The ACM Europe Policy Committee (EUACM) is a standing committee of ACM Europe Council dedicated to engage with the European Commission and member states' governmental bodies and informatics and computer science communities. The aim is to become a source of expert advice on computer science and informatics matters representing the entire computer science professional community.
EUACM distributes monthly newsletters to keep our members informed of policy issues and developments in Europe, as well as past and future EUACM meetings and activities.
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In February, an EUACM delegation (Chris Hankin, Maarja Meitern, Fabrizio Gagliardi) attended the Commission SAM's Cybersecurity Stakeholders' Meeting. EUACM has been cooperating with the Scientific Advice Mechanism of the Commission in the field of cybersecurity since early last year. In addition to our recommendations set out in the Cybersecurity White Paper, the meeting allowed EUACM to underline again the complex nature of the cybersecurity domain and further stress that the Commission and the EU member states should maintain a considerable line of investment in fundamental Computer Science. Since this is the essential foundation of all computing technology underpinning a trustworthy cybersociety. Additionally, EUACM has been actively participating in various Science|Business working group meetings on the definition of the next framework programme FP9. Furthermore, in early March EUACM had its first face-to-face meeting. The result of the meeting will be reported in the next newsletter.
EUROPEAN POLICY NEWS
Privacy and Security
SAM's Cybersecurity in the European Digital Single Market
On 13 February the Scientific Advice Mechanism High level group hosted a meeting with cybersecurity stakeholders in order to present its provisional recommendations. The final report is to be published in March. Overall, from previous workshop and expert advice, the HLG has observed that the cybersecurity field is still immature and there is a lack of experimental evidence. In their discussions, they found consensus on a number of critical issues, but not in all. After months of work, the HLG is proposing nine key issues, which should be underlined in the final report. At the meeting, the stakeholders had an opportunity to express their comments on the key issues mentioned. The stakeholders meeting involved mainly representatives from consumer and civil society organizations, as well as business.
BREXIT impact on UK's Science and Innovation
On February, the UK Government published a Brexit White Paper where one of the points underlined was the UK's desire to remain the best place for science and innovation. The UK government is confirming its promise to increase investments into science and innovation with a worth of an extra £2 billion a year by 2020/21. In addition, they stated that this money will be mainly directed at supporting "priority technologies, such as robotics and biotechnology, where the UK has the potential to turn their strengths in research into a global industrial and commercial lead." Furthermore, the White Paper underlined that UK's research institutions should continue to bid for H2020 research funding as long as the country remains a member of the European Union. The government has
promised to "underwrite the payment of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK's departure from the EU".
European Parliament report on Civil Law rules on Robotics
The European Members of Parliament voted on 16 February in favor of a report about Civil Law rules on Robotics. The report was not approved in its entirety, for example, the MEPs removed a tax on robots and did not approve to guarantee a basic income for workers who lose their jobs due to robotics. Among many principles, the report stressed that "a clear, strict and efficient guiding ethical framework for the development, design, production, use and modification of robots is needed to complement the existing national and Union acquis", which should include developing a code of conduct for robotics engineers. In the report, MEPs are also calling on the European Commission for further actions. For example, MEPs would like the EC to look into possible legal solutions and create "a specific legal status for robots in the long run, so that at least the most sophisticated autonomous robots could be established as having the status of electronic persons responsible for making good any damage they may cause". These kinds of reports are an important part of EP work as they often pave the way for new legislative proposals.
Member States Digital Index from 2016
On 25 February the European Commission published results of the Digital Economy and Society Index from 2016. The index summarizes relevant "indicators on Europe's digital performance and tracks the evolution of EU member states in digital competitiveness". The results show that there has been improvement in Europeans' digital skills level, especially in the number of graduates with specialization in science, technology and mathematics. Nevertheless, still almost 50% of European citizens lack the basic digital skills, such as using a mailbox or editing tools. The countries that according to the index are falling behind in the digital evolution are "Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, France, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia."
