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Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn welcomes Hefei Statement on Research Universities

Brussels, 10 October 2013

European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn has today welcomed a statement from organisations representing many of the world's leading research universities. The 'Hefei Statement on the ten characteristics of contemporary research universities' sets out how and why research universities fulfil their long-term mission in research and education. The statement also calls for government policies that support existing research universities in these goals, and help develop research universities where they do not exist. The statement was signed by the League of European Research Universities (LERU), the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Consortium of China 9 Research Universities (C9), and the Group of Eight Australia (Go8), at the annual meeting of the C9 universities in Hefei, China.

Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn said: "This is a welcome initiative from LERU and its partners, who together represent a very significant proportion of global research. I appreciate the recognition by universities that they contribute to solving societal issues, to fostering innovation and supporting the local economy. Short term and applied research is absolutely vital to our modern knowledge economy. At the same time, I fully support their objective to push the boundaries of research. This needs time and freedom to set priorities. The European Commission will continue its commitment to funding frontier research in our next research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. This includes a massive boost in funding to the European Research Council, one of the premier funders of blue-sky research worldwide. Through the European Research Area and Innovation Union, the European Commission also supports the framework conditions in which research and innovation can thrive."

Link to the Hefei Statement (LERU website):

Horizon 2020:

Twitter: @EU_H2020  @innovationunion




Michael Jennings, Tel. +32 229 633 88 Twitter: @ECSpokesScience

Inmaculada Martinez Garcia Tel. +32 229 873 03


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