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Scottish biologist Professor Anne Glover named as EU's top science advisor, as science hits top of EU agenda to restore growth
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The European Commission has appointed Professor Anne Glover as its Chief Scientific Advisor. She will work closely with Commission President José Manuel Barroso, who announced her appointment in his keynote speech today to the first ever EU Innovation Convention in Brussels (see below).

Professor Glover's role will be to provide high level, independent and timely scientific advice at every stage of policy development and delivery.

Professor Glover is currently Chief Scientific Advisor to the Scottish government and Chair of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Aberdeen.

    President José Manuel Barroso

    President José Manuel Barroso

    President Barroso said: "I am delighted to appoint Professor Anne Glover to the post of Chief Scientific Advisor. I believe her outstanding background and calibre will bring invaluable expertise to the Commission. She has a strong track record in leading the Scottish Science Advisory Committee which made her the standout candidate for this post."

    President Barroso made clear before beginning his second term of office in early 2010 that he intended to put the Commission's science, research and innovation role right at the top of its political agenda for the first time.

    Professor Glover's appointment is a key part of this EU drive to harness science and research to tackle the key global challenges of our age – such as climate change, energy, health and demographic change – and to underpin a return to sustainable and balanced economic growth.

    The Commission today publishes a generally positive assessment of how its overall policy agenda in the field, the Innovation Union Action Plan, is being put into practice. There has been major progress on 30 of the 34 commitments in the blueprint.

    Last week, EU Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn announced Horizon 2020, a radically reformed EU funding programme for research and innovation with a war chest of EUR 80 bn (approx £70 bn), 40% higher than the corresponding current programmes.

    Horizon 2020 will absorb those programmes into one coherent framework, making it much simpler to apply for and manage grants.

    Horizon 2020 will begin on 1 January 2014 and last until 2020. The UK is traditionally one of the largest beneficiaries of EU research and innovation funding, in per capita terms.

    Meanwhile, today and tomorrow (5-6 December) the first ever EU Innovation Convention in Brussels is bringing together 1200 leading scientists, business leaders and policy makers. 

    Participants include, among many others, BBC presenter Brian Cox, Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary, Manchester University's Nobel Prize winning physicist Andre Geim, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, designer Vivienne Westwood and author Richard Dawkins.

    Earlier today at the Convention, President Barroso presented the inaugural Women Innovators' prize to Dr. Gitte Neubauer, a graduate of Imperial College London. The award recognizes her outstanding contribution in translating academic research into a commercial venture by co-founding the Cellzome company, which is developing new and better targeted drugs against inflammatory diseases and cancer.

    Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn and European Investment Bank (EIB) President Phillipe Maystadt signed an agreement on the Risk Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF), a joint initiative of the European Commission and the EIB to support higher risk and reward investment in research and innovation.

    It is expected to unlock a further €6 billion of loans by the end of 2013, including up to €1.2 billion for SMEs and up to €300 million for research infrastructures. The RSFF will be further boosted under Horizon 2020.

    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.
    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.

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    Last update: 12/12/2011  |Top