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Social Media and Communication Internship

August 23, 2016

Europa Media is seeking an innovative, creative, open-minded and goal-oriented intern to join our exciting and fast-growing team. We are looking for a Social Media and Communication Intern who will manage the media campaigns of our European projects on social platforms and will create new and effective ways to extend our existing social media routine with the supervision of our Marketing Specialist.

The successful candidate will manage on a daily basis the social media accounts of several EU research and innovation projects covering a wide range of topics (entrepreneurship, international cooperation, renewable energy and energy efficiency, environmental technologies, climate change, etc.) and will support our Marketing Specialist in creating innovative and compelling social media strategies that connect our partners and clients with our projects and services.

social media intern

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Update and improve consistency of current and outdated content.
  • Help develop and execute social media strategies.
  • Help develop, manage company and project websites, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.
  • Write, proofread, and edit posts, blog posts and articles.
  • Write for a variety of audiences in different tones and voices.
  • Collaborate with internal departments on projects.
  • Demonstrate interest in social media and how media and communication strategies can continuously engage the online community.

Education, Skills and Experience:

  • Experience in online communication, or pursuing a degree in either marketing or communications.
  • Strong understanding of website metrics, data analysis, and reporting tools.
  • Ability to multi-task, manage multiple projects and balance competing priorities.
  • Self-starter with a strong work ethic and willingness to take initiative and be proactive.
  • Comfortable working with different personalities, new people and subject matter experts.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft, Excel, and Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign).
  • Knowledge of social media and personal experience with social media.
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills with attention to detail.
  • Ability to work independently on projects and also collaborate as a strong team member.

Place and Duration of the Internship:

  • The place of the internship is Europa Media’s offices in Graphisoft Park in Budapest, Hungary.
  • This is a 6 months full-time internship with a possibility of full-time hire at the completion of the internship period.

What we offer:

  • Remuneration to contribute to covering the intern’s living expenses.
  • Great working environment within a young and international team.

To apply to the position, please send your CV and a creative introduction about yourself, your motivation for applying and a summary of your past achievements in any format you find suitable. Send your application to hr@europamedia.org with the subject “Social Media and Communication Internship”.

Closing date of application: 19 September 2016

By: Krisztina Tóth

Transforming food waste into treasure: PlasCarb goes to industry

August 17, 2016

Geonardo, in conjunction with its partners Centre for Process Innovation Ltd., the French National Centre for Scientific Research and GAP Waste Management, presented the PlasCarb project with an exhibition stand at the 7th International Conference on Advanced Nanomaterials (ANM2016) on 25-27 July 2016 in Aveiro, Portugal.

Funded under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the EU, the three-year PlasCarb project has aimed to transform biogas generated by anaerobic digestion of food waste using an innovative low energy microwave plasma process to split biogas (methane) into high value graphitic carbon and renewable hydrogen (RH2). As the project will conclude in November 2016, the consortium partners can look back on a wide range of activities as well as results achieved which have been presented at this conference.

Over the three days of the conference PlasCarb’s partners provided the visitors with a wealth of informative and interactive materials, personal discussions as well as two oral conference presentations about its ongoing research ventures.

Visitors had the chance to receive first-hand information about PlasCarb, its progress and results to date, not only through slide shows and the information fact sheets, but also through personal discussions with our experts.  

 Moreover, a variety of exhibition samples from PlasCarb’s products were presented.

Renewable PlasCarbon (RPC) is one of these products, generated by the PlasCarb technology through the cleavage of biogas which originates from food waste. RPC is produced from a renewable resource (waste) and has the potential to compete against conventional carbon products from fossil origin and is now being tested in a range of industrial applications.

The exhibition samples, with RPC as the basis for materials like conductive inks, rubber, or filaments for 3D printing, arrived freshly from the scientific laboratories of the PlasCarb partners CNRS, FR and Abalonyx, NO. Interested visitors had the chance to investigate the samples directly at the PlasCarb booth and observe the outstanding properties of RPC.

