Hi I am Tak, CEO of su-re.co
Two European Commission (EC) projects started this year. I have been involved in all of the EC's framework programs, research funds by EC, since the fifth phase. After the seventh, the name was changed to Horizon 2020, and the program starting next year will be Horizon Europe.
Most of the research projects I've worked on have been funded by the EC since I worked at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) after I finished my PhD at Oxford University. One of the characteristics of European projects is that the projects can be huge. It is not unusual for a social and environmental project to have a budget of around EUR 5 million. I think the biggest project I have been involved with in the past was the EC 6th framework ADAM project. The ADAM project involved more than 50 research institutes and over 200 researchers on climate change research projects that allowed them to be involved in the European Union's policymaking.
When there are two similar projects, the EC asks them to collaborate. In contrast, US projects run several similar projects, because they are valuing competition over cooperation. That's why European projects are said to be mega-projects and US projects are said to be meta-projects. It's not that one is better than the other; it's seemingly a regional difference.
The two European projects, su-re.co involves from this year are also mega-projects and the kick-off meeting for one of the projects took place this week with 18 research institutes -- LANDMARC (LAND-use based MitigAtion for Resilient Climate pathways)
The general assembly meeting includes a kick-off meeting usually bring people from all over the world to Europe to decide on the direction of the project and to present the results so far. This year, however, due to the coronavirus pandemic, researchers cannot travel and so we decided to hold the joint meeting online. This kick-off meeting was divided into three days in three weeks and another pre-kick-off meeting was held two months ago to prepare for this kick-off meeting ;-). We were also agreed to have another general assembly every two months online while such meetings are usually held only once a year or once every six months before corona.
Personally, I would welcome the shift to such short-and-often meetings. I live in Bali, Indonesia, so when I have a meeting like this before corona, I have to get on a plane or two or three to Europe for a fortnight and miss out on mango fruit and surfing. In the last three months, I haven't had to worry about that once, I was able to go surfing before work and have dinner with my family after I talked to researchers in Europe. I think the world has gotten smaller and I am enjoying a sunset on the empty Canggu beach ;-)