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EUA Research Policy Working Group meeting focuses on Digital Science

19 November 2015

On 5 November 2015, the EUA Research Policy Working Group (RPWG) met in Brussels to discuss recent developments in the research and innovation area and prepare forthcoming EUA activities in this policy area.

The discussions covered a broad range of topics, including developments in the European Research Area (ERA), the contribution of universities to society and progress on the FP7 UNI-SET project. RPWG members also discussed a draft background paper, in preparation for the upcoming high-level conference “Lund Revisited: Next steps in tackling Societal Challenges”, which will take place at Lund University (Sweden) on 4 December 2015. This conference aims to take stock of the progress made since the 2009 Lund Declaration, which had concluded that European research should focus on grand challenges and prepared the way for Horizon 2020. One of the main outcomes of the Lund conference in 2015 will be a new declaration with recommendations for further advancement.

This RPWG meeting focused particularly on the topics of Digital Science, Science 2.0 and Open Science, with discussions on the outcomes of the first meeting of the EUA Expert Group on Science 2.0/Open Science. In addition, the RPWG welcomed José Cotta, Head of Unit for ‘Digital Science’ in DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect), as a guest speaker.

In his presentation, José Cotta covered several aspects related to Digital Science, namely recent developments in EU policies and activities in this area, the role of universities in Digital Science and how to accelerate the transition towards Open Access.

The RPWG meeting was organised back-to-back with the launch event of the DOC-CAREERS II report,  “University-Business Partnerships in Doctoral Education: Working for the Future”, which took place on 4 November 2015. The event was kindly hosted by the Mission of Switzerland to the European Union (EU) and included the participation of Ambassador Roberto Balzaretti, Head of the Mission of Switzerland to the EU, and EUA Vice-Presidents Professors Martine Rahier and David Drewry.

The formal presentation of the outcomes of the DOC-CAREERS II report served as a basis for a panel discussion, moderated by Professor David Drewry, on the value of doctorate holders for the development of European societies and on the current and future role of doctoral education in the academic and business sectors. The panel included the following speakers: Peter Dröll, Director for Research and Innovation at the European Commission; Professor Andreas Mortensen, Vice-Provost for Research at the École Polytechnique de Lausanne (EPFL); Professor Mary McNamara, Head of the Graduate School, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and member of the EUA-CDE; and Dr Carlos Härtel, President of the European Industrial Research Management Association (EIRMA).

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