DG INFSO proposes a new approach, the so-called pre-commercial procurement (PCP), another public-private partnership.
Cordis informs about the objectives of this initiative: "By acting as technologically demanding first buyers, public procurers can drive innovation from the demand side. In addition to improving the quality and effectiveness of public services this can help creating opportunities for companies to take international leadership in new markets".
Practically, these PCPs combine collaborative projects (CP) with a coordination and support action (CSA).
The CSA part allows the consortium of public bodies to define their needs and to launch a call for tender to the ICT industry to develop the required tools. Through this CSA, max 100% of the eligible direct costs inked to the preparation, management and coordination of the joint PCP call are funded, with an allowance of max 7% as a contribution to the indirect costs.
Additionally, the CP part foresees a reimbursement of maximum 50% of the eligible costs the public bodies incur for implementing the successful tender(s) to develop the new ICT solutions.
According to cordis, the following PCP calls are launched or planned:
1. Targeted calls for joint PCPs in specific areas of public interest (€3M each)
- ICT for health (Objective 5.3.(d), Call 7) - Topic: Services for mobile access to patient health info
- ICT for ageing well (Objective 5.4(d), Call 7) - Topic: Robotics solutions for ageing well
- Photonics (Objective 3.5.(d), Call 8) - Topic: Innovative photonics solutions improving quality and/or efficiency of public sector challenges
2. An open call for PCP proposals addressing any area of public interest (€5M each)
Proposals for joint PCPs in this open call (Objective 11.1, Call 8) can relate to for exampe public sector needs for new ICT solutions in healthcare, inclusion, e-government, transport, energy efficiency, environment, security, eduction etc
For more information, please contact Dunja Swierstra or Patrick Furrer at Euresearch or refer to the extensive PCP information provided on cordis.
DG RTD: New name and structure
SwissCore (Synopsis 2010/8) informs that the EC Directorate General "Research and innovation" is planning important changes to its structure.
The Director General of DG Research Robert-Jan Smits announced that from 27 October onwards the Directorate General’s official name changed to “DG Research and Innovation”. This reflects the strong focus on innovation that the EC is putting on its policies as part of the implementation of the Innovation Union.
Besides the new name, several staff changes and a broader reorganization of the Directorates are apparently planned for January 2011. Among the likely changes there has been talk of merging former Directorates B and C, which are in charge of issues relating to the European Research Area (ERA) into a new Directorate.
In one possible scenario, the current Directorate L “Science, Economy and Society” would also be incorporated into this new Directorate.
Another possibility would be to strengthen the activities in the field of innovation by regrouping several units under a single Directorate giving innovation a more coherent structure within the DG. In addition, the creation of a new special sector charged with the harmonized interpretation of rules and procedures has been announced. This new sector would be part of the simplification measures announced by the EC and should help coordinate the flow of information about rules and ensure a more coherent application of those rules.
"Ambient assisted living": Switzerland to participate
Euresearch informs that on 20th October 2010 the Swiss Federal Council approved the participation of Switzerland in the “Ambient Assisted Living“ joint programme (AAL, www.aal-europe.eu).
The objective of AAL is to enhance the quality of life of older people and strengthen the industrial base in Europe through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The programme runs from 2008 until 2013 with a total budget of 700 million Euro.
As of 2011, all successful project proposers from Switzerland will profit from co-financing by the EU (FP7) and the Swiss federal government. The next call is expected to be launched in Spring 2011.