Horizon 2050 : Towards a greener, smarter world

A public Science|Business Network conference

The incoming European Commission’s policy agenda is arguably its most ambitious to date. During its five year term, the Commission will seek legally binding commitments to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, unlock €1 trillion in green transition financing by 2030, and take a global leadership role in the governance of artificial intelligence, among other headline goals. It will also launch Horizon Europe, its largest ever research and innovation programme, with a clearly defined range of impact targets.

In February, the Science|Business Annual Framework Conference will bring together over 300 stakeholders for two main purposes: first, to take stock of latest developments around the key pillars of the new agenda; and second, to explore their implications for the science, technology and innovation communities that will have a critical role to play in driving progress. By extension, it will address the challenge of developing the next generation(s) of researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs who will have a leading role to play in delivering a climate-neutral, sustainable Europe by 2050.

Alice P. Gast
President, Imperial College London
Clara De La Torre
Deputy Director-General, DG CLIMA, European Commission
Mauro Ferrari
President, European Research Council
Stefan Kaufmann
Member, Bundestag
Maria Manuel Leitão Marques
Member; Vice Chair, IMCO Committee, European Parliament
Kim Jørgensen
Head of Cabinet, Commissioner Vestager, European Commission
Håkon Haugli
CEO, Innovation Norway
Nina Kopola
Director General, Business Finland
Rutger Engels
Rector Magnificus, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Michel van der Bel
President, Microsoft EMEA
Thomas Palstra
Rector Magnificus, University of Twente
Daan du Toit
Deputy Director-General, International Cooperation and Resources, South African Department of Science and Innovation
Ilkka Niemelä
President, Aalto University
Thierry Lagrange
Head of Industry, Procurement and Knowledge Transfer, CERN
Paolo Maria Ferrão
President, COST Association
Harry McCann
EU Ambassador, #SaferInternet4EU campaign, European Commission; Digital Entrepreneur
Bertrand Braunschweig
Director, Coordination mission of the national AI research programme, INRIA
François Bertrand
Vice President, Academic and Research, Polytechnique Montreal
Patrick van der Smagt
Director, Machine Learning Research Lab, Volkswagen Group
Max Welling
Vice President, Technologies, Qualcomm; Research Chair, Machine Learning, University of Amsterdam
Alexander Denev
Head of AI, Financial Services Advisory, Deloitte
Dolf Gielen
Director, Innovation and Technology Centre, International Renewable Energy Agency
Christian Thomsen
President, TU Berlin
Detlef Günther
Vice President , Research & Corporate Relations, ETH Zurich
Martha Crago
Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation), McGill University
Frederick Fenter
Executive Editor, Frontiers
Preliminary Agenda

09:00 - Welcome

  • Maryline Fiaschi, Managing Director, Science|Business
  • Vanessa Temple, Managing Director; Head of Sectors Belux & Nordics, ING Wholesale Banking

09:10  - Plenary I – Quo vadis? Implications for S&T in an increasingly turbulent world

Opening remarks from Patrick Child, Deputy Director-General, DG Research & Innovation, European Commission (TBC)

Followed by a panel discussion, featuring:

  • Patrick Child, Deputy Director-General, DG Research & Innovation, European Commission (TBC)
  • Paolo Ferrão, President, COST Association
  • Alice Gast, President, Imperial College London
  • Michel van der Bel, President, Microsoft EMEA
  • Christian Thomsen, President, TU Berlin

Moderated by Maryline Fiaschi, Managing Director, Science|Business

10:05 - Coffee

10:35 - Keynote Speech – Precious resources: Towards a more prosperous, sustainable future through S&T

  • Janez Potočnik, Co-Chair, International Resource Panel, UN Environment Programme

Introduced by Richard L. Hudson, Editor-in-Chief and Vice Chair of the Board, Science|Business

11:00  - Plenary II – Green dreams: Can Europe’s climate ambitions inspire a new era of  global R&I cooperation?  

 Panel discussion featuring:

  • Clara de la Torre, Deputy Director-General, DG Climate Action, European Commission
  • Daan du Toit, Deputy Director-General, South African Dept of Science & Innovation
  • Håkon Haugli, Chief Executive Officer, Innovation Norway
  • Ilkka Niemelä, President, Aalto University

Moderated by Simon Pickard, Network Director, Science|Business

12:00 - Plenary III – AI Rules: Can Europe take a lead in the global race?

Opening remarks from Kim Jorgensen, Head of Cabinet for Executive Vice President Vestager, European Commission

Followed by panel discussion featuring:

  • Bertrand Braunschweig, Director for Research Coordination, AI Plan for Humanity, Inria
  • Detlef Günther, Vice-President for Research & Corporate Relations, ETH Zurich
  • Nina Kopola, CEO & Director General, Business Finland
  • Maria Marques Leitão, Vice Chair, IMCO Committee & Member, European Parliament

Moderated by Carlos Haertel, Special Advisor, Science|Business

13:00 - Networking Lunch         

14:00 - Parallel Sessions – Tectonic shifts: A new landscape for future S&T leaders

1/ Artificial reality: Can industry redefine itself through AI?

  • Martha Crago, Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation), McGill University 
  • Alexander Denev, Head of AI (Financial), Deloitte
  • Oliver Grau, Chair of the Technology Policy Committee, ACM Europe
  • Patrick van der Smagt, Director Machine Learning Labs, VW Group
  • Max Welling, Vice President Technologies, Qualcomm & Chaired Professor in Machine Learning, University of Amsterdam

2/ FAIR game: Transforming R&I through open science and global data 

  • Tiina Kupila-Rantala, Vice Managing Director, CSC – IT Center for Science
  • Frederick Fenter, Managing Director, Frontiers
  • Lisandro Benedetti Cecchi, Vice Rector, European & International Research, University of Pisa

3/ Game changers: Training the next generation of green, smart innovators

  • François Bertrand, Vice President Academic & Research, Polytechnique Montreal
  • Harry McCann, Founder & Co-Chair, Digital Youth Council (Ireland)
  • Joseph Klafter, Senior Advisor, Council of Higher Education (Israel)
  • Sinan Tumer, Founder & CEO, iBC Insights            

15:15 - Coffee break

15:40 - Plenary IV – Blue skies ahead: How will frontier research respond to Europe’s new ambitions?                          

Opening remarks from Mauro Ferrari, President, European Research Council

Followed by panel discussion, featuring:

  • Jaak Aaviksoo, Rector, Tallinn University of Technology 
  • Rutger Engels, Rector Magnificus, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Mauro Ferrari, President, European Research Council
  • Rosa Maria Menéndez Lopéz, President, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Moderated by Richard L. Hudson, Editor-in-Chief and Vice Chair of the Board, Science|Business

16:35 - Plenary V – 2020 vision: What does the future hold for Horizon Europe? 

Panel discussion, featuring:

  • Stefan Kaufmann, Member & Spokesperson for the Education, Research, Science and Technology Assessment Committee, German Bundestag
  • Thom Palstra, Rector Magnificus, University of Twente
  • Debora Revoltella, Chief Economist & Director, Development Division, European Investment Bank (TBC)
  • Walter Weigel, Chief Scientific Officer & Vice President, European Research Institute, Huawei

Moderated by Maryline Fiaschi, Managing Director, Science|Business

17:30 - Conference close & networking reception


For more information:

  • For general information / Network members enquiries, please contact Lysiane Pons (lysiane.pons@sciencebusiness.net)
  • For questions regarding registration, please contact Andrea Stavrou (andrea.stavrou@sciencebusiness.net)
  • For sponsorship enquiries, please contact Monica Mateu (monica.mateu@sciencebusiness.net)