and I wondered what are the KICs in the context of Horizon2020. Everything is explained on the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) website:
Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) are the independent but operational part of the EIT, the part that puts the innovation web into practise. They are highly integrated, creative and excellence-driven partnerships that bring together the fields of education, technology, research, business and entrepreneurship, in order to produce new innovations and new innovation models that inspire others to emulate it. They are to become key drivers of sustainable economic growth and competitiveness across Europe through world-leading innovation. The KICs will be driving effective “translation” between partners in ideas, technology, culture, and business models, and will create new business for existing industry and for new endeavours. KICs are legally and financially structured entities of internationally distributed but thematically convergent partners. The relationship between the KICs and the EIT in Budapest is organised on a contractual basis, leaving a great degree of autonomy to the KICs to define their own legal status, internal organisation and working methods.
UPDATE:The article of Catie Lichten “Taking responsibility” in ResearchEurope looks at the recent Commission report to find how links are forged between societal needs and funding for scientific advances. [21/03/2013]
UPDATE2: I just found the channel on daily motion of the French Embassy in the UK that organised a conference on responsible innovation. You can find the videos here: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/AmbascienceUK/1 [30/04/2013]
Last week a new colleague started working with us as project manager for a EU-funded research project and I took the opportunity to ask her how had she found this job. “Too complicated” she said. She is not alone: an extremely common problem for project managers working on EU-funded projects is that they don’t know what will happen to them when the project ends.
Most usually their contract ends. If one is lucky the scientist for whom one worked for will have succeeded in getting more funding from the EU in the form of a new project, in which case one most probably can continue working with the same community. Even if one has such luck, it is not necessarily possible for this person to continue working there: public organisations in the EU usually put restrictions on how many years someone can work for them on temporary contracts. In the French public sector it is 6 years for example. If you have reached this 6 year limit they either open a permanent position for you (in which case you become a civil servant) or you are out, no matter how good or bad you are at your job. And since it is very difficult to justify new positions, especially in the time of crisis, then most usually you have to go.
So the question is how do you find a new job if you love being an EU-funded project manager?
I searched extensively online and I found no appropriate solution. I still cannot believe that those hiring personnel to work on EU-funded projects are not obliged by the EC to advertise the position in a central place so that all Europeans can apply! I have been working for example for an ERANET project: there is nowhere I can find if there are any other ERANETs looking for a project manager! I have to look at hundreds of websites in order to find this information and in this search some inside knowledge is necessary to succeed in obtaining it.
In the context of a course on “Innovation in the Public Sector” for my MSc in Public Policy and Management I decided to focus on this very important issue. I came up with the idea of HorizonTap, whose full business model you can read/download below. I would like however to summarize some of the main points here:
I finally got back to Athens 2 days ago: I was supposed to be away in Paris for 8 days but I ended up staying for 2 weeks due to the volcano eruption. I cannot really complain. The only problem is that when you are stranded away from home it is more difficult to write your blog!
Anyway the meeting in Paris was related to knowledge, science, youth, communication and policy issues and I learned a lot of interesting things that I will mention in my future posts. For the time being I suggest to the European people that might fall into this blog, to go and vote at the website that is mentioned below.
The following text i copied pasted it from the e-mail I was sent:
Science and innovation have played an essential role in our history. The search for knowledge to advance together is one of the pillars of European culture. Continue reading →
An interesting conference taking place in Athens organised by the British Council
The Creative Economy: Challenges and Opportunities in a Τime of Crisis
The importance of creativity and innovation in the context of the globalised and extremely competitive economic environment of the 21st century cannot be overstated. More than ever before, during this period of economic turmoil there is increasing recognition that a large proportion of the new economy will depend on how well leaders succeed in supporting and unlocking people’s creative energies and capacity for innovation as a means of developing dynamic and vibrant regions, cities, communities and businesses alike. New circumstances demand new solutions, and creativity and innovation will be key to overcoming economic and social challenges.
Join us at the Creative Economy Conference we are organising in collaboration with the Department of Communications, Media and Culture at Panteion University and IANOS publishers. The conference aims to take a closer look at both the British and Greek experience and share knowledge and best practice between the two countries. It brings together experts from Greece and the UK and from various fields of science, technology, the humanities, policy making, the arts and culture, as well as successful real-life innovators, to discuss and exchange ideas on the challenges and opportunities of a creative economy in a time of crisis.