E²Tech4Cities 2018 took place in Brussels on the 7th of June as a part of the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) and Brussels Exporters Day. It was organized by Brussels Enterprise Europe Network and hosted by hub.brussels with the aim of organizing a networking event for those working in the energy efficiency field.

Hub.brussels also spoke of the role of the National Contact Points (NCPs) have for the local businesses. NCPs provide assistance with identifying suitable EU projects, support you with advice during the writing process as well as assess and give feedback to the proposal before it is submitted. However, they do not write the proposal for the applicant. NCPs also provide assistance throughout the project itself legal, financial, etc issues completely free of charge. Of course, the service is aimed at businesses registered in the NCP’s region, i.e in the case of hub.brussels it’s aimed at supporting businesses registered in Brussels.

Therefore, if you need any assistance in the process of your project, you may freely turn to your local NCP and they will provide you support in your local language. The list of NCP’s across Europe is available here.

If you need assistance with the finances of your project, you may turn to EFMC as we are here to help you out. See the list of our services here to find one suitable for you or contact us via email info@efmc.eu

 

The SME Instrument

Hub.brussels also introduced the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. Your business may apply for the SME Instrument if your product or service idea is disruptive and your business qualifies as an SME.

To check if you qualify as an SME and for other useful tips regarding the SME Instrument see  this site.


The European Development Days 2018 took place in Tours & Taxis, Brussels on the 5th and 6th of June. It featured prominent speakers such as Jean-Claude Juncker, Antonio Tajani, Frederica Mogherini, Cecilia Malmström,  Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Queen Letizia of Spain, Paul Kagame the president of Rwanda, Marie-Louise Coleriro Preca the president of Malta, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka the Executive Director of UN Women.

This year’s event focused on topics of sustainable development with a special emphasis on gender- the rights and opportunities for women and girls.  The hashtags #SheisWe and #SheDDs marked the event and trended on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

The president of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleriro Preca spoke in the opening ceremony of the fact that in recent decades the gender gap has actually increased. Gender parity has shifted into reverse since measurements begun by the World Economic Forum. She urged that action needs to be taken to change this trend.

In the panel on Empowering Women in Sustainable Investment and Business through the EIP, Rebecca Holmes said that as women are more socially and economically vulnerable then social protection policies targeting women should take into consideration local causes, such as social protection labour division, etc.

Betsy Nelson mentioned that women are the most loyal customers of banks. However, often do not go into entrepreneurship, and when they do then they have smaller businesses. Also, women have trouble receiving loans, as their applications are evaluated more harshly.

The EIP (EU External Investment Plan) has stepped in to help in these cases to provide funding for women entrepreneurs.


“Social Economy- How to scale up?”

 

The European Economic and Social Committee held a conference on the 4th of June in Brussels on the topic of how social enterprises can scale up. Successful social enterprises shared their experiences on the road to success. The aim of the event was to propagate the social enterprise model and at the same time create a space for discussions on how to create an impact, have gender equality, and to scale up.

 

Nicholas Schmit (Ministry of Labour, Employment, Social and Solidarity Economy, Luxembourg). In Luxembourg they had adopted social economy and now see it is vital to be adopted on a larger scale too encourage entrepreneurs to adopt social economy standards. The hope is that social economy is adopted on the level of large enterprises. Start-ups already adopt the social economy approach and Schmit hopes this gains ground and becomes more popular around Europe. Time to be concrete and to develop social economy strategy on the European scale. Also, in Africa, Balkans, etc. The international community has a role to play in helping social enterprises scale up.

Christophe Itier (High Commissioner for Social Economy and Solidarity Economy and Social Innovation, FR) sees that political and economic influencers/decision makers have wrong or different ideas about social economy scaling up (increasing the visibility is often undervalued). They don’t think it is economically viable and it is just a means for social help, but this is simply not true. Therefore, it is necessary to make social enterprises more visible and show that it can be sustainable and economically profitable.


