We ran a High Level Delegation to Brussels for the launch of a new Network.

On the 16th and 17th of October 2018, London Higher Europe led a delegation of Research Directors from among its membership to Brussels for events, meetings and networking sessions with research institutes, universities and policy makers within the EU innovation ecosystem.

The group's aims were to; i) understand how the new UniLion network in Brussels can be used; ii) form connections with high level representatives from across Europe; iii) get the latest intelligence regarding the European Commission’s plans for the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and the planned European Innovation Council.

While in Brussels they attended a launch event for the new network and a panel discussion which featured the Deputy Director-General of DG Research in the European Commission, Wolfgang Burtscher and the Director of Policy Strategy and Evaluation from DG Education in the European Commission, Stefaan Herman. The event also featured presentations from German, Belgian and Norwegian colleagues looking at different research models within universities. 

The UniLion network represents an arena of exchange for over 120 unversities. Participants share information, develop collaborations and act as information multipliers towards the represented organisations.

The following day the delegation had a policy breakfast in the European Parliament with MEP Dan Nica and several representatives from the European Commission and Council of the European Union. The focus of the breakfast was future plans for Horizon Europe, the next EU framework programme for Research and innovation.

After this the group met with Marlisa Valente, Policy Officer at the European Commission, to discuss the European Innovation Council (EIC) and how universities might engage. The EIC is part of the European Commission's efforts to give innovative companies better opportunities to become world-leading enterprises. It is intended to be a ‘one-stop shop’ to bring the most promising ideas from lab to real world application and support the scale up of ideas.

We received some positive feedback from the trip, featured below:

“The Brussels visit was very informative and well structured. Thanks so much for introducing us to the new developments at UniLion, Horizon Europe and the EIC. It gave me a valuable insight into the ongoing programme and developments for 2020 and beyond.”

“I was able to give our university research committee an informed up to date position on EU funding this afternoon!”

For further information contact Jordan.hill@londonhigher.ac.uk