Towards the recovery of Europe: innovation, employment and mobility

Webinar 2

Comisión de Política y Diplomacia Científica de CEBE; CEBE Science Policy and Diplomacy Committee · 14-01-2021 10:00 · Webinars

The cycle of three online seminars "Towards the recovery of Europe: innovation, employment and mobility", organized by the association of Spanish Scientists in Belgium (CEBE) in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Social Security of the Embassy of Spain in Belgium and sponsored by the Ramón Areces Foundation, has brought together nine experts representing different institutions at the European level (European CommisionEURESREPER), national (CSIC) and local (INJUVE Aragón) who provided relevant information on the tools, programs and opportunities for R&D, employment and mobility in the context of the Recovery Plan for Europe.

The second online seminar took place on October 21, 2020, the speakers addressed the role of industry, industrial clusters and industrial ecosystems in the recovery of Europe.

Mrs. Eva Revilla (Responsible for policies to support industrial clusters in the General Directorate of Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, DG GROWEuropean Commission) explained the EU's industrial strategy for Europe´s recovery. The pandemic caused the interruption of supply chains, so the EU had to take concrete actions to improve the situation (a website portal to provide information for clusters, financing...). Supply chains need R&D&I to provide solutions to the fragility that supply chains have shown in the context of the pandemic and to guarantee the strategic autonomy of the EU. For example, it is necessary to move towards a circular economy, guarantee the supply of raw materials and towards a more resilient Europe. Spain has to work to present proposals and projects to guarantee the absorption of structural funds and to grow in competiveness and employment. The EU's industrial strategy focuses on green and digital transition, global competitiveness and resilience. Now more than ever the EU is focusing on European industrial ecosystems that support all stakeholders, SMEs, large companies, academia ... and avoid the distinction between R&D&I and industry.

Mr. Antonio Novo (Managing Director of the Cluster IDiA - Research, Development and Innovation of Aragon and President of the European Clusters Alliance) described the role of clusters in the industrial sector and cooperation between regional ecosystems in Europe. He presented the European Cluster Alliance, which is the largest cluster network in Europe made up of 13 national networks, 740 organizations and brings together 123,000 innovative entities and 10,000 universities, technology centers and public institutions.

Given the need to act to mitigate the effects of the pandemic in the industrial sector, an open forum was created called "European Alliance Against Coronavirus" that works jointly and in cooperation between the different institutions and also in collaboration with the European Commission. They analyzed the value chains to identify problems and suggest solutions; the actions also focus on informing and on how to align the proposals and strategies with European policies in the changing and current context.

Antonio explained that the links between ecosystems are critical and play a fundamental role for the functioning of the network and in turn with other networks. These concepts are being applied to value chains and the way industrial ecosystems interact.

Currently there is a need to provide the funding opportunities that the offers to the member states and what are the priorities to focus on to propose projects within the Green Deal, resilience, digitization, the Pact for Science and the innovation.

Mrs. Elena Batanero (Coordinator of the Plan Retorno Joven Aragón) explained very briefly the synergies between public institutions and industrial clusters in Aragón to facilitate employability. In Aragon, the Talent Returning Plan of the Government of Aragon has contacted the key clusters in the province (energy, new technologies, innovation, the automotive industry) as well as technology centers to establish management methodologies and connecting employers with those people who want to return to Aragon. The Plan is based on creating opportunities to all those who are looking for a job opportunity and a life project in Aragon and to promote and strengthen public - private collaboration.

Mr. Ion Arocena (General Director of AseBio, the Spanish Association of Bio-companies) gave a presentation entitled: Science and Innovation for recovery: The vision of the biotechnology sector. Ion explained the main characteristics of AseBio and the sector they represent as well as the main lines of action in its 20 years of activity. The impact and contribution of AseBio in the health crisis as a consequence of the pandemic, has demonstrated the agile response capacity to provide solutions for the sector.

Ion pointed out the consequences that will derive from the health crisis in Spain from the abrupt fall in GDP to the measures of the Recovery Plan for Europe. The national strategy Spain Entrepreneurial Nation that aims to carry out structural reforms that favor the creation and maintenance of the business fabric and also these strategies must be aligned with European growth strategies and the SDGs.

AseBio have drawn up a series of proposals called the Spain of tomorrow that claims that in this context of reconstruction it is essential to renew the government's commitment to science and innovation and particularly in the field of AseBio through the strengthening of R&D. + i to reach 2% GDP in investment, carry the recognition


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This blog is supported by the Arts and Culture section of the Spanish Embassy in Belgium and by the Brussels section of the “Instituto Cervantes”, under the SciComm initiative #SPreadScience.

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