On the 25th of May the conference “Integrate Social Sciences and Humanities in FP9” took place at the Copenhagen EU Office.

Nikolaj Burmeister, head of dean’s office from the Copenhagen Business School, declared that about 20% of the funding of the Copenhagen Business School are EU funding. Regarding the FP7 (7th European Framework Programme for Research and Development) he declared that it was seen as a sign of hope for social sciences and humanities (SSH) but that many people who applied to it have had bad experiences. Regarding the FP9 (9th Framework Programme for Research and Innovation) he gave the following recommendations:
• to avoid calls which are prescriptive;
• to establish long-term strategic research programs with broad political support;
• to build a network long time before the application;
• to focus on the challenges and not on pre-identified solutions;
• to pursue an interdisciplinary approach to the development of calls and evaluation of applications.

He explained that it is important that the EU continues to focus on further integration of SSH. He argued that an integration of SSH will ensure the identification of the right problems and better solutions.

Harald Hartung, head of unit “Open and inclusive societies” from the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, presented the 3rd report on Integration of Social Sciences and Humanities in Horizon 2020. He declared that in the year 2016, 181 million euro went to SSH partners, which presents 7% of the total funding available for the calls for proposals in the Work Programme 2016. He explained that according to the report the discipline Economics is highly represented, the disciplines Sociology & Marketing are fairly well represented and the Humanities and many social sciences are less involved in Horizon2020. He declared that the following Member States: Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, France Belgium and Netherlands are dominating in this fields and that it is necessary to integrate the other Member States as well. Overall, he came to the conclusion that there is a need for improvement. He declared that the flagged-topics are a beginning but not enough. He declared that a large number of projects under flagged-topics are financed with no or little social sciences and humanities content.

Furthermore, he declared that it was necessary to integrate the social sciences and humanities from the very beginning. The SSH and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) communities should contribute to Missions and Global challenges on an equal footing. The topic design and evaluation process should be closely examined to facilitate this in practice.

Rebeca Fernández, senior manager in food policy for FoodDrinkEurope, explained that the main challenges in the food sector are the demographic and environmental changing and the distrust of consumers in this sector. She explained the platform food for live which brings together consumers and industries. It is fully transparent and has the aim to bridge modern and social sciences.

Kim Brinckmann, vice director of Research & Innovation from the University of Copenhagen, gave the following recommendations regarding the SSH integration:
• to introduce new instruments in future funding programmes;
• to develop a new approach for the drafting calls for funding proposals;
• the SSH community needs to create new role models and showcase interdisciplinary experiences.

The entire report can be downloaded here.

Tags: Event englishResearch and Innovation engSouth Tyrol