European Research Excellence - Impact and Value for Society
Estonian Presidency Research Policy Conference
12 October 2017
Venue: Tallinn Creative Hub / Kultuurikatel
The aim of the Conference is to demonstrate to policymakers that excellent research is essential to addressing Europe’s challenges and for increasing competitiveness. The Conference is timely, as research is under considerable pressure across Europe. Public expectations for science to solve societal challenges are increasing. At the same time, we observe a decline in political commitment towards funding. Whilst there are expectations on realising the immediate economic benefits of research, it is also vital that we demonstrate the indirect economic and social benefits of public investment. Truly transformative effects lie in new and unpredictable scientific and technological discoveries, which lay the foundations for new industries, markets and broader social renewal. The Conference will demonstrate the value of research, build a case for investing in research and innovation, and aim to strengthen political commitment for ambitious long-term public investment in European R&I. It encourages a perspective that goes beyond a short timescale and focuses instead on a long-term vision.
The Conference brings together internationally-outstanding scientists and policymakers from many EU countries, as well as a range of stakeholders from academia, business, and civil society. It will encourage an open debate on how excellent research generates societal and economic added-value and how we nurture the framework post-2020. By sharing knowledge, best practice and experience, the Conference will generate positive and strong messages that speak to the wider audience beyond the auditorium. The Conference aims to influence the debate on European research policy in the lead-up to the next Framework Programme. The outcome of the EU Presidency Conference will be presented in a final declaration, the Tallinn Call for Action.
Moderator for the Conference is Brian Cox, University of Manchester
Thursday, 12 October
- Mailis Reps, Estonian Minister of Education and Research
- Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation
Expecting the unexpected: frontier research brings the future closer
The aim of the session is to make the case for why Europe needs investment in bottom-up, interdisciplinary and visionary research. Frontier research is still often perceived in terms of “pure science” or “science for science’s sake”. Despite the high-potential gain, it can involve significant costs and the risk of failure. Today’s R&D systems are not conducive to frontier research. There is increasing pressure for scientists to show that their research is generating impact and success. New arguments are needed to convince the public and decision-makers that investing in frontier research pays off over time, even if the outcome is unpredictable. The narrowing of objectives, opportunities and strategies, as well as an obsession with measuring impact in science, reflects an erosion of trust. This has the risk of reducing the effectiveness of scientific discovery, for example, the choice of research topics is becoming more conservative. In a rapidly-changing world, we must be more flexible and risk-taking, otherwise we will not be able to respond to the next unexpected challenge we meet. This calls on the R&D system to generate new knowledge that we perhaps cannot imagine. By being open and curious, frontier research can bring about truly disruptive innovation, built on radically new ideas. In the light of upcoming debates on the next EU multi-annual financial framework and programmes, it is crucial that bottom-up high-risk activity is included.
11:00-11:15 Showcase: Valeria Nicolosi, Professor of Nanomaterials and Advanced Microscopy, Trinity College Dublin
11:15-12:15 Panel discussion
- Birgitte Nauntofte, Director, Novo Nordisk Foundation
- Pim Tuyls, CEO, Intrinsic ID
From impact to value of research: providing the rationale for investing in research
Research and innovation lie at the heart of most developed countries’ economic strategies and make a critical contribution to society and culture. Nonetheless, there is a constant challenge to research in the competition for public investment. Recent studies provide evidence that investment in research and innovation has very high returns but this has not convinced sceptical politicians and the public that research is a sound investment. The second plenary brings together key people to discuss the value of research, provide sound arguments for investment in research and innovation, address current issues in approaches to assessment and how to integrate the long-term impact of research investment in economic models.
