Research Newsletter – Issue 58: Information and Updates

New EU Soil Strategy - Have your say

The European Commission has published the roadmap for the new Soil Strategy. DG ENV welcomes your feedback via the ‘have your say’ website until 3rd December 2020. 

Healthy soils are essential to meet climate and biodiversity goals under the European Green Deal.  Part of the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, this initiative will update the current strategy to address soil degradation and preserve land resources (‘land degradation neutrality’).

Feedback will be taken into account for further development and fine tuning of the initiative. The Commission will summarise the input received in a synopsis report explaining how the input will be taken on board and, if applicable, why certain suggestions can't be taken up. Feedback received will also be published on the “have your say website”.


Opportunities for DCU Researchers as Partners of EIT Digital

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is an independent EU body.  It brings together organisations from business, education and research to form Knowledge and Innovation Communities.  The aim of these communities is to:

·        Develop innovative products and services;

·        Start new companies; and

·        Train a new generation of entrepreneurs.

There are currently eight Innovation Communities, each focusing on a different societal challenge: EIT Climate-KIC, EIT Digital, EIT Food, EIT Health, EIT InnoEnergy, EIT Manufacturing, EIT Raw Materials, EIT Urban Mobility.  To have access to the full range of activities of an Innovation Community you must become a Partner (and pay the associated membership fee).

DCU is joining EIT Digital as a Partner for a period of one year from Nov 2020 to Oct 2021*.  We will be linked with the London Node.  EIT Digital is focused on delivering breakthrough digital innovations to the market and developing entrepreneurial talent to position Europe at the frontier of digital innovation.  During this one-year period, DCU staff have access to the benefits of being members of the EIT Digital Community.  These include access to:

·        The Digital Entrepreneurship Academy – Providing digital knowledge and skills in support of innovation and entrepreneurship, including Master, Doctoral, Professional and Summer schools.

·        The Digital Innovation Factory – Supporting teams from research and business launching new start-ups and products.

·        EIT Digital Calls and Tenders – Calls for proposals issued by EIT Digital throughout the year.  Note that most calls are not 100% funded and so co-funding may be required.

·        Events – Packed events calendar including Deephacks, Seminars, Masterclasses, Workshops, Brokerage Days and more.

·        Networking and Collaboration Opportunities – Part of a Community of over 200 Partners.  Opportunities for engagement and development of potential collaborations.

DCU staff are encouraged to view the EIT Digital website and investigate if there are opportunities they wish to pursue while the Community is available to them.

*The annual fee for DCU is €12,500.  Should any staff member wish membership to extend beyond Oct 2021 a case should be made and cost-sharing arrangements agreed.


H2020 Virtual Brokerage Event on the European Green Deal Call - webinar now available

The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, Invest NI and Northern Ireland National Contract Points (NCPs) held an international partnering event on the Green Deal Call on 13-14 October. The purpose of the event was to inform participants on the European Green Deal funding instrument, introduce the call for proposals, highlight the benefits of participation under the Green Deal Call and share experiences, provide insights and tips from National Contact points, whilst offering a unique international networking experience to forge the winning innovation partnerships of the future. NCPs presentations, pitching sessions presentations, Q&A and the recording of the event are now available on the EI H2020 web site here. 


European Factories of the Future Research Association (EFFRA) webinar on standards for digital manufacturing

On 20 October, EFFRA, in association with the ConnectedFactories CSA, organised "the standards for digital manufacturing" webinar. The webinar focused on use cases and best practices that illustrate how standards are used in research & innovation in digital manufacturing. The links to presentations and recordings are now available on the EFFRA website.


Online Research Integrity Training for Staff

As a reminder, the national pilot programme for the Online Research Integrity Training for staff is coming to a close at the end of December 2020. As part of the pilot, staff can currently access a concise version (60-75mins) of the course. Once the pilot ends it is likely that only the longer (4-5 hour) version will be available. We understand that the last number of months have been extremely demanding on everybody’s time but would highly recommend taking the time to complete the concise course whilst you still can.

We will be following up with existing members of staff, who are currently pre-registered or registered for the training, to individually assist them.

Any new academic and research staff should contact for further information or assistance in accessing this training.


Plan S Funders launch tool for checking journal compliance

Coalition S, the group of funders behind the Plan S open access initiative, have released the Journal Checker Tool (JCT). This web-based tool will enable researchers to check whether a journal meets Plan S open access criteria.

From January 2021, publications stemming from funding by Coalition S funders must be immediately available and Plan S compliant. SFI is one such funder. This tool will allow researchers to quickly identify journals or platforms that comply with Plan S open access requirements. The tool is in beta-testing phase, with Coalition S seeking researcher feedback so that final amendments can be made by January 2021.

Further information can be found here.