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That was ESOF2012! New Agreement signed between ERC and NSF! BILAT-USA and Link2US were there!

Jul 17, 2012

The Atlantic as shared resource and the opportunities of STI cooperation across the Atlantic dominated the trans-Atlantic part of this year´s ESOF2012 conference between 11 and 15 July 2012 in Dublin, Ireland. The Atlantic with its challenges to shared marine resources is seen as valuable and unique climate regulator. Trans-Atlantic education programs, research projects as well as marine institute partnerships shall help scientists to jointly study and understand the Atlantic ecosystem.

Robert-Jan Smits (Director General at the European Commission for Research and Innovation) outlined the necessity for exploring the opportunities and benefits of trans-Atlantic scientific collaboration. His counterpart from NSF agreed that there is an increased need in promoting trans-Atlantic relationships!

This was precisely the reason why BILAT-USA and Link2US were present at ESOF2012 with a stand as well as with 3 sessions in the exhibition area. BILAT-USA highlighted the last FP7 calls as good opportunity for trans-Atlantic S&T cooperation with Ms. Kitty Fehringer  (DG Research and Innovation) outlining that re-submission of research proposals is encouraged by the European Commission and that integrating a U.S. project partner increases success rates

Obstacles to trans-Atlantic S&T cooperation have been discussed between Prof. Nicholas P. Farrell (Virginia Commonwealth University) and Dr. Konstantinos Dalamagkidis (Technical University Munich). They pointed out that researchers in the U.S. are more flexible and free to pursue their research career whereas in Europe they have more financial security as far as their salaries are concerned. Circulation of ideas and people can only be enabled when all aspects involved are facilitated, from the scientific visa to housing requirements. Transition between the individual European countries as well as between the U.S. and Europe has even more to be eased and bureaucracy has to be reduced.

The main BILAT-USA session raised the question how can U.S.-based European researchers contribute to their native countries’ innovation process?

Ms. Kitty Fehringer (EC, DG Research), Prof. Nicholas P. Farrell (Virginia Commonwealth University, Wild Geese Network of Irish Scientists), Dr. Konstantinos Dalamagkidis (Technical University Munich), and Dr. Konstantinos Drosatos (Columbia University, World Hellenic Biomedical Association) discussed the ways and prerequisites for U.S. based European researchers being able to contribute to their native country´s education and innovation process. Despite the fact that it needs individuals who have the motivation to stay connected with the native country it needs a good network in order to reach critical mass and a long-term effect. The linking elements between the U.S. network and the native country that have been introduced as examples from the Wild Geese Network of Irish Scientists and the World Hellenic Biomedical Association were educational exchange and mentoring programs, such as short stays and summer schools. According to the speakers scientific cross-Atlantic exchange and knowledge transfer brings profit for both sides. The stimulation of it is exactly the goal of BILAT-USA and Link2US!

New agreement signed by the EC and the National Science Foundation (NSF) at ESOF in Dublin

This initiative is designed to help young top talent, based in the U.S., to spend some time in Europe, hosted as members of ERC grantees' teams.  It will provide opportunities for U.S. scientists to be part of ERC-funded teams for six to twelve months. They will accordingly be supported by the ERC grant in the same way as any other team member.

Read more in the attached press release! 



BILAT-USA (Grant Agreement no: 244434) and Link2US (Grant Agreement no: 244371) Projects are co-funded by the European Union’s Capacities Programme on International Cooperation under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Cooperation.