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Commissioner Potočnik meets new Scientific Council at its inaugural meeting

Brussels, 18 October 2005

Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner for Science and Research, will meet the new 22-member Scientific Council, which has been established to head up the future European Research Council, at its inaugural meeting in Brussels today. The European Research Council will fund the best of European science and scholarship, as assessed by peer review, starting from 2007. The new Scientific Council - made up of scientists, engineers, scholars and research leaders – will play a key role in strengthening the quality and autonomy of scientific advice which underpins the research funding decisions made.

“The clear aim of the European Research Council is to promote scientific excellence, and the best judge of that are scientists. We want to put high quality, independent scientific advice at the heart of the decision making process and make sure that the brightest and best of European research gets funded”, says Commissioner Potocnik.

In the first instance, the ERC Scientific Council’s main task will be to lay the foundations for the European Research Council’s management approach by developing a scientific strategy and operational methods to be in place for it to start its work by 2007.

The ERC Scientific Council is composed of 22 renowned scientists, engineers and scholars, research leaders. The Scientific Council is an independent body representing the European research community in all its breadth and depth and acting independently of political or other interest. Its members act in their personal capacity. In this way, the Scientific Council will ensure the quality and autonomy of scientific judgement that are the keys to the ERC’s success. Its members were proposed by an independent Identification Committee, chaired by Lord Patten of Barnes and announced by the Commission on 18 July.

In its proposal for the Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7, 2007-2013), published in April 2005, and its Specific Programme “Ideas”, published in September 2005, the Commission proposed the creation of an autonomous European Research Council to support “frontier research” carried out by research teams competing at European level, across all scientific and technological fields, as well as social science and the humanities. The ERC will fund the best of European science and scholarship, as assessed by peer review, and will start operations in 2007, assuming a positive decision of the Council of Ministers and European Parliament on the Commission’s proposals.

For the announcement of the ERC Scientific Council, see IP/05/956.

For biographical information on the Members of the ERC Scientific Council, see MEMO/05/265.

For information on the Identification Committee, see IP/05/90.

For the Commission’s proposal on FP7 Specific Programme “Ideas”, see IP/05/1171.

Media Contacts :
Michel Claessens
Press and information officer
DG Research, European Commission
Tel: +32-2-295.99.71


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