - A science advice perspective, on March 28th, hosted by MEP Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Co-chair of the European Parliament Intergroup on ‘Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development’. Register here;
· The European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism warmly invites everyone working at the science-policy interface to explore the key challenges of delivery science advice under pressure between 27 and 28 April. Register here;
· DG CNECT is organising an information session on Tuesday 29 March between 14.30-16.30 to present the main elements of the European Chips Act, as well as the preliminary timeline for its adoption. Register here;
· Don't miss the World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum 2022, it will play a vital role in exposing the power of Entrepreneurs and Innovators in creating partnerships to secure a prosperous future and sustainable solutions for the globe challenges. Register here;
· On Tuesday, March 29th, another edition of the iStartLab MeetUps at Técnico Lisbon will happen, this time dedicated to the iStartLab Internet-of-Things (IoT) System and on how it can be used to create solutions for real-life problems. Click here to register.
What kind of innovation do we want for our future?
Welcome back to The Insider.
This week our approach will leave the traditional R&I policies and ask a question that has been growing in importance before us all but not much real attention has been dedicated to it so far: what kind of innovation do we want for the future? No, it is not simple question and we could address it from many different perspectives, of course. Inspired by the 8th Cohesion Forum, which took place earlier this week and counted with the participation of the nobel prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Prof Carlota Perez from SPRU, University of Sussex, I will delve into the increasingly urgent connection between innovation and societal challenges and how science and policy intersect to address these challenges, in particular at EU level.
This is also going to be the theme for a working dinner organised by the INESC Brussels HUB later this year, so any reactions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us, as they are most welcome and may indeed help us defining the contours of the discussion to be had.
Some useful links:
Joseph Stiglitz, Beyond GDP
OECD - Mission Oriented Innovation – Mariana Mazzucato
European Commission – Mission Oriented Research and Innovation – Mariana Mazzucato