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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?

EIROforum launches Response to the ERA Progress Report

EIROforum has launched a response to the European Research Area (ERA) Progress Report, which was published by the European Commission on 23 September 2013. The ERA Progress Report is a critical assessment of whether the goal of creating a “reinforced ERA” by the year 2014 is achievable and what the current status of the ERA is.

EIROforum Organisations are mentioned several times as best practice examples in the report itself and in the accompanying “Commission Staff Working Document”. The ERA response was presented to the Research Working Party on 31 October 2013 in Brussels.

The Research Working Party is one of the EU Council’s Working Parties, which prepares the work of COREPER I and II (Committee of Permanent Representatives), who then advise the EU Council.

Download the EIROforum Response to the ERA Progress Report 2013

The Directors General of the EIROforum member organisations at their General Assembly at the ILL in Grenoble, France.

A decade of EIROforum

The Directors General of the EIROforum member organisations at their General Assembly at the ILL in Grenoble, France.
The Directors General of the EIROforum member organisations at their General Assembly at the ILL in Grenoble, France.

EIROs look back and move forward, calling for sustained science funding in Europe

Leaders of European research gathered at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble, France on 15 November for a special debate to mark the 10th anniversary of the formation of EIROforum, a partnership of the eight largest European inter-governmental scientific research organisations (EIROs).

Hosted at the ILL, which currently holds the rotational EIROforum presidency, the event was part of the General Assembly of the Directors General of EIROforum. On this special occasion, they were joined by Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Advisor to the President of the European Commission, and Anneli Pauli, Deputy Director-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission.

As well as celebrating the formation of EIROforum, the event looked forward to the challenges facing European science and innovation, and the key role the EIROs can play in meeting them. Following the ‘Spotlight on Science’ debate, discussion turned to Horizon 2020 – the European Union’s next research funding programme – and the European Research Area.

The debate highlighted the need to secure future funding for science in Europe, especially with respect to its impact on European innovation, productivity and competitiveness.  Consequently, EIROforum’s Directors-General have written an open letter emphasising the positive effects of public investment in science on economic growth, and urging the institutions and member states of the EU to ensure that the budget for science remains strong.

The anniversary event provided the ideal opportunity to reflect on the past 10 years, as well as encouraging forward thinking, with the aim of ensuring EIROforum moves into its next decade with clear direction and a continued commitment to combining the EIROs’ resources to enable European science to reach its full potential.

Spotlight on Science: A forward look (brochure)

Claus Madsen, Chairman of the EIROforum Coordination Group, Carlo Rizzuto, Chairman of ERF and Máire Geoghegan-Qiunn, European Commissioner for Research and Innovation

EIROforum and ERF present joint proposal for a staff exchange scheme for Europe’s Research Infrastructures

Claus Madsen, Chairman of the EIROforum Coordination Group, Carlo Rizzuto, Chairman of ERF and Máire Geoghegan-Qiunn, European Commissioner for Research and Innovation
Claus Madsen, Chairman of the EIROforum Coordination Group, Carlo Rizzuto, Chairman of ERF and Máire Geoghegan-Qiunn, European Commissioner for Research and Innovation

During 2011, experts from EIROforum and ERF, the European Association of National Research Facilities Laboratories, have prepared a joint proposal to tackle one of the key bottlenecks for the implementation of the ESFRI Roadmap for Pan-European Research Infrastructures: the need for highly experienced senior staff during the implementation phase of infrastructure projects.

The core of the proposal is the establishment of a mechanism that will enable mobility of such staff for limited periods of time in order to fully exploit the expertise available in Europe and deploy it where the needs are. At the same time the proposal considers the needs of the ‘sending’ organisations and offers a possibility for training the next generation of engineers and research managers.

On 21st March, the proposal was formally presented to Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research and Innovation on the occasion of th International Conference on Research Infrastructures (ICRI), organised by the Danish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Download the proposal

Dr Francesco Romanelli, EFDA Leader and Chairman of EIROforum and EC Commissioner for Research and Innovation Máire Geoghegan-Quinn met during the Conference for a brief exchange of views, based on EIROforum's response to the Green Paper.

EIROforum takes part in EC Green Paper Consultation Process

EIROforum participated in the EC Conference on the Common Strategic Framework for EU research and innovation funding, held at the Charlemagne building in Brussels on 10 June 2011.

The Conference followed a four-month public consultation initiated in February 2011 by a Green Paper of the European Commission. In the context of this consultation, EIROforum has submitted a position paper to the EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, commenting on a number of the issues raised in the Green Paper and adding to the position paper on FP8 that EIROforum published already in January 2011.

Prof. Rolf Heuer, Director General of CERN and incoming EIROforum Chairman, addressing the audience at the Charlemagne Building, on the topic "Strengthening Europe’s science base and European Research Area".
Prof. Rolf Heuer, Director General of CERN and incoming EIROforum Chairman, addressing the audience at the Charlemagne Building, on the topic “Strengthening Europe’s science base and European Research Area”.
Dr Francesco Romanelli, EFDA Leader and Chairman of EIROforum and EC Commissioner for Research and Innovation Máire Geoghegan-Quinn met during the Conference for a brief exchange of views, based on EIROforum's response to the Green Paper.
Dr Francesco Romanelli, EFDA Leader and Chairman of EIROforum and EC Commissioner for Research and Innovation Máire Geoghegan-Quinn met during the Conference for a brief exchange of views, based on EIROforum’s response to the Green Paper.