SPEECH16 October 2018
Ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon. I’m very happy to be here with all of you today.
Brussels has been my home for the past few years. And I’ve always thought that this area around the BIP and Place Royale, near the park, is one of the most beautiful parts of the city.
I think one of the best things you can do in Brussels is to walk through Place Royale on a sunny day. Some of you will know it was built in the 18th century. And like most great things it took time and evolution to become what it is today.
Around 1780 the architect Joachim Zinner saw the original plans but he wasn’t satisfied. So he tried his hand at modifying the plans for the square.
He didn’t just see a square. He saw a complex.
He saw a space that could be connected to the Royal Park, the Palace of Charles-Alexandre de Lorraine, the Brussels Courthouse and the Palace of the Nation.
He drew up a plan linking all of these strategic points and opened up a whole new part of the city. Brusselois from different classes and backgrounds were now connected geographically. They had a new way to move freely that they didn’t have before. Brussels saw a huge transformation because of Zinner’s vision to connect these different areas. To make them cooperate as one. So I think where we physically stand today is similar to where we metaphorically stand when it comes to science and innovation in Europe.
We are now in the midst of Horizon Europe negotiations. In the context of our European framework for science and innovation, our sector is about to change. Our work in the next few months will come to define the next few years for science and innovation in Europe. Now we need to ask ourselves:
What are getting right? How can we do better? What needs to change?
And all of you are part of that.
So I want to say thank you to all the RTO’s and to EARTO for your input, your position papers and your views. They have all gone towards helping our proposal.
And here I have to also thank Dan Nica and Christian Ehler. They are doing a really excellent job on fast-tracking the proposal through the European Parliament.
They also have listened. They have talked to RTO’s and heard what needed to be said as rapporteurs.
Today I want to talk about where I see the next generation of partnerships going. And what role the RTO’s will have.
Horizon Europe is our opportunity to move our partnerships to the next level. To go after global leadership.
We've made the landscape of partnerships much simpler in Horizon Europe. Just three types: "institutional"; "co-programmed", and "co-funded".
This simplification has been welcomed by Parliament, Member States and stakeholders.
But now we come to difficult part. To decide which partnerships to support. And what their objectives should be.
My message to you is lets aim high.