Last week, two Technopolitans shared their expertise during the European Commission’s Research and Innovation Days. Our health principal Peter Varnai and our open science principal Gareth O’Neill contributed to central themes of this year’s event: the role of health and COVID-19 in Horizon Europe and crucial policy challenges.

The R&I Days are the annual flagship Research and Innovation event of the European Commission. It brings together policymakers and world leaders from industry, finance, research and business to debate and define the future of research and innovation. The event aims to connect EU citizens and experts while increasing the understanding of the importance of research and innovation for a resilient, brighter future.

Peter Varnai contributed to the session ‘Foresight  for a resilient Europe in the post-COVID world’, along with a panel of experts. They discussed the need for reserach and innovation for a sound anticipatory governance across Europe. Peter shared his insights on the social and economic consequences of COVID-19 and outlined possible future scenarios on the evolution of the situation. You can watch his contribution here (starting from 21:21).

Gareth O’Neill took part in several sessions and workshops over the course of the European Research and Innovation Days. He discussed the next steps for a European Excellence Initiative with a panel of experts. They specifically addressed the competitiveness of the European university network and ways of attracting investments in the European university R&I sector. Gareth also took part in ‘Strengthening cross-country and cross-sectoral TALENTS CIRCULATION (ERA4YOU)’, debating the attractiveness of Europe to foreign researchers and the needs for Europe to become a frontrunner in the global race for talent. The open session is available here. Lastly, Gareth moderated the plenary session ‘Synergies EEA & ERA: Towards a knowledge strategy’ together with R&I Commissioner Mariya Gabriel. During this session, panelists discussed the importance for Europe to put its collective knowledge to work, implementing the European Knowledge Strategy and Recovery Package. You can watch the full plenary session here.

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