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8:30   Registration
9:15 Welcome and official opening 
  • Peter Plavčan / Minister, Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic
  • Carlos Moedas / Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science
  • 9:45 Plenary session 1 – Lowering barriers for better integration of pan-European scientific potential 
    The aim of the session is to provide overall overview and evidence of what has been done in terms of spreading excellence and crossing innovation gap between 2004 and 2016. Therefore, it is very important to clearly define what the innovation divide is; what is the current situation in the EU; what are the biggest obstacles and challenges; how to lower the barriers for new entrants; what numbers and statistics are saying. The role of the first plenary session is thus to set up the scene; illustrate the current state of play and its development over time.

    Keynote speech:
    Jana Kolar / Member of the Board of the EIT, Slovenia

  • Robert-Jan Smits / Director-General, DG RTD, European Commission
  • László Lovász / President, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Karl Dittrich / President, VSNU – Association of universities in the Netherlands
  • Andrzej Jajszczyk / Member of the Research Policy Committee by the Deputy Prime Minister, Poland

  • Moderator:
    Markus Dettenhofer / Executive Director, CEITEC
    11:15   Coffee break
    11:45   Plenary session 2 – First experiences with widening instruments under Horizon 2020 
    Plenary session 2 is devoted to presentations of experiences with H2020 instruments aiming to support research institutions from Member States that underperform in EU Framework programmes. At the beginning of the session, the instruments (characteristics and goals) which will be subject of the discussion will be presented – Teaming for excellence, Twinning, ERA chairs, PSF, COST.... What are the first experiences? How the instruments work in practice? What are advantages and benefits of using these instruments for both sides? Lessons learned and challenges.

    Keynote speech:
    Mary O´Connell / ERA Chair, CEITEC Brno, Czech Republic

  • Eva Majková / Vice-President, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovak Republic (Teaming for Excellence)
  • Mart Susi / Head of Domestic and Transnational Law Study Area, Tallinn University, Estonia (Twinning)
  • Karina Angelieva / Councellor for Education and Research, Permanent Representation of the Republic of Bulgaria (PSF)

  • Moderator:
    Tim Buiting / Manager Government Programmes, Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR)
    13:15   Lunch
    14:15   Parallel session 1
      Positioning excellence in the innovation ecosystem 
    The aim of this session is to discuss possibilities and interests of companies and entrepreneurs and collaboration between academia, research organisations and private sector. This session should be focused on how increase innovation potential of the regions and countries through better collaboration between innovation ecosystem actors such as academia, research organisations, private companies and urban/regional/national administration. How may the academic sector and research organisations facilitate development of companies, SMEs or emergence of start-ups within region or country? What is the role of other H2020 instruments – Fast Track to innovation; COFUNDs...?

  • Jan Neuman / Co-founder, NenoVision, Czechia (SME Instrument Brno)
  • Alina Anton / Head of the EU Programmes Department, TEAMNET
  • Koenraad Debackere / General Manager of KU Leuven and Executive director of KU Leuven Research & Development
  • Peter Oakley / Associate Director, TWI
  • Margit Noll / Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), Chair of the JPI Management Board, JPI Urban Europe

  • Moderator:
    Richard Tuffs / Director, ERRIN
    14:15   Parallel session 2
      Research mobility and brain circulation – Gain, train, retain 
    Research and innovations are key drivers of national and regional development and competitiveness. Disproportion in development of regions and countries causes brain drain and lower attractiveness of research environments from countries lagging behind. How can they retain and attract researchers? What are their expectations? What Member States offer researchers and in what extent can benefit from their mobility upon return to their home country? How to attract the researchers, train them and retain them in the EU? How can individual researcher increase cooperation between institutions from different regions and countries?

  • Liesbet Geris / Professor, University of Liège, Young Academy of Europe
  • Nevena Marinova / University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy, Bulgaria
  • Kurt Deketelaere / Secretary-general, LERU
  • Ronald de Bruin / Director of the COST Association
  • Eva Benková / Professor, IST Austria

  • Moderator:
    Katarína Košťálová / Executive Director, SAIA
    14:15   Parallel session 3
      National instruments realising a balanced ERA 
    The aim of this session is to show other instruments beyond Horizon 2020 that may be used to increase capacities and cooperation between institutions from different countries (EEA Funds, Swiss Funds or ERA Fellowships, lead-agency agreements...). How do these instruments contribute to reducing innovation disparities? How can these instruments foster long-term collaborations and create ties not only between institutions but also between scientific systems? How can widening countries participate? What are possible synergies between these instruments? May participation in these instruments increase participation and success rate of widening countries in Horizon 2020? Are there any possible synergies between national and European instruments and is Horizon 2020 enabling and facilitating them optimally? How existing mechanisms facilitating cross-border collaboration (e.g. ´Money Follows Cooperation Line´, ´Lead Agency Procedure´) can be used to close the science and innovation divide? How can national synergies be best exploited between Horizon 2020 and national programmes (co-fund, teaming between programmes)?

  • Angelika Kalt / Director of the SNSF, Switzerland
  • Susanne Burger / Director European Affairs, Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Government of Germany
  • Jesper W. Simonsen / Executive Director, The Research Council of Norway (EEA Grants)
  • Dainius Pauža / Chairman of the Research Council of Lithuania
  • Jörg Niehoff / Head of sector Joint Programming, DG RTD, European Commission

  • Moderator:
    Amanda Crowfoot / Director, Science Europe
    15:30   Coffee break
    16:00   Plenary session 3 – Beyond the Horizons 
    Subject of discussion of the third plenary session are future steps, possibilities and challenges. This session should be a bearer of a global point of view. How can spreading excellence instruments be strengthened? What are the challenges for the future? Are existing instruments sufficient or are there any other options to eliminate disparities? From the global point of view, what are the benefits of reducing innovation disparities among EU countries?

    Keynote speech:
    Markku Markkula / President, European Committee of the Regions

  • Jean-Pierre Bourguignon / President, European Research Council
  • Róbert Redhammer / Rector, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Slovak Republic
  • Tomaž Boh / State Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Slovenia
  • Maive Rute / Deputy Director-General, JRC
  • Marc Lemaître / Director-General, European Commission, DG REGIO

  • Moderator:
    Markus Dettenhofer / Executive Director, CEITEC
    17:50   Conclusions and final remarks 
  • Wolfgang Burtscher / Deputy Director General DG RTD, European Commission
  • 18:00   Reception