The 2018 edition of the Innovation Sessions took place on the 4th of June. It was aimed at bringing together various stakeholders from both public and private sector to discuss and debate on the topic of Healthcare Systems and Future Therapies.

 

The Keynote speech was by Carlos Moedas (the Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation) who spoke about the future directions of Horizon Europe.

Horizon Europe will be about merging the physical and the digital worlds. One of these is the Health field. Links between citizens and health- digitization of health.

Last 100 yrs were about killing the disease. He thinks the next 50 yrs would be about managing the patient life quality- personalised medicine.

Moedas believes (in reference to GDPR and the Facebook scandal) that we should personally own our data, especially our medical data, and do what we want with it- donate it for research or monetize it if we want to.

Carlos Moedas also thinks that in 5 years we will go to a doctor who utilizes an AI. If they do not use an AI then we would change the doctor. But we would not have the AI as the doctor, we still need the doctor with the human perspective.


European Business Summit 2018 (EBS) took place 23- 24 May in Egmont Palace. EBS is aimed at bringing together business leaders who are able to network, debate and share ideas with policy makers as well as other influential figures. The event attracted around 2000 participants and 250 high level speakers. The most prominent topics covered at EBS were EU relations with China, US and Russia, Brexit, green economy, and also digital economy.

 

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit was held during 23rd of May in parallel at the venue. The SDG Summit had speakers from all over the world sharing their experiences in implementing sustainable solutions in business and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).

To see a better overview what the speakers discussed at EBS and SDG have a look at EFMC’s Twitter page


22 May 2018

Blue Point Brussels

80 Bd A. Reyers Ln, 1030 Brussels

 

EU Green Week took place around Europe. The opening event took place in Utrecht on Monday, 21st of May, followed by the Green Cities Summit and conference in Brussels, and concluded in Madrid on the 25th of May 2018.

EU Green Week’s Green Cities Summit was aimed at sharing the challenges and success stories of cities aiming to focus on a more eco-friendly future. As cities produce around 80% of the pollution then this year’s Green Week was geared on exploring how to make cities greener and more environmentally friendly. The aim of the event was to bring together various stakeholders to listen, learn and share their experiences.


4 May 2018

Charlemagne Building, Rue de la Loi 170

Brussels, Belgium

 

The LIFE 2018 Information and Networking Day gave an overview of the changes in the LIFE programme in terms of simplification of the application process by setting up a 2 stage application process. In addition to sharing their successes and achievements, the common problems of the projects were discussed, and the financial aspects of the budget received a good overview.

Maja Mikosinska (Head of Sector Unit LIFE and Eco-Innovation, EASME) introduced the new 2 stage application process:

1 .Preparation of Concept Note – only 10 pages via e-Proposal
2. Preparation of full proposal


25 April 2018

Members’ Salon, European Parliament

Brussels

 

 

Industry is central to Europe’s economy. Europe’s industrial sector has long been the engine for the sustainable growth of its economy and the main contributor to job creation. Industry is typically the largest source of business R&D, has larger technological and economic multipliers than other sectors, and is closely linked to knowledge-intensive services”


24th April 2018
Hotel Renaissance
Rue du Parnasse 19, 1050 Bruxelles

Frontiers hosted their second Annual Data Services Workshop this week in Brussels. The aim of the event was to discuss and share the developments and success stories in the sphere of big data technologies and artificial intelligence (AI). The event was designed to tie these developments with health research and to also discuss policy challenges. Of course, the financial challenges were also noted during event, as well as the time lag of the innovation or research reaching the public sphere.


14 November 2017

Albert Borschette Congress Centre

Rue Froissart 36 – 1040 Brussels

 

“The aim of the work programme 2018-2020 is to address the concerns of the European citizens regarding migration, the fourth industrial revolution and the challenges of governance by providing objective scientific elements of assessment regarding these phenomena and formulating elaborate policy options or applicable solutions in order to help better tackle these complex issues and inform citizens objectively” (Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective Societies Work Programme 2018-2020).