13:30 -14:45 Panel discussion
- Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, President, European Research Council (ERC)
- Luc Soete, Rector Magnificus, Maastricht University, Chair of the HLG RISE
- Günter Stock, chair of the board of SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies), President, All-European Academies (ALLEA)
- Vladimir Šucha, Director-General, Joint Research Centre (JRC)
Form and function: design of European research and innovation policies for global competitiveness
In the light of preparations for the next EU Framework and other programmes, the Conference will promote discussion on how to design a research and innovation system that can exploit untapped research potential, advance a science-based society and develop a more competitive Europe post-2020. Europe has set a vision of open science and innovation as the new modus operandi for science. How can we ensure that research and innovation policies designed today will meet the needs of the next generation of researchers, as well as citizens and policymakers? How can we make Europe an attractive place to do science and innovation, with talent from around the world? What is the role of the framework programme in advancing research and innovation in other EU policies? How can we fund the best research in emerging, fast-growing areas and help strengthen European competitiveness in relation to technological innovation? In the context of the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020, the session will take stock of lessons learned and address the necessary framework conditions for the next programming period. It will contribute ideas and proposals for the next Framework Programme, including synergy with Structural Funds and national strategies.
15:15-15:25 Showcase: Nicole Grobert, Professor of Nanomaterials, University of Oxford15:25-15:35 Presentation: Dominique Guellec, Head of the Science and Technology Policy Division of the Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, OECD
15:35-16:30 Panel discussion
- Gemma Galdon Clavell, Founder and Director, Eticas Research & Consulting
- Ciara Judge, Co-Founder and Co-Director, Germinaid Innovations, grand prize-winner at the Google Science Fair 2014
- Martin Kern, Interim Director, European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
- Siim Sikkut, Deputy Secretary General for Communications and State Information Systems, Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications
Tallinn Call for Action: next steps in advancing European research excellence
In the final session, the Conference declaration, the Tallinn Call for Action, will be handed over to stakeholders. It includes the main messages of the Conference, emphasising the role of excellent research in the context of a changing research environment and a changing Europe. The concluding panel discussions will involve representatives from civil society, policymakers, business, science and innovation, and regional and local authorities - all stakeholders targeted by the Call for Action. The session focuses on steps to implement the messages of the Call for Action.
16:30-16:45 Handing over of the Tallinn Call for Action
16:45-17:30 Concluding panel discussion
- Janusz Bujnicki, Member of High Level Group of Scientific Advisors of the EC Scientific Advice Mechanism
- Axel Heinrich, Head of Research at the Volkswagen Group (VW AG)
- Marina Huzvarova, Vice-President of the European Union of Science Journalists' Associations (EUSJA)
- Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission
- Sven Stafström, Director-General, Swedish Research Council
President of the European Research Council
Jean-Pierre Bourguignon was the Director of the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHÉS) from 1994 till 2013. This international research institute located near Paris, France, was built as the European counterpart of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
A mathematician by training, specialized in differential geometry and mathematical aspects of theoretical physics, he spent his whole career as a fellow of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). He held a Professor position at École polytechnique from 1986 to 2012. From 1990 to 1992, he was President of the Société Mathématique de France and President of the European Mathematical Society from 1995 to 1998. He is a former member of the Board of the EuroScience organisation (2002-2006) and served on EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) committees from 2004 to 2013.
He received the Prix Paul Langevin in 1987 and the Prix du Rayonnement Français in Mathematical Sciences and Physics from the Académie des Sciences de Paris in 1997. He is a foreign member of the Royal Spanish Academy of Sciences. In 2005, he was elected honorary member of the London Mathematical Society and has been the secretary of the mathematics section of the Academia Europaea. In 2008, he was made Doctor Honoris Causa of Keio University, Japan, and, in 2011, Doctor Honoris Causa of Nankai University, China.
Janusz Marek BUJNICKI
Member of High Level Group of Scientific Advisors of the EC Scientific Advice Mechanism
Janusz Marek Bujnicki is Professor of Biology, and head of a research group at IIMCB in Warsaw and at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland. Born in Cracow in 1975, he graduated from the Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw in 1998, defended his PhD in 2001, obtained habilitation in 2005, and the professor title in 2009, and in 2016 he has been elected to the Polish Academy of Sciences. Bujnicki's scientific research combines bioinformatics, structural biology and synthetic biology and his main achievements include the development and practical application of computational methods for modeling of protein and RNA 3D structures. His publications have been cited by other researchers 6700 times. Bujnicki has also been active in the area of science and policy, including membership in the Scientific Policy Committee - an advisory body of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland, and in the High Level Group of scientific advisors within the Scientific Advice Mechanism for the European Commission.
