Under the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the video conference was organised by the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education and the Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes, in cooperation with the European Commission.
At the conference Prof. Blaženka Divjak, the Croatian Minister of Science and Education, recalled the crucial role of the MSCA in the mobility of researchers, excellent research, and in boosting growth, jobs and investments across the EU. She announced the Zagreb Call for Action on Brain Circulation, which contributes to the joint European and national effort to build a fairer and well-balanced brain circulation in Europe and to counter the negative effects of brain drain.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth acknowledged the importance of a fair and balanced brain circulation for the European Research Area (ERA) and the negative impact of brain drain, particularly for widening countries. According to her, “striving for excellence is possible only if everyone progresses”. She stressed that Europe needs to invest in research and make research and innovation attractive to talents from Europe and the world.
The Conference highlighted the impact and importance of the MSCA on researchers and to foster discussions on the challenges faced in particular by researchers in the early stage of their careers. Four panel sessions examined the impact the MSCA have on a fair, balanced and effective brain circulation across Member States under the European Research Area, and reflected on how to enable inclusiveness and further narrow the divide between the more and less research and innovation intensive European countries and regions. Panellists also discussed about how to attract and retain excellent researchers to Europe. The Conference finally allowed to reflect on what is planned under Horizon Europe, and how the MSCA will better connect and respond to the needs of the ERA and of researchers.
In addition to high-level dialogue, the MSCA 2020 HR awards were also presented during the Conference. These awards honour the outstanding achievements and excellence of MSCA fellows. This year’s recipients were:
- Francesca Riva in the category “Impact of MSCA on fellows’ career development for early-stage researchers”. Francesca is doing an MSCA Joint PhD (in the framework of project MANNA on animal nutrition) with training and research periods at University of Glasgow (UK), University of Zagreb (HR) and Nutrition Science (BE). One of the aims of her research is to find alternatives to the use of antibiotics in poultry.
- Marco Miniaci for “Impact of MSCA on fellows’ career development for experienced researchers”. Marco had an MSCA Individual Fellowship (HARPOCRATES) at the Laboratory of Waves and Complex Media of Le Havre, in France and a second fellowship at EMPA, Switzerland. He is currently a permanent researcher at the CNRS of Lille specialized in acoustics, wave dynamics, periodic structures and metamaterials.
- Judit Chamorro Servent for “Impact of inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary mobility and transfer of knowledge”. Judit is currently an MSCA Individual Fellow at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. Her project COLONINFO aims to develop new microwave imaging models and reconstruction software, in order to help to bring a new pre-prototype to the clinical use and detect cancer.
The Conference was live-streamed, and can be accessed via the following links:
- Opening and keynote
- Panel session 3 – intervention of Maria Górna and discussion; MSCA Awards III – presentation of finalists; Panel session 4 – interventions and discussion; Video pitches
- MSCA Awards winners announcement and closing remarks
The next MSCA Presidency Conference will be organised by the German Presidency of the Council and is provisionally announced for September 2020. The German Presidency has already indicated a number of very relevant potential topics, such as the MSCA in Horizon Europe, the supervision of researchers in the MSCA and beyond, the MSCA in the European Research Area and the synergies between the MSCA and European Universities.