On June 23th and 24th, 2021 the e-SAFE project has participated to the third edition of the RiDaysEU. This event is the European Commission’s annual milestone on Research and Innovation, gathering policymakers, researchers and innovators, entrepreneurs and investors, citizens and civil society in order to debate and shape the future of R&I in the EU and outside Europe. It has represented a vibrant moment, with more than 21 thousand participants and 150 countries involved, participating to over 70 sessions and workshops.
The relevance of the event for a project like e-SAFE
An EU-funded project as e-SAFE had all the interest to take part to such a relevant event for R&I as main driver to a greener, healthy, and digital future. Indeed, the European Research and Innovation Days highlighted the political will to place at the heart of accelerating – among the others – the green transition.
It has presented interesting initiatives for the project, such as the New European Bauhaus, which combines art, culture, social inclusion, science, and technology for future living places. An initiative of this kind is relevant for e-SAFE as far as the recipients of the project are concerned (non-historical buildings), for its social dimension and for its contribution to the Renovation Wave.
Also relevant was the stress on the central role of R&I in supporting the new European strategies for the transition towards a clean, secure, sustainable, and affordable energy system, since the concept of energy efficiency is at the heart of e-SAFE project – together with (anti-seismic) safety.
Therefore, the European Research and Innovation Days have been a valuable opportunity to both collect precious first-hand information concerning the R&I state of the art and future perspectives and expand its network by getting in touch with researchers, innovators, policy-makers and citizens from all over the world.
The 2021 RiDaysEU Report
The RiDaysEU report collects the main conclusions from both participants and high-level speakers, underlying the importance of EU research and innovation for reaching a sustainable future – especially as environment, health and digital challenges are concerned.
Among the most relevant considerations we find:
An EU’s collaborative R&I as key driver for a greener, healthier, and digital future at the global scale. In this sense, the centrality of the new ERA under the Horizone Europe Therefore, the promotion of a global approach to R&I combining forces for bigger impact.
Also, the need for more synergies between policies, programmes and instruments through a multilevel approach, improving the interactions between the local, regional, national, European and global levels.
The role of the civil society: citizens need to be involved and to contribute to the debate on a sustainable future through R&I, because in the end they play a crucial role in making it real.
The report is going to feed the European policy-making process in all these fields and beyond, and it is going to represent a fertile source for discussion in the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe on-going process. It will also contribute to several other recent initiatives as the EU Missions and the New European Bauhaus.
A fundamental step: the launch of Horizon Europe
On top of everything, the 2021 RiDaysEU marked the official launch of the European most ambitious R&I programme ever: Horizon Europe. Therefore, participants had the chance to get first-hand information about the programme’s new features and structure from Commission representatives as Mariya Gabriel (Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, Youth and Sport), Jean-Eric Paquet (Director-General for Research and Innovation) and Margrethe Vestager (Executive Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Europe fit for the digital age).
The event has gone through crucial topics such as Covid-19 lessons learnt, preparedness and resilience, the imperative of a clean and healthy planet for all and the objective of a digital decade which leaves no one behind. All of this with the background of the central role of innovation as the way forwards for Europe.