                                                                                                       

For instance, visitors probed pens containing conductive ink from RPC. Any hand-writing or -drawing could be tested on electric conductivity by simply applying a voltage on either end of the drawn line. The conductivity of the ink became apparent through visualization on the display of a multi-meter.

With these and other illustrations at the PlasCarb booth, the consortium partners highlighted the results and achievements of the project. At the same time, they sought to establish contacts for potential future collaboration with interested people to follow up research and development as well as commercialisation of the PlasCarb technology.

As a next step, the project partners are looking forward to introducing PlasCarb to the industrial resource efficiency and waste management sector with a stand at the upcoming RWM event during 13-15 September in Birmingham, UK.

by: Daniel Frohnmaier

Practical tips for organising brokerage events in EU projects

August 8, 2016

Dissemination and exploitation related activities have always been a focal issue for all EU funded projects. Apart from the traditional ways of disseminating the project results via newsletters, flyers and presenting the results in conferences, it’s worth considering bringing together the key stakeholder groups in either a specialised conference organised within the frame of the project, or host a brokerage event where the various parties could liaise with each other in a rather informal manner.

In one of our recently completed projects, we tried to combine a small-scale specialised conference with such a brokerage event to be able to reach out to a wide group of stakeholders, offering them a full package of information and networking opportunities. Although we did not plan to host hundreds of guests, the organisation process, logistics, identifying target groups and promoting the event took a lot of efforts, and planning had to start way before the event itself. The description of the preparation process below will cover this one specific event; however there are a number of general firsthand experiences included, which you may find useful when aiming to organise a similar event.

Blog

  • If possible, plan your event towards the end of your project (not only you’ll have solid results to disseminate and discuss, but you may also utilise more effectively any “remaining” funds (due to potential under-spending of some partners) to make it bigger with more significant penetration potential or even better in terms of overall quality.
  • Consider initiating a meeting with the key partners well in advance of the event to develop a joint strategy and concrete plans and to allocate various tasks and responsibilities internally.
  • Invest enough time and effort into identifying your target groups to inform about the event and into contacting those potential speakers who will bring value to it; you may achieve better results if you offer them reimbursement on their travel and accommodation expenses (provided you have the sufficient financial background available).
  • As your invited speakers start confirming their participation, be prepared to draft a preliminary agenda and disseminate it heavily in order to trigger additional interest towards the event. Keep this agenda up-to-date and make sure the latest version is available easily at the event’s dedicated site.
  • This site can be incorporated within the project’s or your organisation’s own web page but there are a number of service providers specialised in the IT needs of organising match making and brokerage events (such as online registration, facilitating networking efforts, setting up meetings between the registered participants, indicating interest towards each presentation etc). Previously we worked with the Austrian company B2Match to our greatest satisfaction.
  • Customise and tailor your letter of invitation dedicated to each of your target groups pointing out and highlighting the potential benefits they may have by participating in the event. The single-invitation-fits-all approach usually doesn’t deliver the hoped results.
  • Be prepared that your initial calculations regarding the number of total participants might prove to be overly optimistic and you’ll end up having less attendees than you predicted based on your background research and on the feedbacks of the extensive mobilisation campaign.

It is hard work to bring together such an event, and unless it is planned in advance and budgeted in the proposal preparation phase, it might be very challenging to find sponsors to aid your efforts. On the other hand, it helps enormously to introduce your project to a wider audience, most of them with a relevant background, and disseminate your results which eventually may culminate in another proposal or new partnerships.

By: Istvan Pari

Novel technology applications in Horizon 2020 projects: the IMPRESS Case Study

June 30, 2016

The Geonardo Team completed its next Geo3Dscanning mission. This time the journey led up to north to Coventry, West Midlands in the UK. The aim was to conduct a 3D survey of building façades, and through this, provide the basis for further activities on the façades in the frame of the Horizon 2020 IMPRESS project. Read Irene’s blog post to learn more about the IMPRESS project, its ongoing activities and Geonardo’s involvement.

