European Commission

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Wednesday 21.10

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09:30 – 10:30
Arrival and registration
10:30 – 11:00

Opening Session

11:15 – 13:00

Plenary session 1

What are the long term perspectives for research and researchers?

Scientific and technological research in Europe and worldwide is subject to many drivers of change, some subtle and unrelenting over the long-term, others new and rapidly evolving. The type of drivers include 'external' technical and organisational developments affecting the way in which research is conducted, 'internal' changes and developments within disciplines and sectors and overarching factors such as the rising internationalisation of research and innovation-based competition, global competition for talent, the development of open-access and open-innovation and so on.

This session will explore the implications of these and other drivers on researchers and the research system over the next 20 years. Key speakers from industry, public research organisations, academia and government will discuss possible changes to the research system and to researchers' careers by 2030, expressing views on what the determinants and measures of research excellence, productivity and relevance will be a nd how public policies should respond in anticipation. The session aims to identify policy priorities for the future development of open and competitive research systems worldwide through which research-based knowledge can maintain and reinforce long-term sustainable economic development.

This plenary session will set the tone for the other plenary and parallel sessions of the conference.

Chair José Manuel Silva Rodríguez, Director General, Directorate-General for Research (DG RTD)
Keynote addresses
  • John Wood, Chair of European Research Area Board (ERAB)
  • Norman Neureiter, Director, Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
13:00 – 14:30
14:30 – 17:30

Parallel sessions 1

1.1 Research careers: how to improve social security coverage and working conditions in a borderless research area?

Purpose, expected outcome and follow-up action

Social security and supplementary pension rights, and employment and working conditions are two areas which, though complex, require action to ensure that more people choose research careers, and that those who do enjoy fair and attractive conditions and unhindered mobility. These rights and conditions represent two important themes of the "European Partnership for Researchers: better careers and more mobility". The EU Competition and Employment Councils will, in 2010, debate these areas, with the aim of overcoming barriers to the achievement of the Partnership. Speakers will present and discuss their views on these topics and provide input for future decision making. Reference will be made to the optimal use of powerful information tools, such as the EURAXESS Services network, providing information and assistance to researchers. The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their Recruitment provide background and a foundation for the Partnership.

Chair Fulvio Esposito, Chair, Steering Group on Human Resources and Mobility and Rector, University of Camerino, Italy
Main Speaker Herwig Verschueren, Universiteit Antwerpen and Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Rapporteur Jos Berghman, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
1.2 What are the next steps in developing world-class research infrastructures in Europe?

Purpose, expected outcome and follow-up action

The findings of the World Class Research Infrastructures Expert Group (WCRIEG) will be presented and discussed in this session in the form of a draft report. The Group has assessed progress to date in addressing challenges (identified by a previous ERA expert group, (EUR 23320 – report presented at the SI Presidency conference on March 2008)) regarding research infrastructures and the implementation of ERA.

These challenges include:

  • Effective integration of existing research infrastructures (RI) and implementation of new RI of pan-European interest
  • Prioritisation and decision making on the setting-up of new Research Infrastructures and their funding
  • Improved environment to facilitate the emergence, management and operation of new pan-European RIs (e.g. legal framework, best management practices, access policy, etc.)
  • Role of e-infrastructures for implementation of ERA
  • Measures needed to address the global challenges of research and the related RIs.

Session participants will draw on their own experience of these challenges in responding to the findings of the WCRIEG.


Input is based on the World Class Infrastructures Expert Group (WCRIEG) report findings, and on other relevant reports e.g. from ESFRI (European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructures), EIROFORUM (European Intergovernmental Research Organisations Forum), ESF (European Science Foundation) and the European Commission.

Chair Carlo Rizzuto, Chair, ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) and President, Sincrotrone Trieste S.c.p.A.-ELETTRA, Italy
Main Speaker Gonzalo León, Vice President for Research, Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain and Chair, WCRIEG
  • Nadezda Witzanyová, former Chair, ESFRI Regional Working Group, and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Czech Republic
  • Neil Ian Geddes, e-Science Director, UK Science and Technology Facilities Council
  • Allan Larsson, Chairman Lund University, Sweden
  • Robert Aymar, Senior Scientific Advisor to the CEO, French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)
Rapporteur Peter Elias, WCRIEG and University of Warwick, United Kingdom
1.3 How can funding conditions for European research institutions be improved?

Purpose, expected outcome and follow-up action

Excellent research institutions are a key dimension of ERA yet their long term financial sustainability cannot be taken for granted. This session will entail a discussion by the various actors of their roles and responsibilities and the merits of different types of funding, in the drive towards financially sustainable and excellent institutions, post 2010.

It will contribute to the design of competitive research funding instruments, with a possible focus on drawing up common guidelines for external research funding requirements and conditions.


Input is based on the recommendations of the 'Impact of external project-based research funding on financial management in universities' Expert Group, and on the recommendations of the CREST working group on mutual learning on 'approaches to improve the excellence of research in universities', as well as on recent and ongoing studies related to the subject, such as the Commission's study on research performing organisations.

Chair Howard Newby, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, former Chairman and Chief executive of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC - UK), former EuroHORCs member
Main Speaker Sabine Herlitschka, Director, Division of European and International Programmes (EIP) - FFG Austrian Research Promotion Agency
  • Francien Heijs, Deputy Director Science and Research Policy, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, The Netherlands
  • Erkki Leppävuori, Director General, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Chairman, EARTO
  • Tatjana Volkova, F-LV Rector, BA School of Business and Finance, President, Rector’s Conference, Latvia
  • Arvid Hallen, Director General of Research Council Norway (RCN) and Chairman of TAFTIE (The Association for Technology Implementation in Europe)
Rapporteur Pierre Espinasse, Head, Research Services (Science Area) and Associate Director, Knowledge Exchange, University of Oxford
1.4 What can be done to improve international knowledge transfer?

Purpose, expected outcome and follow-up action

This session will consider the risks and opportunities arising when engaging in international knowledge transfer and evaluate the potential for common guidelines to be drawn up at the Community level.


Input is based on the results of a study on factors affecting knowledge transfer between European and non-European partners, carried out by the Commission Knowledge Transfer Forum Expert Group. This is being undertaken in the as part of the Commission's follow-up activities to the recent Commission Recommendation (C(2008)1329) and subsequent Council Resolution (10323/08), relating to the management of intellectual property in knowledge transfer activities.

Chair Klaus Uckel, Chair, CREST (Scientific and Technical Research Committee) Working Group on Knowledge Transfer
  • Peter Ganea, Member, European Commission Knowledge Transfer Forum Expert Group
  • ZhengPing Liu, Coway International TechTrans Co. Ltd and International Technology Transfer Center, Tsinghua University, China
  • Liisa Ewart, Legal Counsel, Tekes (The Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation)
  • Lynn Martin, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Director, Centre for Entreprise, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, United Kingdom
Rapporteur Lucía Sirera Devesa, IPR-Helpdesk/University of Alicante, IPeuropAware Project, Spain

Dinner at Piazza, Berlaymont building