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Over to EUROfusion: EIROforum chairmanship

Tony Donné, EUROfusion Programme Manager, takes over as the EIROforum Chair.

Starting 2nd July 2018, EUROfusion takes over the chairmanship of EIROforum from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). EIROforum is the unified platform for eight European organisations that form the backbone of fundamental science research in Europe:  CERN, EMBL, ESA, ESO, ESRF, European XFEL, EUROfusion and the Institut Laue-Langevin.

EIROforum operates on a rotational Presidency starting on 1 July each year. In the period of July 2018 to June 2019, the EIROforum Chair is Tony Donné, Programme Manager of EUROfusion.

Fostering European science

Each EIROforum member brings onto the table their extensive expertise in the areas of basic research and management of what can be considered “Big Science.” EIROforum fosters the combining of resources, facilities and expertise of its member organisations to support European science in reaching its full potential.

Under the EUROfusion chairmanship, EUROfusion Programme Manager Tony Donné wants to continue to focus on the EIROforum activities that have maximum benefit for all EIROforum members. “One of our main objectives is to continue the excellent initiatives that have been started under the present and previous chairmanships.  In particular we aim to follow up the Work Plan for the Implementation of the Statement of Intent between the European Commission and the EIROforum organisations,” he says.

Duarte Borba Senior Advisor for EUROfusion has been involved with EIROforum activities from its very beginning and his thoughts reflect that of Tony’s. “EIROforum has not only developed a stronger relationship among its members leading to very fruitful interaction at the working level through its Thematic Working Groups and at the science policy level but also developed key relationships with stakeholders and decision makers,  ” he says. “By joining forces, the experience and views of the EIROforum members can contribute with greater impact to the discussion on future directions of Science in Europe,” he adds.

Science in School a magazine published and funded by EIROforum. “To my knowledge, it is only magazine with first-hand information on science shaped by and targeted for teachers,”  says Petra Nieckchen, Head of EUROfusion’s Communications Office, member of the editorial board & Steering Committee for Science In School.

European Innovation Council should promote disruptive, research-driven and market-oriented innovation

The European Intergovernmental Research Organisations (EIROs), members of EIROforum, provide world-class research infrastructures and facilities to users from various scientific communities. In order to stay at the forefront of their research fields, the EIROs continuously develop and implement novel cutting-edge technologies, many of which have industrial, healthcare and other applications linked to grand societal challenges. The EIROs and other European research infrastructures are often part of the innovation chain and can be a critical enabler of innovation processes. They contribute to the competitiveness of Europe in the R&D&I domain, act as catalysers of innovation activities, and train future scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs.

With this short paper the EIROs outline their views regarding the creation of a new European Innovation Council (EIC) and propose some ideas and basic principles for its implementation.

Read the full paper:

EIROforum position paper: European Innovation Council

The Future European Extremely Large Telescope (Credit: Swinburne Astronomy Productions/ESO)

What makes Research Infrastructures sustainable in the long term?

A new EIROforum discussion paper tackles the issues of long-term sustainability of Research Infrastructures (RIs), which was launched in the European arena in 2014. The paper should be considered as a contribution to this discussion led by the European Commission, and involving other stakeholders.

Having long-standing experience in managing large-scale European RIs, EIROforum wishes to contribute to this discussion. The paper does not aim at being exhaustive but emphasises the main elements that EIROforum believes constitute and define the long-term sustainability of RIs which have a European dimension and involve the joint effort of a number of member states.

Criteria for long-term sustainability

In this respect, EIROforum has indentified five main criteria that enable RIs to be sustainable in the long term and can provide guidance for additional funding commitments, namely:

  1. Relevance of an RI to its scientific community and the ability to generate scientific excellence;
  2. Sustainable governance model and legal framework;
  3. Sustainable funding model;
  4. Ability to attract scientific talent and build a critical mass of scientific expertise; and
  5. Socio-economic impact.

EIROforum remains available to explain its position in more detail, if required, in dedicated follow-up meetings.

Read the full paper:

EIROforum Discussion Paper: What makes Research Infrastructures sustainable in the long term?