The EPN Consulting Newsletter - 070 - June 2016
Dear Colleague,

In these days the UK's hottest topic is the Brexit referendum where on the 23 June British citizens are asked to express their opinion on the issue that Britain should remain or leave the European Union.

I'd like to be clear that EPN Consulting and myself are strongly convinced the UK must remain in the EU for a number of reasons whose the main is: one single country, whatever size in population, GDP, territorial extension, etc. is too little to face the global challenge.

This can be easily noticed in several markets: Banks join together to survive, Car Manufacturers merge to survive, Telecom companies merge to survive, big Consultancy firms merge or are acquired by even larger firms to survive, even multi-disciplinary merging processes happen to make companies survive or at least diversify/expand their business. Most recent examples: Microsoft has just bought LinkedIn and before they acquired Skype, Vodafone New Zealand partnered with Sky, in the recent past Facebook bought Whatsapp, etc..

The Globalisation - as it is called - is a challenge; it may be a great opportunity, but it can also represent a big risk with a lot of a new competitors appearing every day on the market, therefore alliances - when not M&A - are essential.

In this view, the European Union can be seen as an alliance that make 500m people more capable of competing with China (1.38bn people), India (1.32bn people), BRICS and all the other strange acronyms representing groups of countries that joined together to become stronger.

This is not a political issue (neither left nor right wing), but just wisdom and sensible vision of the future.

EPN Consulting Ltd.
Founder, CEO

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Horizon 2020 & other calls close to deadline

22 June 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-INFRADEV-02-2016 call (Preparatory Phase of ESFRI Projects)
22 June 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-INFRADEV-04-2016 call (European Open Science Cloud for Research)
14 July 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the EIT-KICS-2016 calls (European Institute of Innovation & Technology - Food and Manufacturing)
26 July 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-JTI-IMI2-2016-09-TWO-STAGE calls (Innovative Medicines Initiative - Stage 1)
25 Aug 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-CIP-01-2016 call (Prevention, Detection, Response and Mitigation of the Combination of Physical and Cyber Threats to the Critical Infrastructure of Europe)
30 Aug 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-SWAFS-2016 calls (Science with and for Society)
Barcelona's plan to give streets back to residents   

17 May 2016 - In the latest attempt from a big city to move away from car hegemony, Barcelona has ambitious plans. Currently faced with excessive pollution and noise levels, the city has come up with a new mobility plan to reduce traffic by 21%.

This comes with something extra: freeing up nearly 60% of streets currently used by cars to turn them into so-called "citizen spaces".

The plan is based around the idea of superilles (superblocks) - mini neighbourhoods around which traffic will flow, and in which spaces will be repurposed to "fill our city with life", as its tagline says. This plan will start in the famous gridded neighbourhood of Eixample.

EC Transport Commissioner's Vision for Investment in Transport

23 May 2016 - Within Europe, Ms Violeta Bulc's focus is on the single market. She wants to make sure that Transport is as efficient as possible as it is an enabler of the Economy and not an obstacle.

She promised to do her best to present EC Standards and Regulatory framework as attractive as possible to create smooth conditions for collaborative and favourable market conditions. 

This vision is based around 6 content drivers; all with a strong motivation to seize growth opportunities and generate conditions for high value jobs, including new ones: 1) Decarbonisation, 2) Digitalisation, 3) Globalisation, 4) People-focused solutions.
These will be empowered by: Innovation and Investment.
Read more
China unveils "straddling bus" design to beat traffic jams

26 May 2016 - Beijing company has unveiled spectacularly futuristic designs for a pollution-busting, elevated bus capable of gliding over the nightmarish mega-jams for which urban China has become notorious.

Plans for the so-called Transit Explore Bus (TEB) were showcased earlier May at a technology expo in the Chinese capital. The "straddling bus", which owes more to Blade Runner than China's car-clogged highways, is supported by two legs that run along rails laid along the roadside.
Those legs allow the TEB's giant frame to glide high above the gridlock at speeds of up to 60 km/h. Equally, vehicles that are less than two metres high will be able to drive freely underneath the bus, even when it is stationary."The biggest advantage is that the bus will save lots of road space", said Song Youzhou, the project's chief engineer.

Read more
Green Transport gets 21m funding for 23 schemes across England

26 May 2016 - Councils across the country have won nearly 21m (26.25m) of funding from the government to promote green forms of transport.

The funding is being given out for 23 sustainable travel initiatives across England that offer cheap, clean and healthy travel options to access jobs and education opportunities.

The government says its 21m funding continues its commitment to green transport. Over 300m is committed to support cycling and walking over this Parliament. More than 6bn is earmarked for local road maintenance up to 2021 benefitting cyclists as well as motorists.

 Read more
EPN Consulting Limited

EPN Consulting News  

On 09 June 2016 in Brussels EPN Consulting attended The Brussels Economic Forum 2016

The 16th Brussels Economic Forum focused on how a revamped EMU (Economic and Monetary Union) and next generation structural reforms, supported by the Investment plan for Europe could serve to boost jobs and growth in the EU.

Following introductory remarks by the European Commission's Director-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, Marco Buti, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi gave the 5th Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa Lecture.

In his speech, Draghi emphasised the importance of policy alignment to fulfil the EU's economic potential. 

Monetary policy does not exist in a vacuum, he said, describing the situation of central banks as independence in interdependence. While each euro area country has its own challenges, raising economic potential is above all about structural reforms, and ultimately comes down to two factors: employment and productivity.
Relating to keynote speeches given by Vice-Presidents Dombrovskis and Katainen, Commissioner Moscovici and EIB President Hoyer, four panels explored the Forum's topical issues in detail and also discussed lessons learnt from economic adjustment programmes.

An inspiring and stimulating day.

Upcoming Professional Events in Europe

19-22 June 2016 - Gothenburg (SE) - ITS+TRA - 2016 IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium
20-26 June 2016 - London (UK) - BIZ+ENE+ENV+ICT+TEC - LONDON TECHNOLOGY WEEK 2016
21-22 June 2016 - London (UK) - ICT - IET Event - FUTURE OF WIRELESS International Conference
21-22 June 2016 - London (UK) - ICT - CLOUD AND DEVOPS WORLD
21-23 June 2016 - Amsterdam (NL) - ICT+TEC+TRA - AUTONOMOUS SHIP TECHNOLOGY Symposium 2016
The Website of the Month:
EMU - Economic and Monetary Union 

The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) represents a major step in the integration of EU economies. It involves the coordination of economic and fiscal policies, a common monetary policy and a common currency: the Euro.

Whilst all 28 EU Member States take part in the economic union, some countries have taken integration further and adopted the Euro and together these countries make up the Euro area.

The decision to form an Economic and Monetary Union was taken by the European Council in the Dutch city of Maastricht in Dec 1991 and was later enshrined in the Maastricht Treaty.
In practical terms, EMU means:
- Coordination of economic policy-making between Member States
- Coordination of fiscal policies, notably through limits on government debt and deficit
- An independent monetary policy run by the European Central Bank (ECB)
- Single rules and supervision of financial Institutions within the euro area
- The single currency and the Euro area

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Based in London. Engaged with Europe.