Bridges vol. 39, May 2014 / In This Issue
The Office of Science and Technology Austria (OSTA) has gone through many changes since it last published Bridges in October. Our new name, new logo, and new website scratch the surface of the changes occurring in Washington, DC in the New Year. As reported by Matt Hourihan from AAAS in the “Bills in Brief”, President Obama’s 2015 budget request to Congress highlights an increase in R&D spending which will continue to support groups like the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and STEM in Education.
Features of this issue focus on the new Horizon 2020 initiative and today’s smart cities. Manfred Horvat, from Austria’s University of Technology, looks at the EU’s new opportunities for transatlantic science and technology cooperation in Horizon 2020. In this volume’s “Letter from Brussels” Adrian Csik reviews the European Union’s Innovation Investment Package and gives insights into the nine initiatives of the EU’s framework program.
Other features include Isabella Wagner and Elke Dall’s assessment of an enhanced EU-Canada cooperation through the Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI) for ERA-Can. Bridges also followed up on the prelude for the 2013 Solar Decathlon, since which Team Austria won the competition with the innovative LISI House.
This volume’s “Spotlight” focuses on Verena Winiwarter, the environmental historian who won the 2013 Austrian Scientist of the Year by the Austrian Cultural and Academic Journalists Group. Winiwarter will also be visiting the Office of Science and Technology Austria on her tour of the US this October.
Two new sections have been added to Bridges with the contributing partners Energy Innovation Austria (EIA) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). EIA reviews cities as innovation drivers and technological building blocks for sustainable urban development. Their work focuses on smart urban development and European initiatives with the ‘smart cities’ of Vienna, Graz, and Salzburg. IIASA contributed a study on the importance of carbon capture technology and an interview with US researcher and IIASA distinguished visiting scholar, Jeffrey Sachs.
Norm Neureiter from AAAS shares a journey of tracing his family history back to a entrepreneurial button maker for Austria. Roger Pielke’s column discuses a workshop he attended in Bonn, Germany centered around how science policy reflects historical debates of class, economics, and politics that exert continuing influence on how we think about the role of publicly supported research in society. Stephen Ezell’s “Innovation Matters” column points out that the use of barriers and restrictions to digital trade are damaging for individual countries and the broader global economy.
In “Institutions and Organizations” we review Obama’s 2013 State of the Union that created a network of manufacturing hubs all across the country. In summer 2013 he encouraged lawmakers to pass legislation supporting an even larger network of 45 hubs. New manufacturing hubs include the Raleigh-Durham Hub that focuses on power electronics and Ohio Hub that trains workers in 3-D printing technology.
We look forward to a new year of building bridges and reporting on European and North American S&T policy.