Director General, Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland
Professor Mark W.J. Ferguson commenced as Director General of Science Foundation Ireland in January 2012 and as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland in October 2012. Previously he was Professor in Life Sciences at the University of Manchester (since 1984) and co-founder, CEO and Chairman of Renovo Group plc (1998-2011).
He is the recipient of numerous international research awards including the 2002 European Science Prize (jointly), and is the author of 327 research papers and book chapters, 60 patent families and author / editor of 8 books.
Mark graduated from the Queens University of Belfast with degrees in Dentistry (BDS 1st class honours), Anatomy and Embryology (BSc 1st class honours, PhD) and Medical Sciences (DMedSc), holds Fellowships from the Royal Colleges of Surgeons in Ireland (FFD), and Edinburgh (FDS) and is a Founding Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci). He is a member or Fellow of a number of learned Societies, and was made a “Commander of the British Empire” (CBE) by the Queen in 1999 for services to Health and Life Sciences.
Founder and Director of Eticas Research & Consulting
Dr. Gemma Galdon-Clavell is a policy analyst working on the social, ethical and legal impact of data-intensive technologies. She is the Founder and Director of Eticas Research and Consulting, an organization currently employing over 50 social scientists, computer scientists and IT experts, and has ongoing research contracts and grants from the European Commission (FP7 and H2020 programs), the European Agency for Fundamental Rights and the Open Society Foundation, among others. Dr. Galdon-Clavell has led research as a Principal Investigator in more than 10 large projects. She is a scientific and ethics expert at the Directorate General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission and sits on the board of Privacy International and Data & Ethics.
Her work is focused on building socio-technical data architectures that incorporate legal, social and ethical concerns in their conception, production and implementation. She is a policy analyst by training and has worked on projects relating to surveillance and human rights and values, the societal impact of technology, smart cities, privacy, security policy, resilience and policing. Her recent academic publications tackle issues related to the proliferation of data-intensive technologies in urban settings, urban security policy and community safety, security and mega-events, the relationship between privacy, ethics and technology, and smart cities.
Professor of Nanomaterials, University of Oxford
Nicole Grobert is a Professor of Nanomaterials and Royal Society Industry Fellow at the Department of Materials, University of Oxford and Williams Advanced Engineering, Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and a Visiting Professor at the BioNano Electronics Research Centre at Toyo University, Japan. Her work focuses on the focuses on the synthesis, processing, up-scaling, and characterisation of novel carbon and non-carbon based nanomaterials, including nanoparticles, nanotubes, nano rods, and 2D nanomaterials.
Close collaboration with internationally leading industries enables her to develop multifunctional hierarchical nanostructures for their implementation in the health-care sectors and for their use in energy and structural applications.
Besides holding four ERC and numerous grants from the European Commission, she’s been the first who received all three Royal Society Research Fellowships and she serves on the a number of high-level advisory committees including the UK Government’s No 10 Round Table on Advanced Materials, the World Economic Forum Future Technology Pioneers Programme Committee, Ministerial Nanotechnology Committee, DEFRA, and various European Commission and Royal Society Panels. Moreover, she is a founding member of the Young Academy of Europe – a pan-European initiative of outstanding young scientists for networking, scientific exchange and science policy providing input and advice from a younger generation’s perspective – a vital requirement to shape EU-wide Science Policy for the prospering of science in Europe for future generations.
Head of the Science and Technology Policy Division of the Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation of the OECD
Dominique Guellec is Head of the Science and Technology Policy (STP) Division of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This division covers notably: innovation policies, science policies, biotechnology and nanotechnology issues, national innovation studies, innovation for development, the STI Outlook, the Innovation Policy Platform, and the Space Forum.
