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.