Issue 3: October 2017
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Science Europe Newsletter

Your quarterly update from Science Europe with news and information on our events, publications, and other activities.
Science Europe is the association of European Research Funding and Research Performing Organisations, Our mission is to promote the role of our members in supporting excellent scientific research and to strengthen the European Research Area (ERA). Science Europe facilitates co-operation and networking between research organisations at both policy and activity level.

Let’s Talk About the Value of Research,
Not Just Its Impact

Science Europe advocates using the notion of ‘value’ of research in its latest Position Statement ‘On a New Vision for More Meaningful Research Impact Assessment’. This is wider than ‘impact’ and reflects the intrinsic value of scientific research and its capacity to generate new knowledge. There are countless ways in which research brings its immense value to society. Some of this value is indirect or intangible and cannot easily be measured by strictly defined impact assessment criteria. Other parts of it are long-term or unpredictable and may not yet be visible at the time that the research is evaluated.

This Position Statement provides a series of key principles and actions for policy makers and research organisations to help bring forward a new vision of impact assessment. These are one of Science Europe’s contributions to the design of the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP9); as the largest research founding programme in the world, it is crucial that FP9 is designed with a broad notion of impact in mind.

Other News

Discussing Research Impact in Estonia this October

Science Europe will be actively involved in the upcoming Estonian Presidency conference ‘European Research Excellence - Impact and Value for Society’ that takes place on 12 October in Tallinn, Estonia. Ola Erstad, Chair of Science Europe’s Scientific Advisory Committee, has been invited to discuss impact in a high-level round table discussion with Jean-Pierre Bourguignon (President of the European Research Council), Luc Soete (Chair of the RISE Group), Günter Stock (President of ALLEA), and Vladimir Šucha (Director-General of the Joint Research Council).

Science Europe is also collaboration with the European Research Council (ERC) by co-organising two panel sessions of an ERC side event on ‘Strengthening Europe’s Science Base’ on 11 October in Tallinn. One will be on ‘The Complementary Roles of the ERC and National Research Funding’, and the other on ‘Peer Review in the 21st Century’. Seven Heads of Science Europe Member Organisations will participate as panellists and moderators.

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Fighting for a Copyright Directive Fit for Research and Innovation

Science Europe is an active voice in the debate on the new EU copyright legislation, advocating for a broad exception for Text and Data Mining (TDM). TDM for research purposes should be allowed without paying for additional licences, in line with the principle of ‘the right to read should be the right to mine’. Science Europe also continues to advocate for the exclusion of scientific articles from the neighbouring rights, which is important in order to keep Open Access and Open Science alive. Two joint open letters, addressed to the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) and the Council, have been released in an effort to halt the adoption of harmful provisions found in the current draft Directive.

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Symposium Report on Building a Scientific Narrative on Impact and Societal Value of Science

The Symposium ‘Building a Scientific Narrative on Impact and Societal Value of Science’ was the first public initiative of the Science Europe Scientific Advisory Committee. At the event, hosted in Brussels on 17 November 2016, the topic of research impact was approached from different angles, in order to widen the understanding of the societal value generated by science. The report emphasises that fundamental science and curiosity-driven research are key drivers of change for their intrinsic value and long-term unexpected impact; however, many other aspects are also important, such as challenge oriented research and co-creation of knowledge.

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Key Principles to Shape the Future Framework Programme

Europe and the world are confronted with major challenges. Fundamental solutions and transitions are needed in the field of health, food, sustainable energy, and the circular economy. Research and innovation are indispensable for finding these answers. European co-operation in Research and Innovation Framework Programmes is one of the great successes of the European project, and an area where the EU budget has the most European added value. This has to be translated accordingly into EU budget priorities. With this leaflet, Science Europe reiterates eight key principles to help shape FP9, which can contribute to developing the Framework Programme that Europe needs.

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Cross-border Collaboration and Portfolio Management of Research Infrastructures

This workshop by the Science Europe Working Group on Research Infrastructures was co-hosted by Science Foundation Ireland and the Health Research Board in January 2017. It explored the challenges facing research funders and performers to design and manage balanced Research Infrastructure (RI) portfolios, and design effective cross-border collaborations when setting up and running joint RIs. The workshop led to the identification of lessons learned and possible ways forward, and the key points discussed during the workshop are summarised in this report.

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Science Europe in the News

Copyright © 2017 Science Europe, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

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