New ALLEA Working Group to provide input to post-Horizon 2020

A new ALLEA Working Group called “Framework Programme 9” will develop suggestions for the successor EU Framework for Research and Innovation that will come into force after the conclusion of Horizon 2020. The Group will engage with Academies, relevant EU institutions and stakeholders to ensure that the interests of the scientific community are taken into consideration in the design of the future programme, and that particularly the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) are fairly represented.

Following the decision of the 2016 ALLEA General Assembly in Vienna, the new Working Group is set up as a successor to ALLEA’s Social Sciences and Humanities Working Group, which advocated for the full representation and needs of the Humanities and Social Science in the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. The new Working Group will continue these efforts in the coming years to ensure that the SSH are appropriately represented in the scope, organisation and funding of the future post-Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

European Union flag against European Parliament | Fotolia

European Union flag against European Parliament | Fotolia

On 9 Feb. 2017 the first meeting of the working group will take place in Brussels

Furthermore, the Framework Programme 9 Working Group will seek to encourage deliberation and foresight within the ALLEA member academies on the fields and activities in which EU funding will be a priority within the period 2020 to 2030. On 9 February 2017 the first meeting of the working group will take place in Brussels. The new working group’s membership comprises twenty members representing academies from across Europe, including from Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, The Netherlands, and the UK.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme to date with nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years, from 2014 to 2020. It seeks to achieve EU’s policy objectives with an emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. Since October 2016, the European Commission is conducting an interim evaluation on the programme open to the general public and key stakeholders.

European academy networks launch Horizon 2020-funded SAPEA project

On 13 December 2016, Presidents of the five European academy networks that make up the SAPEA project consortium joined the Director-General for Research and Innovation, Dr Robert-Jan Smits, for the official launch of SAPEA in Brussels. More than 100 academies across Europe will contribute to the European Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM), which provides independent, transdisciplinary and evidence-based scientific advice to the European Commission.

From left to right, Günter Stock (ALLEA), Robert-Jan Smits (EC Directorate-General for Research and Innovation), Bernard Charpentier (FEAM), Jos van der Meer (EASAC), Sierd Cloetingh (Academia Europaea), and Jacques Lukasik (Euro-CASE). Credit: European Commission

From left to right, Günter Stock (ALLEA), Robert-Jan Smits (EC Directorate-General for Research and Innovation), Bernard Charpentier (FEAM), Jos van der Meer (EASAC), Sierd Cloetingh (Academia Europaea), and Jacques Lukasik (Euro-CASE). Credit: European Commission

Director-General Smits welcomed the launch of SAPEA: “Today’s agreement with the five European Academy Networks will boost the Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism. It will allow it to tap into the Academies’ broad knowledge across disciplines and regions in Europe. The Commission is looking forward to this new partnership with the Academies.”

SAPEA Chairman and ALLEA President Professor Günter Stock voiced his appreciation that “the Commission has established a comprehensive system for providing independent and evidence-based scientific advice for EU policymaking. The five European academy organisations look forward to constructively working together with SAM’s High Level Group.”

SAPEA combines the expertise of more than 100 academies across Europe, spanning the disciplines of science, engineering, medicine, humanities, and social sciences, with hundreds of Fellows respectively who will contribute to the work of SAM. The project will run over 4 years and is funded through a grant from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. SAPEA stands for “Science Advice for Policy by European Academies”.

The participating European academy networks include Academia Europaea, ALLEA, EASAC, Euro-CASE, and FEAM, which will aggregate their existing structures to advance international, transdisciplinary cooperation among academies in more than 40 European countries.

Please download PDF version of the Press Release here

Final ALLEA Board Meeting of 2016 held at Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Belgrade

At its fourth and last meeting of 2016, the ALLEA Board came together in Belgrade from 1-2 December, on the kind invitation of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA). The ALLEA meeting was held simultaneously to the international symposium “National Academies of Sciences and Arts in the 21st Century”, organised by the Serbian Academy as part of a series of events on the occasion of its 175th anniversary.

ALLEA President salutes SASA Vice President Ljubomir Maksimovic

ALLEA President salutes SASA Vice President Ljubomir Maksimovic

In the meeting, the members of the Board discussed the ongoing activities and future initiatives of ALLEA’s working groups, the development of the SAPEA project (Scientific Advice to Policy by European Academies), and the latest deliberations on prominent upcoming events, including ALLEA’s General Assembly 2017.