Mr. Guellec joined the OECD in 1995 and has worked on statistics and quantitative economic analysis of science, innovation and growth. In 2004-2005, Mr. Guellec was Chief Economist of the European Patent Office (Munich). Mr. Guellec has authored several books and many articles on patents, innovation and economic growth. His (co-) publications in English include The Economics of the European Patent System (Oxford University Press, 2007); From R&D to Productivity Growth: the Sources of Knowledge Spillovers and their Interaction (Oxford Review of Economics and Statistics, 2004).
Of French nationality, Mr. Guellec is a graduate from the École nationale de la statistique et de l’administration économique (ENSAE, Paris).
Head of Group Research at Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft
From 1992 to 2013, Dr Heinrich held various leading positions in the Technical Development division of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. In 2006, Dr Axel Heinrich took over as head of the subdivision Vehicle Projects, Architecture and Processes. Following this, from 2007 to 2013, he held an identical position in the subdivision for Interactive Electronics, which is responsible for functions such as Group modular infotainment platform (MIB), mobile online services and the driver assistance systems. Since April 2013, he has managed the subdivision for System Integration and Energy Systems including development areas such as vehicle architectures and networks, high-voltage battery systems with cell module/cell and various system tests.
Born in Gifhorn, Germany, in 1963, Dr Heinrich is married and has three children.
EUSJA Vice-president, President of the Czech Science Journalists Club
Marina Huzvarova studied journalism at Charles University in Prague and started her career at the Czechoslovak Radio Prague. After the Velvet revolution she started to closely cooperate with the Czech Dialogue magazine focused mainly on Czechs living abroad – dozens of scientists are among them. She has been a science journalist since 2000, for 15 years worked as editor-in-chief of the Academy Bulletin of the Czech Academy of Sciences (both printed magazine and daily web pages). She was awarded by the Czech International Club for spreading the good name of Czech science and increasing its reputation.
She has been involved in several books (Stars of the Scientific Sky (2013), Say it… on Paper (2012), The Villa Lanna in Prague (2014), Homines Scientiarum (2015) etc.
Currently she is freelance science journalist.
Cofounder and codirector of Germinaid Innovations, Grand prize-winner in Google Science Fair 2014
Ciara Judge is a nineteen-year-old scientist and entrepreneur from Kinsale, Ireland. In the past she has won the BT Young Scientist, the EU Contest for Young Scientist and the Google Global Science Fair with two teammates for their scientific agricultural research. In 2014 TIME Magazine named her as being one of the 25 most influential teens worldwide, and she is currently a Global Teen Leader with the We Are Family Foundation. She has co-founded two start-ups, Germinaid Innovations, and PurchaseMate, and is on the board of directors former the United Nations' YouthCorp. Ciara is coauthor of the Bratislava Declaration of Young Researchers, issued under the Slovak presidency of the EU. In November of 2016 Ciara was named by Junior Chamber International as being one of the ten most Outstanding Young People in the World.
Interim Director of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
Martin KERN has been the Interim Director and Chief Operating Officer at the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) since 1 August 2014. Prior to joining the EIT, he worked at the European Commission for 15 years in a variety of posts, mainly in the area of enlargement policy, having started his career with a short stint at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Working for the EU he held a variety of positions, the latest being Head of Operations at the EU Delegation to Serbia, where he coordinated the programming and implementation of EU funds to bring Serbia closer to EU accession. Previously he worked as country coordinator for financial assistance for the Turkey team in DG Enlargement. He started his career in the EU in Lithuania and Estonia, working in the EU Delegations and helping the two countries join the EU.
Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation
Carlos Moedas was born in Beja (Portugal) in 1970. He graduated in Civil Engineering from the Higher Technical Institute (IST) in 1993 and completed the final year of studies at the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris (France). He worked in engineering for the Suez-Lyonnaise des Eaux group in France until 1998.