As part of the project’s ambitious aim, the second demonstrator site in Coventry (see picture above) will be subject to the entire IMPRESS process – from 3D laser scanning and modelling of the building façades to the production, optimization and installation of novel energy efficient panels.

What is 3D laser scanning?

Terrestrial 3D laser scanning is a way to capture and digitally represent physical objects in a given environment (see pictures below). The 3D laser scanner sends out an infrared laser beam into the centre of its rotating mirror. This laser beam is redirected vertically into the surrounding environment of the scanner and will be reflected back by surrounding objects into the scanning device. The scanner will then document the travel duration of the laser beam and translate this information into distance of the reflected point from the scanner. By sending out laser beams in a very high frequency after each other (up to 976,000 beams per second) and combining this with a constant rotation of scanner and mirror the terrestrial 3D laser scanner is able to cover a nearly perfect sphere around the device. The immediate result of the scan is a point cloud of the covered area. Multiple scanning positions for documenting a desired scanning object will result in multiple point clouds which can be joined together through post processing of the data.

How is the 3D laser scanner used?

The actual 3D scan took place on 27th May 2016. Scans were taken from the outside as well as the inside of the building (see pictures below) totalling in a number 23 different scanning positions.

 The laser point cloud yielded from these scans (see picture below) will now enter the next step of processing at the Geonardo team. Although the building itself as the scanning object is rather small, the high number of scanning positions combined with the accuracy of the scanning device caused a very large dataset.

This means that after a day of practical work on the object, the task is not nearly finished. On the contrary, the subsequent work with the point cloud and the software processing will require further dedication of time and efforts. In any case, the team looks forward to producing a high accuracy 3D model from this successful data collection mission.

by: Daniel Frohnmaier

Thinking green: the EU Green Week 2016

June 17, 2016

The EU Green Week 2016, the annual occasion to explore and discuss European environment policy, took place betweem 30 May and 3 June 2016, under the slogan “Investing for a greener future”. ‘Investing’ in the broadest sense of the word, means to use any capital goods in hopes of making a profit for a sustainable world, in terms of creating jobs, bringing growth and prosperity and ensuring the planet’s conservation. A green investment will benefit both the economy and the environment. It is a key factor in moving to a circular and low-carbon economy and to achieve the commitments established during the past years, as the commissioner Karmenu Vella mentioned in his review of the week.

Therefore, diverse events were held across the EU together with online activities related to 5 main areas where financing could help to reach a “greener future”. Hence, each day of the week brought about a different aspect of the theme:

On the first day, the investing for greener cities day, among other events the Green Week’s official opening was held in Ljubljana, European Green Capital for 2016, with the presence of the city’s Mayor, Zoran Janković, and Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director General of DG Environment. Previously, a Uniting for Sustainable Cities session had commenced in Amsterdam where EU Ministers for Urban Affairs met to agree on the Pact of Amsterdam which establishes the Urban Agenda of the EU and lays out its key principles, helping to achieve “sustainable cities and communities” through EU policies in cities in the fields of environment, transport, employment, etc. Sustainable development of urban areas is an essential aspect to take into account from which a major impact is expected on the future of the European Union and its citizens due to the fact that the EU is one of the most urbanised areas in the world.

The investing in our countryside day took place on the second day and was dedicated to exploring how to ensure that the countryside stays healthy and productive for future generations. The day started with a full-day conference on Sustainable Food & Biowaste Management hosted in Valletta, Malta where best practice examples of managing food waste and biowaste taken from around Europe were presented by experts and policymakers.

For more information about the current status of food waste management systems in EU-28 and more specifically for FR, DE, HU, NO and the UK you may check Food Waste Statistics in Europe report by the PlasCarb team, an FP7 project where Geonardo Ldt. is leading dissemination and exploitation activities.

One of the highlights of the day was in Brussels, where the European Commission announced the winners of the LIFE best Awards for 2015 (the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action, targeting successful green projects). 11 winning projects from 7 different countries embodied the three strands of the LIFE programme: Nature; Environment; Information & Communication. Also on Tuesday a seminar looked at the crucial role fiscal policies can play in implementing the recent Paris Climate Agreement.

The third day was dedicated to the investments that make it happen, in order to obtain a financial system that is more sustainable. Existing innovative ideas and solutions were examined to finance green initiatives moving towards a greener future. In Sweden, a seminar was focused on how ‘green bonds’ can be used most effectively. The results’ analysis of the Eurobarometer survey indicated that over the last few years, 73% of the European SMEs undertook some type of circular economy related activity, showing that the circular economy model for businesses is receiving more and more interest from small businesses. Since a financial system is needed for a sustainable development, in Brussels European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen and Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella discussed how the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) can mobilise finance for green projects.

On the fourth day the theme was investing in our oceans, and the discussions aimed to ensure healthy and productive oceans in the long run. The day started with the first Seanergy Convention, a three-day networking event for Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) professionals to explore the possibilities of tidal and wave harnessing as an alternative energy production, including innovations in wind offshore energy, wave energy, solar floating energy and ocean thermal energy. Meanwhile in Bussels, the importance and value of natural resources were discussed at the European Business Summit. Over the week the ‘Eco-Days: Greening Greece’ project carried out a series of events to encourage the general public to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle in Greece. Later on a webinar on how to access EU financing for sustainable ocean projects explored the different programmes to finance sustainable blue projects.

Investing for future generations, the final day of the Green Week, looked at how the action and efforts taken today can help bring long-term prosperity and well-being for a sustainable world. The final large-scale event, the, ‘Sustainable Development Goals for a Green Future: Investing for Future Generations’ conference, was weld in Vienna, where policymakers and young people examined how to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The EU is committed to implementing the integrated and universal vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development both in Europe and worldwide. Subsequently, a debate took place in Brussels on how to make the change towards a more circular economy following the release of the circular action plan from the European Commission at the end of 2015, while online a Twitter chat focused on the green skills to succeed in the labour market of tomorrow.

The EU Green Week brought together EU citizens and different stakeholders from across the globe– from young people and business leaders to policy experts and EU officials to tackle together the opportunities and challenges of investing for a greener future. It cannot be regarded as a coincidence that the EU Green Week overlapped with the World Environment Day held on 5th June, the United Nations’ most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.

 “Green investments pay dividends – literally. That was the take-home message for Green Week 2016.”

COMMISSIONER VELLA

 

By: Irene Ramirez

FAQ on opportunities in Horizon 2020 for US researchers and organisations

May 11, 2016

It might sound surprising to many readers, but the European Commission does encourage participation of US researchers and organisations in research and innovation projects funded under selected sub-pillars of Horizon 2020.

Until now, 62 Horizon 2020 projects have involved US organisations or researchers on a wide range of topics: nine in Excellent Science, including four ERC funded projects; 12 in the pillar of Industrial Leadership, 39 in the Societal Challenges pillar; one in Science with and for Society, and one under Euratom.

Whether you are a European organisation willing to involve a US institution, or conversely a US organisation wishing to be part of the European research and innovation landscape, the following set of advice might be useful for you.

How can US organisations and researchers participate in Horizon 2020?

If you are an individual researcher, you are eligible to apply:

1. For individual grants under the European Research Council

These allow excellent researchers in different stages of their career to carry out a frontier research project at the premises of a European research institution. Two features of this type of grants make them particularly attractive to US researchers. Firstly, additional funding is available for researchers coming from outside Europe to cover start up costs. Secondly, researchers are required to spend only a minimum of 50% of their work time on the project and in an EU Member State or Associated Country, while they can spend the other half of their time in the United States. It is advisable to contact early the selected European host institution, which may provide assistance and guidelines in the preparation of the proposal, to make it fitting to the ERC standards.

