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'Destination Europe' Conference

20 January 2012
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Europe has a vibrant and exciting science and technology culture and offers many excellent and generous career and funding opportunities for researchers and innovators, no matter where they come from in the world. When we look at the picture of all of the opportunities available, both at national and European level, including the attractive opportunities for women researchers, it is truly impressive.

This Conference focused on the excellent funding opportunities that Europe provides for career development; and the challenging positions in world-class environments offered by European industry and research organisations. Presentations by speakers representing some of the major funding organizations and research intensive industries in Europe have been illustrated by testimonials from researchers who have taken advantage of the opportunities offered to develop their careers in Europe

The Conference was the first of a series of events planned for the USA and has been organised by the European Commission and the European Research Council, in consultation with EU Member States and the Strategic Forum for International Cooperation (SFIC).

Europe is serious in its ambition to attract new talent to complement and catalyse the talent that we already have. This conference demonstrated that:

  • Europe has a vibrant and attractive science, technology and innovation culture;
  • Europe provides opportunities for career development and advancement;
  • Europe's industry and research organisations offer challenging opportunities to work in world-class environments;
  • Europe offers attractive opportunities for women researchers.

The conference brought together 250 people: researchers currently based in the USA; opinion leaders and representatives from leading US universities; multipliers from the EU networks working in the USA; representatives of the science diplomacy community and the media.

Participants were encouraged to ask questions, network and take this unique opportunity to discuss with people who have chosen to work in Europe, to learn from their experience.

The conference was structured in three plenary sessions:

  • Session 1: Europe: A vibrant place for frontier science
    Focus: An overview of the richness of the European scientific landscape and culture; the political commitment to investment in research and innovation; and the reasons to consider working in Europe.
  • Session 2 : Europe: Fertile soil for innovation
    Focus: Opportunities for technology ventures and start-up firms, academia-industry cooperation
  • Session 3 : Europe: Career opportunities
    Focus: Job opportunities; career development: grant schemes; mobility programmes; fellowships

The keynote address was delivered by Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn.



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