He obtained an MBA from Harvard Business School (USA) in 2000, after which he returned to Europe to work in mergers and acquisitions at investment bank Goldman Sachs in London (UK).
He returned to Portugal in 2004 as Managing Director of Aguirre Newman and member of the Executive Board of Aguirre Newman in Spain. In 2008, he founded his own investment company, Crimson Investment management.
In 2011, he's elected for the National Parliament and was called for the government to Secretary of State to the Prime Minister of Portugal in charge of the Portuguese Adjustment Programme.
In 2014, he became Member of the European Commission, as Commissioner in charge of Research, Science and Innovation.
Director of the Novo Nordisk Foundation
Birgitte Nauntofte has been the CEO of the Novo Nordisk Foundation since 2009. She is qualified as DDS (1982), Ph.D (1985 ), and Dr.odont.(1993).
In 2000 she became professor of clinical oral physiology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Alongside her academic career, Birgitte Nauntofte has held a number of positions related to research, both in Denmark and internationally. These include amongst others university leadership positions and memberships of research councils. Presently she is member the Danish Committee for Good Governance of Foundations.
Professor of Nanomaterials and Advanced Microscopy at Trinity College Dublin
Prof. Nicolosi received a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Catania (Italy) in 2001 and a Ph.D. in Physics in 2006 from Trinity College Dublin. In 2008 she moved to the University of Oxford with a RAEng/EPSRC Fellowship. In 2012 she returned to Trinity College Dublin as Research Professor. Today she the Chair of Nanomaterials and Advanced Microscopy in Trinity College Dublin, and a PI in the SFI Centre AMBER.
She has published more than 150 high-impact-papers and won numerous awards: RDS/Intel Prize for Nanoscience 2012, World Economic Forum Young Scientist 2013, WMB Woman in Technology Award 2013, SFI President of Ireland Young Researcher Award 2014, SFI Irish Early Stage Researcher 2016, TCD ERC Awardee 2017.
Prof. Nicolosi has been awarded 5 European Research Council Awards: a €1.5m Starting Grant in 2011, 3 Proof-of-Concept top-up grants to bring results of frontier research closer to the market, and a €2.5m Consolidator Grant in 2016, bringing her total research funding awarded in the past 5 years to over €12 million.
Deputy Secretary General for Communications and State Information Systems, Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications
Siim Sikkut is the Government CIO of Estonia, also titled as Deputy Secretary General for IT and Telecom in Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. His role is to set the strategy and policies, to launch and steer strategic initiatives for development of digital government and society in Estonia. Siim is one of the founders of Estonia’s groundbreaking e-Residency programme.
Previously, he worked as Digital Policy Adviser in the Government Office of Estonia - coordinating the digital policy planning and execution across the government. He also served in this role as adviser to three consecutive Prime Ministers on digital matters. Siim’s prior experience includes work in Estonian Development Fund, a public venture capital fund and foresight think-tank, and Estonian Ministry of Finance, in areas of national strategic planning and public financial management.
Siim Sikkut graduated in 2005 from Princeton University, USA with B.A. degree in public and international affairs. He also holds a M.Sc. degree in International Management from the University of London.
Director-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission
Robert-Jan Smits is since 2010 the Director-General of DG Research and Innovation (RTD) at the European Commission. In this capacity he is responsible for defining and implementing the EU policy and programmes in the field of research and innovation (average annual budget 8 billion euro).
He has degrees from Utrecht University in The Netherlands, Institut Universitaire d’Hautes Etudes Internationales in Switzerland and Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy in the United States of America.
Rector Magnificus of Maastricht University, Chair of the HLG RISE
Luc Soete (15 September 1950, Brussels) is honorary Professor of International Economic Relations at Maastricht University in The Netherlands. Until September 1st 2016, he was Rector Magnificus of Maastricht University. Before taking on the Rectorship in 2012, he was Director of the United Nations University research and training institute: UNU-MERIT located in Maastricht, The Netherlands and Dean of the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG) at Maastricht University.
