EU COMMISSIONER POTOČNIK ADDRESSES MAJOR GATHERING OF EUROPEAN RESEARCHERS IN THE UNITED STATES
European Union Commissioner responsible for Science & Research, Janez Potočnik, will visit Washington, DC, June 7-9 for meetings with his counterparts in the US Administration and the major research funding agencies. The goal of his visit is to further increase transatlantic cooperation in science and technology.
Commissioner Potočnik is principally responsible for the common European research policy. In his capacity, he works to enhance opportunities for researchers and scientists to collaborate across country borders, to create platforms where the scientific community and industry can come together and provide resources for research projects that span over several countries inside and outside the EU.
On Thursday, June 8, Commissioner Potočnik will address a gathering of over 300 European Researchers in Washington, DC, organized by ERA-Link, a major network of European researchers, scientists and scholars in the US. ERA-Link, created last year by the European Commission in collaboration with the Embassies of various European countries in the US, already has 3,000 members. Its main objective is to help the European expatriate researchers keep in touch with one another and with the research community and institutions in the European Union. It provides information about research in Europe, European research policy, opportunities for research funding, for international collaboration and for trans-national mobility.
Before leaving for Washington, Commissioner Potočnik said: “At a time when Europe is striving to become a more dynamic knowledge-based society, it cannot afford to turn its back on its thousands of expatriate researchers. They represent a patrimony of talent, skills and expertise that Europe wants to nurture. Brain circulation is good for the brains; it’s good for America and can be good for Europe. As the European Union increases its investments in research, improves its research facilities, multiplies its Centers of Excellence, it can do better than ever in retaining its researchers and attracting talent from abroad, including from the United States.”
The Commissioner will present recent developments in European science policy, and particularly the 7th Research Framework Programme, the major research funding scheme in Europe, that will have an average annual budget of almost 8 billion Euro (about $10 billion) for the next 7 years.
Fotis Kafatos, President of the European Research Council (ERC), will also address the meeting. The ERC is the newly-created European body which will be funded through the Framework Programme to support investigator-driven frontier research throughout Europe.