Vice-President Ansip looking for digital partnership in Nigeria
On the first week of February Vice-President Ansip was visiting Nigeria in order to "identify areas of cooperation and investments and build bridges between EU and African digital entrepreneurs". Ansip had several meetings with the representatives of the government of Nigeria connected to the digital agenda of Nigeria and with a number of CEOs and representative of the public sector. Ansip wrote in his blog that "there should be a digital element in every development project". He would like to see digital to be a topic at the next EU-Africa Summit. The aim of Ansip is to give access to broadband, promote digital skills and literacy and boost cross-sector digital services like e-government, e-health and e-agriculture.
Upcoming Events in March and April
Symposium on Innovative Smart Grid Cybersecurity Solutions: the symposium will consist of presentations from leading European researchers on smart grid security, demonstrations of project solutions, keynote speakers, panel sessions and an early stage researcher poster session. 13-14 March, Vienna.
EHTEL 2017 Symposium on digital health, transformation enablers, skills and collaboration: Perspectives from patients and professionals on "Digital first" will inspire discussions around digital innovations and the transformation of care. 15-16 March, Brussels
ACM Turing Laureate Lecture Prof. Joseph Sifakis: On the nature of Computing: Prof. Sifakis' talk is open to everyone. This lecture is organized jointly with FIB as part of the FIB 40th anniversary program. 16 March, Barcelona
ERF 2017 - Smart Robots for the Real World: The 14th edition of the Technology Transfer Award will take place during the three days. 22-24 March, Edinburgh
Sharing and Reuse Conference 2017: The focus of the event is to discuss and share good practices related to the sharing and reuse of IT solutions. 29 March, Lisbon
Connected and Automated Driving - Together, shaping the future: Major road transport stakeholders - automotive and telecom industry, users, road operators, public transport operators, regulators, research centres, universities and representatives of both EC and EU Member States - are invited to attend. 3-4 April, Brussels
Legal Issues in Open Research Data: OpenAIRE announces an interactive workshop exploring the legal challenges of Open Research Data as well as presenting the upcoming OpenAIRE legal study and the data anonymization service developed by the OpenAIRE IT experts. 4 April, Barcelona
Research Data Alliance Ninth Plenary Meeting: The Research Data Alliance (RDA) builds the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing of data. The RDA vision is researchers and innovators openly sharing data across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the grand challenges of society. 5-7 April, Barcelona
ETSI Security Week 2017: event will address key cybersecurity standardization challenges in the short, medium and longer term. The event will look at the different aspects of cybersecurity underpinning our digital world. 12-16 June, Sophia Antipolis
CALLS AND CONSULTATIONS
Consultation for the review of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA). Open until 12 April
Public consultation on Building the European data economy. Open until 26 April
Public Stakeholder Consultation—Evaluation of Public-Public Partnerships (Art.185 initiatives) in the context of the Horizon 2020. Open until 30 April
EINFRA-12-2017: Data and Distributed Computing e-infrastructures for Open Science Open until 29 March
DS-06-2017: Cryptography Open until 25 April
ICT-16-2017: Big data PPP: research addressing main technology challenges of the data economy Open until 25 April
ICT-20-2017: Tools for smart digital content in the creative industries Open until 25 April
IoT-03-2017: R&I on IoT integration and platforms Open until 25 April
ICT-23-2017: Interfaces for accessibility Open until 25 April
DS-07-2017: Cybersecurity PPP: Addressing Advanced Cyber Security Threats and Threat Actors Opening date: 1 March
DS-08-2017: Cybersecurity PPP: Privacy, Data Protection, Digital Identities Opening date: 1 March
CIP-01-2016-2017: Prevention, detection, response and mitigation of the combination of physical and cyber threats to the critical infrastructure of Europe Opening date: 1 March
FETHPC-02-2017: Transition to Exascale Computing Opening date: 12 April