The European Research Advisory Board: 3 years of successful work
Brussels, 8 June 2004
EURAB, the high level advisory
board set up in 2001 on the initiative of European Research Commissioner
Philippe Busquin, has completed its first three years of operation. “EURAB
has greatly contributed to the higher profile of European research policy
on the European Union’s agenda”, said Philippe Busquin. The
45 members, coming from 19 countries and including 13 women, have worked
in full autonomy and independence and have tackled numerous issues, the
most important being the realisation of the European Research Area and
the use of policy instruments such as the Sixth Community Framework Program
for Research and Technological Development.
“During these three years, I have
felt that the diversity of the Board, bringing together the “know”
of the academic world and the “how” in industry to a European
“know-how”, has been most beneficial in allowing EURAB to
develop ambitious, but realistic and robust recommendations to the Commission”,
said Helga Nowotny, who chaired EURAB. “We have been able to develop
an excellent working relation with the Commission services based on trust
and mutual understanding.”
This assembly is the first of its kind
bringing together academia and industry to advise the Commission on research
policy. EURAB developed a range of working methods including working groups,
study visits and workshops. It presented recommendations to the Commission
on topics ranging from the creation of a European Research Council, the
role of university research and university-industry relationships, the
impact of enlargement on research and the interdisciplinarity in research
to the link between research policy and the structural funds, technological
platforms, small-and medium sized enterprises and social sciences and
humanities. The Commission responded to EURAB on all of the recommendations
and its majority was taken into account in policy formulations.
EURAB contributed to fundamental issues
such as the drafting of the Convention on the Future of Europe, calling
for taking advantage of the revision of the Treaty, in order to “build
the vision of a knowledge-based society into a legal framework”.
At the same time, the experts gave valuable advice on administrative issues
like for instance the criteria for the evaluation of research project
The first term of EURAB has surely been
most productive. The new assembly, which will meet for the first time
on 15 June 2004, welcomes 21 new members and will continue to strive for
a higher profile and quality of research in the European Union, not only
for the scientific and economic community, but also for all European citizens.
Notes for editors
What is EURAB?
The European Research Advisory Board (EURAB)
is a high-level, independent advisory committee created by the Commission
to provide advice on the design and implementation of EU research policy.
EURAB is made up of 45 top experts from EU countries and beyond. Its members
are nominated in a personal capacity and come from a wide range of academic
and industrial backgrounds, as well as representing other societal interests.
EURAB focuses its attention on the realisation
of the European Research Area and the use of policy instruments such as
the Community RTD Framework Programmes.
EURAB delivers advice and opinions on specific
issues either at the request of the Commission or on its own initiative.
The board is free to cooperate with organisations and institutions interested
in European research, to create working groups on specific themes and
to consult with other experts who could enrich its reflection.
When and how was EURAB created?
EURAB was created in June 2001 by a Commission
decision, which describes in legal terms its mandate, principles of functioning
and the criteria to be used for its composition. The members of the board
were nominated, based on proposals received from the academic and industrial
EURAB is the result of a long and wide
consultation process. In May 2000, Commissioner Busquin, realising the
pressing need for an independent advisory committee in the field of research
policy, set up a large working group of high-level European experts to
advise him on how best to establish such a body. The recommendations contained
in the Group’s final report (issued in February 2001) were the basis
of the Commission decision establishing EURAB.