At the EPS Council meeting, which took place on 27-28 March in Bad Honnef (DE), a round table was organised on the topic of “Influencing European Commission Science Policy”. The round table attracted the attention of the participants and triggered interesting discussions. The scientific and industrial communities need to provide their viewpoints to science policy makers. EPS needs to define its own strategy and continue its collaborations with other learned societies and organisations representing different scientific fields to speak with a coherent voice in the EU.
The presentations at the round table were centred on these issues with specific inputs related to the experience of the organization (or company) represented by the speaker.
Ulrich Schubert, president of EuCheMS, provided example of how EuCheMS provides input through workshops organised for EU officials and Member of European Parliament. This activity has generated much interest among European policy makers, raising the profile of EuCheMS.
Paul Hardaker, chief executive of the Institute of Physics [IOP], underlined that it is important to understand the EU structure in order to communicate at the right level. IOP has learnt over the years that clear goals are needed to define the right actions for the best impact. Another challenge is to maintain the right balance between raising profile and safeguarding the Society’s respect and credibility.
Katharina Flaig Ruttgers from Photonics21 presented how an innovation network established itself as a legal entity to provide input into policies that promote photonics research and innovation within the EU. Photonics21 with more than 2500 members representing over 1000 European affiliations has its own board and working groups that establish priorities in the photonics field in alignment with the Horizon 2020 program.
Giorgio Rossi, a member of the management board of ESFRI (the committee for the European Strategic Forum for Research Infrastructures) presented the Road Map for the large infrastructures of European importance. A new Road Map for the next 10 year is in preparation for 2016 and up to 25 infrastructures will be included. This is fewer than in the previous roadmap. The EU commission participates in this activity.
Elisa Molino, from IBM Europe, Belgium, underlined in her presentation that IBM participates in a multitude of research programmes in Horizon 2020 across different research areas. Legislation has an impact on innovation, and IBM follows these developments to provide a better understanding to policy makers of how science and research address grand challenges.