EU reveals dozen tasked with sorting future science funding

7 Dec 2016

Prof Mark Ferguson, director-general of Science Foundation Ireland, speaking at Inspirefest. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

A new group that will formulate a vision for future EU research and innovation has been revealed, with SFI set to play a prominent role.

Prof Mark Ferguson, director-general of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), was named as one of 12 members of a new ‘high-level group’, with scientific funding throughout the EU their priority.

EU H2020

The European Commission revealed the list of members who “hold key posts in universities or research organisations, are leaders of industrial giants and dynamic SMEs, serve in high-level policy positions in national or international organisations, and play important roles in civil society organisations”.

Headed by Pascal Lamy, president emeritus of the Jacques Delors Institute, the group will both look at how EU research funding is distributed, and investigate how to boost its impact.

“We face economic uncertainty and societal challenges but also promising opportunities in Europe,” said Carlos Moedas, European commissioner for research, science and innovation.

Claiming that it’s “vital” to increase the impact garnered by EU funding, Moedas added: “With a wide range of expertise and experience, I am confident that the new high-level group will provide us with a bold vision for EU research and innovation in the future.”

Lamy is a former director-general of the World Trade Organisation and former European commissioner for trade.

“I am honoured to lead the group’s work on maximising the impact of EU investments in research and innovation,” he said. “I believe that these are crucial for our future prosperity and to solving our biggest challenges, and areas where the EU can demonstrate that we do better together than on our own and that we can exert global leadership.”

The full team is as follows:

  • Chair: Pascal Lamy, president emeritus, Jacques Delors Institute (France)
  • Dr Martin Brudermüller, vice-chair of the board of executive directors and CTO, BASF (Germany)
  • Prof Mark Ferguson, director-general, SFI, and chief scientific adviser to the Irish Government (Ireland)
  • Lykke Friis, prorector for education, University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • Dr Cristina Garmendia, chair, Fundación Cotec (Spain)
  • Prof Iain Gray, director of aerospace, Cranfield University (UK)
  • Dr Jan Gulliksen, professor, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden)
  • Harri Kulmala, CEO of DIMECC (Finland)
  • Dr Nevenka Maher, former dean, Faculty of Business & Management Sciences, Novo Mesto (Slovenia)
  • Maya Plentz Fagundes, MD, 50More Ventures (UK)
  • Lucyna A Woźniak, vice-rector for science and international relations, Medical University of Łódź (Poland)
  • Prof Milena Žic Fuchs, professor, University of Zagreb, and fellow, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Croatia)

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic