Brussels   |     |   Partner event

Embedding digital into societal challenges

An Estonian Presidency of the EU Council event, in partnership with Science|Business



This conference, which will take place in Brussels, aims to provide input towards policy discussions relevant to policy makers and decision-makers in EU institutions, member states, and stakeholders. It relates to some of the barriers to embedding digital solutions into the societal challenges posed by the EU Horizon 2020 the EU's Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, and the upcoming framework programme. Another aim is to showcase Estonian scientists’ and research-based enterprises’ contributions in addressing these obstacles. The conference will also be an opportunity to find partners for cooperation.


EU science, research and innovation policy plays an important part in merging the physical and digital worlds by matching digital technologies with innovative solutions to societal challenges. Societal challenges are one of the key priorities of Horizon 2020 and the next framework programme. This priority focuses on areas like health, food, energy, transport, climate, and innovative and secure societies. Many solutions are already in place, but there are growing opportunities and challenges.


For additional information, please contact the Estonian Liaison Office for EU RTD at [email protected].




Thursday, 7 December 2017


12:30       Registration and light lunch

13:30       Welcome and opening speeches

  • Video message by Mailis Reps, Estonian Minister of Education and Research
  • Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation

14:00       Session I: Data as a key enabler for Europe’s future

Showcase 1: Liisa Past, Cyber CRO, Estonian IT System Authority – Security as a state of mind
Showcase 2: Jaak Vilo, Professor of Bioinformatics; Head of the Institute of Computer Science at University of Tartu – Making sense of BigData


  • Pearse O'Donohue, Acting Director, Directorate "Future Networks", DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology, European Commission
  • Ain Aaviksoo, Deputy Secretary General on E-services Development and Innovation, Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs
  • Paolo Grassia, Head of Regulatory Affairs, European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association

15:30       Coffee break

16:00       Session II: Societal acceptance of digital solutions

Showcase 1: Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, Professor of Media and Communication, University of Malmö – Societal acceptance of secure multiparty computation
Showcase 2: Kristjan Vassil, Vice Rector for Research, University of Tartu – Sensors, data, decisions. The next generation of predictive public e-services


  • Doris Schroecker, Head of Unit ‘Policy and Strategy’, Directorate “Industrial Technologies”, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission
  • Linnar Viik, Co-founder, Estonian e-Governance Academy: Programme Director, Central e-Government
  • Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director General, Digital Europe
  • Mariagrazia Squicciarini, Senior Economist, Head of Unit, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

17:30       Conclusions by Indrek Reimand, Deputy Secretary General for Higher Education and Research, Estonian Ministry of Education and Research

17:40       Reception

The conference is divided into panel discussions that are illustrated with showcases of scientists’ contributions in addressing emerging barriers and followed by the Q&A from the audience.

More information about the programme is available in the agenda.



Practical Information

Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi 175, Brussels


Registration for the conference is open until 4 December on the Estonian Research Council website.