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Back page gossip from the 8 June issue of Research Europe

Mysterious strangers At an event on regional innovation in Helsinki last week, Wolfgang Burtscher, a deputy director-general in the Commission, was asked if the EU was doing enough to break down “silos” between research and innovation funding. Such artificial barriers are a “permanent challenge” resulting in part from bureaucratic structures, he said. The division of the Framework programme into separate basic and applied pillars “probably isn’t right anymore”, he said, adding, “there are people who are convinced that it’s the right thing to do it like this”. But no names were forthcoming.

Make Earth great again United States’ president Donald Trump announced US withdrawal from the 2015 UN Paris Agreement on climate change in typically wince-inducing fashion. He justified withdrawal from the global agreement on the planet-wide problem saying: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” Fortunately Bill Peduto, mayor of Pittsburgh, was on hand to restore some much-needed rationality. “I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future,” he tweeted soon after.

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