THE European Commission has bolstered its efforts to support international and cross-sectional cooperation by selecting 74 consortia as part of its Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) programme, Bulgarian politician Mariya Gabriel, the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said.
The RISE initiative, itself falling under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA) programme, involves the partnership and cooperation between researches and innovation sectors to tackle global issues and challenges, including climate change, digitisation, and, more recently, the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the European Commission, the RISE programme promotes international cooperation through knowledge and idea transfer activities. This transfer takes place between the research industry and private sector, both within and outside the European Union. The RISE programme involves the participation of 823 organisations (including 117 small to medium businesses) from 137 countries who will exchange around 4,000 workers who will subsequently work on various research and innovation activities. The workers participating in the exchange include PhD researchers, postdoctoral fellowship researchers, as well as technical, managerial and administrative staff.
Further, the European Commission also published an invitation for the submission of ideas from citizens, aiming to gather the personal views and ideas of normal people. Submitted ideas should revolve around climate change, the fight against cancer, carbon-neutral and smart cities, ocean conservation, and other such related topics.
All ideas accumulated will be utilized in the designing of future missions under the Horizon programme. European research and innovation missions aim to find solutions to the world’s biggest problems and will be incorporated in the implementation of the wide-ranging European Green Deal.
In addition, the Commission also announced that it has delivered 500,000 Covid-19 test kits to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention at the African Union Commission based in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The kits were delivered with the European Union’s Humanitarian Air Bridge programme and are part of a wider scheme budgeted at 10 million euros to support the African Union. This initiative was implemented by the German government. In total, 1,4 million test kits will be made available to African Union countries.