Sector News

European Commission announces €100 million 'Fast Track to Innovation' and five innovation prizes

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The European Commission has presented the details of its new €100 million ‘Fast Track to Innovation’ (FTI) pilot action and five innovation prizes under Horizon 2020, the European Union's €80 billion research and innovation programme.
 
The FTI aims to foster Europe's economy by offering small consortia of three to five innovative businesses and organisations grants to give a final push to get great ideas to market. It is open to ideas in any area of technology or application and to any legal entity established in the EU or in a country associated to Horizon 2020. The application period will be open from January 2015.
 
The contests for the five innovation prizes will start in late 2014 and early 2015. The prizes, worth €6 million in 2015, offer a reward for technological breakthroughs of high societal relevance and cover three different thematic areas of research: health (‘Reduction of the Use of Antibiotics Prize’, ‘Food-Scanner Prize’), the environment (‘Reduction of Air Pollution Prize’) and ICT (‘Collaborative Sharing of Spectrum’, ‘Optical Transmission Prize’).
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CSOs, Researchers and Policy-Makers debate the first draft of CONSIDER's Guidelines and Recommendations

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On 01 July 2014, CONSIDER held an expert workshop in Brussels, Belgium, to gather feedback on the project’s draft recommendations and guidelines for the participation of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in research.

Following extensive analysis of our theoretical research and empirical studies, CONSIDER has identified the characteristics, influencing factors and best practice of CSO participation in research projects. This workshop gathered approximately 25 experts in three key stakeholder groups – CSOs, researchers and policy makers – to gain feedback for the further development of the guidelines and recommendations. The discussions focussed on the needs of stakeholders and the document’s presentation and dissemination. Experts were invited from a variety of cultural, professional and geographical backgrounds. 

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Executive Training: EXPERT workshops by the Centre for Social Investment Heidelberg

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The Executive Training - EXPERT workshops at the Centre for Social Investment Heidelberg provide specialised skills that are essential for managers in today's civil society. They introduce participants to the fundamentals of each of CSI's core issues: impact measurement, foundation strategies, social innovation and social entrepreneurship.
 
They help civil society representatives to distinguish the multiplicity of approaches and support them to structure decisions that lead to helpful solutions for your governance and management decisions. The workshops are designed to meet practitioners' needs and are based on first rate research of CSI's core interests. They start each of these approaches from the mission statement and organisational model of the participants' organization to facilitate the development of their own organisation. The programs thereby perfectly reflect also the challenges as well as the needs of practical implementation.
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C20: a platform for dialogue between CSOs and the G20

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As part of its Presidency of the G20 in 2014, the Australian government has established a number of ‘outreach groups’, one of which is civil society, or 'the C20’. Last week Australian civil society hosted the C20 summit, a meeting of global civil society aimed at bringing to the attention of the G20 leaders’ meeting in Brisbane in November 2014 key and pressing concerns of the world’s civil society organisations.
 
With this purpose the C20 issued a communiqué which was presented to the G20 Sherpas (the chief negotiators for each G20 country) and the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. Raising the critical importance of climate change being a stand-alone agenda, the C20 also asserted that G20 decisions need to be citizen focused, advance transparency and tax reform, and that country action plans should have clear targets and achievements monitored.
 
The C20 Summit Communiqué is available here.
 
For more information about the event, please visit the C20 website.
 

Social Investment - Ask a question

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Do you want to ask a simple question about social investment, or have someone point you in the right direction for help and support?
 
Big Society Capital works alongside many fantastic organisations that provide help and support to charities and social enterprises looking for social investment. They are aware that it can be difficult to know who to talk to and where to find that support. While Big Society Capital doesn't invest directly in charities and social enterprises, they do want to help those who are considering using social investment by providing information and signposting to sources of support or funding where appropriate. They have a broad overview of the social investment market, the sources of funding and support that are available.
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CONNECT competition is now open!

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Supported by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry and financed under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), CONNECT is an entrepreneurship programme targeted at European new entrepreneurs starting up businesses with the potential to grow internationally. Its activities are coordinated at European level by EBN.
 
Selected entrepreneurs will embark on a fulfilling exchange scheme in Brazil, where they will have the opportunity to work alongside and learn from an experienced host entrepreneur. The stay will be partly financed by the European Commission.
 
Applications are open until 15 July, with limited places available!
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