In a side meeting between the Board of ALLEA and SASA, the President of the Serbian Academy, Vladimir Kostić, gave a welcome address to the ALLEA Board and highlighted the relevance of regional cooperation amongst the academies, particularly in the framework of Western Balkan initiative and through the Danube Academies Conference. ALLEA President, Günter Stock, provided an overview on the core features and activities of the European federation of academies and expressed his thanks for the hospitality and for combining the ALLEA Board meeting with the international symposium.

The symposium featured lectures to re-think the role of academies for the future. ALLEA President Günter Stock participated in these discussions, jointly with academy delegates from Balkan and Central European countries, inter alia Austria, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Slovenia.

In the symposium’s afternoon session, Professor Günter Stock gave a speech on the role of academies in the course of history. He delved into the responsibilities and principles of academies in the past and present, and pointed to current and emerging threats to science. Particularly he drew attention to challenges faced by scientists and scientific systems and called on academicians to engage with the public and promote a rational discourse.

PWGSE meeting in Oslo and Stakeholder Workshop in Brussels

In their second meeting of 2016, the ALLEA Permanent Working Group on Science & Ethics met on the kind invitation of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters at their academy building in Oslo on 30/31 October. Former ALLEA Board Member and General Secretary of the academy, Professor Øivind Andersen welcomed the group and introduced the academy to the working group members.

The meeting saw a very good attendance, which was highly appreciated by the chair and closely related to the wide variety of activities the working group is currently pursuing. Besides constantly on-going topics, the Permanent Working Group particularly focused on two current topics. On behalf of ALLEA, several experts of the working group participate in the Horizon 2020 funded project ENERI, which aims to harmonise and improve research integrity systems across Europe.

Even more prominently, the working group is in the final steps to complete the revision of the European Code of Conduct for research integrity. The code was originally composed together with the now defunct European Science Foundation (ESF) in 2010.  The revised code is intended to be finalised in January 2017, at which point it will become a reference document for Model Grant Agreements within Horizon 2020.

On 25 November, in close collaboration with the Ethics sector of the European Commission, ALLEA also will organise a stakeholder workshop providing relevant stakeholders from academia, business, and funding agencies with an opportunity to share their ideas on a revised code. The workshop will be attended by around 30 different organisations in the realm of research integrity.

View of the facade of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

View of the facade of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters


The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters was founded in 1857. It is a non-governmental, nationwide body that embraces all scientific disciplines. The Academy’s main objective is to advance science in Norway by initiating and supporting research, sponsoring meetings and conferences, awarding scientific prizes, contributing to science policy, and by acting in the interest of science in relation to political authorities and the general public. The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters awards the Abel Prize in mathematics and the Kavli Prize in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience.

The Academy is led by the presidium which consists of the President, the Secretary General and the Vice President. H.M. King Harald is Honorary President of the Academy. On 1 January 2014 the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters had altogether 474 Norwegian and 390 foreign members. The members are divided into two sections; Mathematics and Natural Sciences and Humanities and Social Sciences. Each section is divided into eight groups. Each of the two sections has its own board which together with the presidium constitutes the board of the Academy.

ALLEA congratulates Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina on its 65th anniversary

Vice President Daniela Jezova represented ALLEA at the Academy’s commemorative ceremony that took place under the auspices of the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

65th anniversary of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina

ALLEA Vice President Daniela Jezova spoke in Sarajevo on 28 October during the official ceremony organised to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ANUBiH). The solemn session took place under the auspices of the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Professor Jezova congratulated the ANUBiH on its high achievements during its sixty-five year history promoting excellence in science. Particularly she underlined the remarkable role of the national Academy in the country’s research system. “We can be proud that the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a member of ALLEA, has demonstrated interdisciplinary excellence, autonomy of research, and has promoted and fostered international collaborations”, she affirmed.

In her speech, Professor Jezova drew attention to the work of ALLEA on bringing together academies from across Europe and beyond. She particularly highlighted the importance of the European Commission’s Science Advice Mechanism (SAM) as the new advisory system to obtain scientifically based policy advice. To support this mechanism, ALLEA is working with a network of organisations of academies in the SAPEA project (Scientific Advice to Policy by European Academies). The ALLEA Vice President encouraged the Bosnian academy to collaborate and contribute to these efforts.

The solemn session was opened by a welcome address by the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Bakir Izetbegovic, and closed with the speech of the President of the academy, Professor Milos Trifkovic. The celebrations also commemorated the 50 years since the enactment of the Law on the Academy of Sciences and Arts, and included an exhibition of the artistic works of the members of the Department of Arts of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ANUBiH) is the highest scientific institution in the country and was established in 1951 by the Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The institution works under the principles of independence and autonomy and was assigned the task of taking care of the development of science and arts in the country. Its activities include the organisation of scientific and artistic productions, and the publication of the works of its members and Academy’s associates. The ANUBiH is managed exclusively by the principles and interests of science and free beliefs of its members.