 2. For European Fellowships under Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions

These fellowships offer US researchers funding for conducting a PhD within European host organisations for up to two years, and include monthly living, mobility and family allowances for the researcher. Researchers should write the proposal in consultation with their supervisor at the host institution, and the supervisor will formally submit the application. Please note that US researchers on sabbatical are not eligible, and it is also not possible to obtain double funding for the activities carried out in the frame of the funded action.

 3. As member of an Advisory Board in a collaborative project

Research and innovation projects at times foresee an “Advisory Board” that comprises known experts in specific disciplines. These experts participate in the project on an individual basis; they are not required to sign the Grant Agreement and may receive a monetary compensation for the activities they carry out – typically providing advice on strategic direction to the project or reviewing selected outputs.

4. As Expert for the European Commission

Excellent researchers who are expert in their scientific field may register on the Participant Portal to assist the European Commission in evaluating proposals, monitoring actions, and drafting upcoming Horizon 2020 policies and work programmes. Such experts may be nationals of any country, although European citizens are the majority. If you are an organisation, you are eligible to apply:

  • As a host institution for European researchers under ERC grants

A US-based research institution may host researchers who are part of an ERC-funded project and be financially supported to do this if the activity is essential for the project.

  • As a host institution for Global Fellowships under Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions

US research organisations may host European postdoctoral or more senior European researchers for one or two years. US institutions do not have to write a proposal, nor sign a grant agreement: they need to submit a letter of commitment at proposal stage, providing a description of the research and training they will provide to European researchers.

US institutions will not sign the Grant Agreement, nor receive funding from the European Commission. However, European partners may cover the costs of delivering training in the US institution.

  • As a full partner in collaborative projects

US organisations may participate – on a self-funded basis, in exchanges with European organisations within the framework of Research and Innovation Staff Exchanges, in MSCA grants.

For the sub-pillars of Future and Emerging Technologies, Leadership in Enabling and Innovative Technologies, and for all Societal Challenges, US organisations are always eligible to participate on a self-funded basis. They may receive funding from the Commission by requesting it at the proposal stage, and only if evaluators find their participation as essential to the success of the project. In order to be successful, they must demonstrate that a) the project would not meet its objectives without their contribution and b) there is no European researcher able to make the same kind of scientific and innovative contribution – for example, because he/she has unique expertise or access to unique research infrastructure.

On rare occasions, the Work Programmes foresee particular topics in which US organisations are explicitly eligible for funding.

One bilateral agreement between the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the European Commission provides for automatic eligibility for funding to US legal entities for all topics under the Societal Challenge “Health, Demographic Change and Well-Being”.

Do US organisations have to sign the Grant Agreement?

Not necessarily, it will depend on the specific grant.

Whenever US legal entities are obliged to sign the Grant Agreement, it is advisable to include:

  • Article 9, which exempts entities not receiving EU financial contribution from the requirements to submit financial reports, certificates on financial statements (CFS) and financial audits;
  • Article 57.2, in order to exempt the US partner not receiving EU support from the jurisdiction of the General Court or the Court of Justice of the EU.

Can I recover currency losses?

Since the European Commission’s payments are made exclusively in Euros, US legal entities may incur losses (or gains!) when changing currency. These losses, however, are not eligible costs.

How can I find an appropriate call for proposal where US organisations and researchers can be involved?

On the Participant Portal, under “Funding Opportunities”, and by selecting on the left menu “Search Topics”, it is possible to insert “United States” or “United States of America” as a keyword to have the list of open, forthcoming or closed calls for proposals under Horizon 2020 or other EU programmes that foresee the participation of US legal entities.

Moreover, on the same website, again by clicking on “Search Topics”, on the bottom left it is possible to further filter calls in which “International Cooperation” with Third Countries is encouraged.

Where can I find more information?

Europa Media is a partner in BILAT USA 4.0, an EU-funded project aiming at strengthening transatlantic cooperation on research and innovation. Amongst other activities, the project provides guidelines and support to involve US researchers and organisations in Horizon 2020 projects. As an example, check this informative Guide for US researchers.

By: Valentina Zuri

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