Luc Soete graduated in economics from Ghent University, Belgium. He obtained a DPhil in economics from Sussex University where he worked as senior research fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit in the late 70’s and 80’s. From 1984 till 1985 he was visiting associate professor at the Department of Economics at Stanford University, USA. In 1986 he joined the new Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (now called the School of Business and Economics) at Maastricht University as professor of International Economics Relations. In 1988 he set up the research institute MERIT (Maastricht Economic Research institute on Innovation and Technology) which merged under his direction in 2005 with UNU-INTECH to become UNU-MERIT. In 2010 he became Director-Dean of the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance of Maastricht University.
Over the last 30 years, Luc Soete has contributed as (co-)author and (co-)editor to some 11 books, 50 refereed articles and some 100 chapters in books. In 2002, he received the MSM Honorary Fellow Award, in 2007 the Belgian reward Commandeur in de Kroonorde, in 2010 a Doctor Honoris Causa from his Alma Mater, the University of Ghent, in 2013 from the University of Liege and in 2016 from the University of Sussex.
He is a fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Science (KNAW) and a member of the supervisory board of the Technical University of Delft. He has been chairman of the Research, Innovation and Science Expert (RISE) group for Commissioner Carlos Moedas.
Director General of the Swedish Research Council
Sven Stafström received his PhD in theoretical physics from Linköping University in Sweden. In 2000 he became professor in Computational Physics at Linköping University, a position he still holds.
Sven Stafström has served as acting Dean at Linköping Institute of Technology, Director of the National Supercomputer Centre (NSC) and Head of the Department of Science and Technology at Linköping University.
In 2010 he became Secretary General of the Swedish Research Council for Natural and Engineering Sciences and since December 2014 he is acting Director General of the Swedish Research Council.”
President of All European Academies (ALLEA)
Professor Günter Stock has been serving as ALLEA President since 2012, and has been re-elected in 2015 to continue his presidency until 2018. In 2016 he became chairman of the academy networks consortium Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA), which provides support to the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM). A physiologist by training, Günter Stock has held many positions in the field of academia and was responsible for Research and Development in the pharmaceutical company Schering AG in Germany. Between 2006 and 2015, he was President of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Additionally, between 2008 and 2015, he served as President of the Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities. In his career as a scientist and science manager, Günter Stock has authored, edited, and co-edited numerous scientific publications and has been involved in the production of over 370 scientific and science-policy papers as well as in the creation of several patents in the medical field.
Director-General of the Joint Research Centre (JRC)
Vladimir Šucha is Director-General of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, its in-house scientific service. He was Deputy Director-General of the JRC between 2012 and 2013. Prior to that, he spent 6 years in the position of director for culture and media in the Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission. Before joining the European Commission, he held various positions in the area of European and international affairs. Between 2005 and 2006, he was director of the Slovak Research and Development Agency, national body responsible for funding research. He was principal advisor for European affairs to the minister of education of the Slovak Republic (2004-2005). He worked at the Slovak Representation to the EU in Brussels as research, education and culture counselor (2000-2004). In parallel, he has followed a long-term academic and research career, being a full professor in Slovakia and visiting professor/scientist at different academic institutions in many countries. He published more than 100 scientific papers in peer reviewed journals.
CEO of Intrinsic ID
Pim Tuyls is the Founder and CEO of Intrinsic ID. He initiated the work on Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs) that forms the basis of Intrinsic ID’s silicon fingerprinting technology. The original work on PUFs was carried out at Phillips Research, where Pim was Principal Scientist and managed the cryptography cluster.
In 2008 he founded Intrinsic ID and led the technology development. Pim has headed the company since 2010 and raised new funding in 2012 to address the growing market of mobile and IoT security. In 2015 he moved the headquarters from the Netherlands to Silicon Valley. Pim Tuyls holds a Ph.D. in mathematical physics from Leuven University, holds 50+ patents and is widely accepted for his work in the field of SRAM PUFs and security for embedded applications.