Science Academy Istanbul’s Statement on Academics Dismissed from Public Service

On 3 October 2016 Bilim Akademisi (The Science Academy, Turkey) Executive Board issued a statement on academics dismissed from public service following the attempted coup d’état in Turkey last July.

To access the statement please visit the academy’s website here

Georgian National Academy of Sciences hosts ALLEA Board in Tbilisi

The Georgian National Academy of Sciences kindly invited the ALLEA Board to hold their Board Meeting in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, where the attending members paid special attention to ongoing ALLEA activities and discussed future activities for the academies.

The President of the academy, Academician Giorgi Kvesitadze welcomed the ALLEA Board on the first day of the meeting. In his welcome speech, the President contextualised the role of the Georgian academy and highlighted its preeminent role as a scientific advisor to the Georgian government and also its role as a supervisor to Georgian universities. The academy works towards ultimately achieving a knowledge-based society, planned incorporation into the European Research Area is considered a necessary step in that direction.

The first day of the meeting was held at the Agricultural University of Georgia, which provided the members of the Board the chance to take a close look at the state of Georgian higher education facilities.
In the meeting, the members of the Board received updates on the manifold ALLEA activities that took place over the summer. Krista Varantola reported on the status of the ALLEA European Code of Conduct revision carried out by the Permanent Working Group Science & Ethics, where several meetings were held and stakeholders were consulted.

In addition, the Board discussed the most recent ALLEA statement on “patent-related aspects of CRISPR-Cas”, which was published by the Permanent Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights and which was very well received by the relevant European Institutions.


The ALLEA Board with the President of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences, Academician Giorgi Kvesitadze

Furthermore, the Board heard an update on the AGATE project, where ALLEA supports the Union of the German Academies in reaching out to academies and other relevant stakeholders across Europe. Several member academies have already shown interest and signed a letter of intent to support the project.

The second day of the meeting took place at the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia. The focus of the day was on the current status of SAPEA and the Board heard a report on the ongoing preparation for the project.
Another emphasis was put on ALLEA’s science diplomacy activities which over the summer were quite timely in responding to the outcome of the UK referendum on membership in the European Union and its likely impact on research institutions as well as issuing a statement calling to ensure the scientific integrity and safety of scientists in Turkey following the coup d’état in July.

The Georgian National Academy of Sciences, successor to the Georgian Academy of Sciences, was established in February 1941. The direct predecessors of the Academy were the Georgian branch of the All-Union Academy of Sciences and the Tbilisi State University, where a number of research institutions and scientific centers were created in the 20s and 30s of the past century.

The Georgian National Academy of Sciences coordinates scientific research in Georgia and develops relationship with up to 20 Academies in foreign countries. It is a scientific Adviser to the Georgian Government.

The Georgian Academy of Sciences with up to 65 scientific institutes was formed during the Soviet period. At present all these institutes are under the umbrella of the Ministry of Education and Sciences of Georgia. They are amalgamated with different Tbilisi Universities. Although they are still accountable to the Academy.

European Academies’ Statement: Science is Global

On the occasion of the ESOF conference in Manchester 2016, Europe’s Academies celebrate the value of science and research. Many of today’s most pressing challenges are global ones. International science and research collaborations greatly enhance the knowledge and tools we need to tackle them.

This means institutions from across Europe need to be free to recruit excellent researchers.  Our researchers must be able to work, cooperate across borders and travel flexibly as part of multinational activities. We must support the exchange of ideas. Unnecessary barriers to this mobility will weaken science and be to the cost of all nations.

The academies of Europe stand together to support our governments in encouraging our countries and institutions to work in partnership to deliver research, scholarship and innovation across the continent for the benefit of society.

Click here for PDF

ALLEA rejects the attempted coup d’état and calls for the Republic of Turkey to respect academic freedom and autonomy

ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, rejects all non-constitutional and violent attempts to threaten the democracies in the Council of Europe region, which is the host region to the ALLEA member academies, and indeed all over the world. Consequently, ALLEA strongly condemns the attempted coup d’état by factions of the Turkish military on 15 July 2016 against the democratically elected institutions of the Republic of Turkey.

In the meantime ALLEA has closely followed the subsequent and on-going developments and is alarmed by the repressive and excessive nature of recent measures against several public sectors in Turkey, including the academic and research community, carried out by the Turkish government and compliant civil servants in response to the coup.

