Karin Totland, Theresa Aarhus and Ragnhild S. Berg

Joint statement by Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, and Norway's Minister of Trade and Industry

Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, Maroš Šefčovič, and Jan Christian Vestre, Norway's Minister of Trade and Industry, have released a joint statement on enhanced political and industrial cooperation on the strategic value chains of batteries and raw materials.

Given the urgent need to tackle climate change, and secure supplies of sustainable energy, while increasing resilience of strategic ecosystems, the EU and Norway share the ambition to strengthen and expand their cooperation in the area of the raw materials and battery value chains.

This will pave the way to a strategic partnership, built on a novel comprehensive framework for future-oriented and long-term cooperation, strengthening the political relations and economic ties between the EU and Norway.

Read the statement here.


Mari Sundli Tveit's visit to Brussels

The Chief Executive of the Research Council of Norway, Mari Sundli Tveit, visited Brussels at the end of June, starting with attending a meeting of the Science Europe Governing Board. She then had meetings with Member of Parliament Christian Ehler, Norwegian ambassador to the EU Rolf Einar Fife, Deputy Director General of DG RTD Signe Ratso, Head of Unit Aleksandra Kordecka, and the Head of EU Affairs at Hydro Rønnaug Sægrov Mysterud.

In addition, she got to meet the Research Council's employees in Brussels. "Norwegian participation in the European research- and innovation programmes is essential for Norway, and our work in Brussels is important for the Norwegian research community and companies. It has been great to finally meet our good people in Brussels", said Sundli Tveit.


International guidelines for higher education and research institutes 

A delegation from The Directorate for Higher Education and Skills and The Research Council of Norway, visited Brussels on the 20-21 of June. Both organisations have been given the task by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, to develop guidelines, together with- and for the higher education sector and the research institutes, helping the sector to make good and knowledge-based decisions regarding international cooperation. The key topics for the discussions, among others, were academic freedom, research ethics and open data.  
The aim of the visit was to learn more in-depth about how the European Union works on the topic, and especially in light of the Global Approach communication, as well as the Marseille declaration. In addition to meetings with EUA, the University of Ghent and Norwegian offices in Brussels, the delegation highly appreciated having representants from both DG RTD and DG EAC to elaborate how the EU works with these topics. 


UK Science Minister in Brussels

In the beginning of June, the UK Minister for Science, Research & Innovation, George Freeman, visited Brussels to unlock the deadlock on the association to Horizon Europe, after 18 months of uncertainty. The Minister addressed the European R&I community at the UK Residence, where he gave a speech about the importance of science collaboration. Mr. Freeman's main message was ''not to weaponise science for politics''. 
The UK is losing hope the doors to the programme will open and is preparing a £15 billion back-up-plan. Their researchers fear they will be kicked off projects if the association bid falls through. The 29th of June was the final deadline for UK-based European Research Council (ERC) grantees to decide whether they want to move to the EU, or a Horizon-associated country, or give up the prestigious grant. 
For more information read here and here


NorCore at the IGLO summer reception

This year marks the 30-year anniversary of The Informal Group of R&I Liaison Offices (IGLO) in Brussels, as well as 30 years of stakeholder involvement in EU R&I programmes. That is why this year's summer reception addressed the opportunities for stakeholder involvement in EU R&I policymaking and presented some showcases of IGLO actions. 
NorCore's trainee, Theresa Aarhus, was part of the programme by moderating a Q&A with fellow IGLO trainees about their experience with the IGLO network. 
The reception was a perfect way to slowly get into holiday-mood, given that many people in the Brussels-bubble will soon be off for the summer. If you are one of them, the NorCore team wishes you a happy and relaxing summer holidays. 


Goodbye from Merethe!

The Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills (Hk-Dir) offers a short-term internal position at the Norcore office every semester. The aim is to have an exchange benefitting both the office in Brussels and in Norway. This spring, we were lucky to have Merethe Anker-Nilssen, Senior Advisor in the Department of Evaluations and Research. 

We had a chat at the end of her stay. Read more about her experience and thoughts here.

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