In particular, we learnt with grave concern and alarm that apparently all 1577 university deans were suspended, thousands of licenses of teachers cancelled, all academics banned from leaving Turkey, and Turkish academics were being called back from abroad.

We strongly condemn these and any other punitive or preventive actions taken without distinction, depriving academics and researchers from their fundamental rights, particularly the right to freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly as well as the right to exercise their profession without politically or ideologically motivated constraints.

We urge the Turkish Government to halt these measures and to return to, respect and safeguard the principles of academic freedom and autonomy for both individuals and institutions in the science and higher education sectors in Turkey.

We stand in solidarity with our Turkish colleagues in these difficult times and we particularly support the academicians and staff in our member academies located in Ankara and Istanbul.

We call upon the European Institutions, national Governments as well as fellow scientists and scholars across Europe and beyond to express their support for the academic and research community in Turkey.

Click here for pdf version of the statement

ALLEA supports Statement “Research and Innovation: after the EU referendum” by British and Irish academies

ALLEA fully supports the statement “Research and Innovation: after the EU Referendum”, released by seven Academies on the British Isles including five ALLEA Member Academies, and calls upon all parties involved in the Brexit negotiation process to ensure that existing cooperation agreements are not violated and that on-going scientific collaborations and exchanges of researchers continue until the negotiations are finalised and have become legally binding.

The UK’s outstanding research and innovation base is central to our economic, social and cultural well-being. It gives us a competitive advantage and helps increase productivity, growth and the creation of high-value jobs, and it is the bedrock of cultural innovation and influence. This applies right across the economy including service sectors where the potential for productivity-led growth is particularly strong. The result of the EU Referendum presents a challenge to maintaining this excellence. The current uncertainty is having immediate implications and raises many questions. The national academies represent the best researchers and innovators in their fields, we stand ready to help ensure that Great Britain and Northern Ireland maintains its world leading position in research and innovation. A bold public commitment from the Government that the UK wishes to retain and build this excellence is required to assuage any loss of confidence in UK research.

People Researcher mobility between the UK and EU Member States is key to our future excellence and should be reinforced, and with no detriment to researchers, staff and students based in the UK, nor to those wishing to study or do research in the UK. Currently 15% of all academic staff at UK universities are from other EU countries. We believe it is vital that UK-based researchers and staff from other EU countries are given assurances that they and their dependents will be able to continue to live and work here. Similarly, opportunities need to be safeguarded for UK researchers to gain experience in other EU countries.

Collaboration Research and innovation thrive on clear long-term frameworks, such as that provided by the EU. International collaborations lead to research with greater impact – 60% of the UK’s internationally co-authored research papers are with EU partners. Given our geographic proximity, historical links and the relative strength of the research base of many EU countries, UK research excellence draws extensively on collaboration with colleagues in other EU Member States and we need this to continue to retain our excellence. It is vital that we reassure our EU partners of the UK’s commitment to current and future collaboration.

Resources EU research programmes have been a significant and growing contributor to UK research. In Framework Programme 7 from 2007-13 the UK received €6.9billion and is a net beneficiary from EU research programmes. Urgent discussions are needed on how to address any funding gap in both the short and medium term. In addition, it is not only the scale of funding that is significant, but also the intrinsically collaborative nature of these programmes that allow UK researchers to achieve more than they would alone. Similarly, EU programmes provide opportunities for industrial competitors to collaborate with each other and work together towards common goals, often for societal benefit. As a Member State, the UK has been able to shape the EU research and innovation agenda in a way that reinforces our strengths. We look forward to engaging with the Government to ensure that the UK community can continue to maximise its influence on the EU research and innovation agenda.

Regulation The common rules and standards of regulations across the EU provide a strong platform for the exchange of people, ideas and data for research. A movement away from common rules may increase the time and cost to UK research, scholarship and innovation. It is critical that we identify those areas of regulation where alignment with EU rules is most important for the UK’s competitiveness, and that UK experts remain fully engaged in shaping the development of standards and regulations.

Moving forward As the Government explores the various options for the future relationship of the UK with the EU, we urge it to do its utmost to safeguard the UK’s assets in research, scholarship and innovation by: a) seeking the closest achievable association with the EU research programmes; b) ensuring that talented researchers from other EU countries have certainty about the opportunities to work in the UK and likewise for UK researchers to work in other EU countries; and c) providing funding that will continue to promote international collaboration.

Click here for pdf version of the statement