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European Commission

MEMO

Brussels, 10 July 2012

European Commission at 2012 Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF)

The European Commission, represented by Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, will take part in five days of scientific debate in Dublin next week when Ireland's capital plays host to the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF). Up to 4,000 scientists, business leaders, government officials, policy-makers and journalists are expected to take part in what has become Europe's largest science meeting, held every two years. The Commission has helped fund ESOF since its inception in 2004 because of its unique contribution to bridging the gap between science and society.

What is ESOF?

ESOF – Euroscience Open Forum – is Europe's largest general science meeting. The biennial gathering brings together researchers, entrepreneurs, innovators, policy makers and the public from all over Europe to discuss new discoveries and debate the direction that science is taking.

Who is it organised by?

ESOF 2012 is being hosted by the city of Dublin and organised by Forfas, Ireland's policy advisory board for scientific matters. European cities compete to host ESOF, with continuity assured by a secretariat based at the Euroscience Association, which launched ESOF in 2004. The ESOF supervisory board is composed of members of Euroscience's board and its initial five funding foundations.

Which events will the Commission participate in at ESOF?

Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will speak at the ESOF opening ceremony on July 11 and deliver the keynote speech of the "Policy Day" on July 13. On the margins of the conference, on July 11, she will present the final calls for funding under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to Irish stakeholders and open an exhibition on EU research at the Commission Representation in Dublin. Staff from the Commission's Directorate General for Research and Innovation will take part in and are also organising a number of panel debates to present and discuss the latest developments in EU policy. Professor Anne Glover, President Barroso's Chief Scientific Advisor, will address the Euroscience general assembly on July 14. Click here for a full programme of events at ESOF 2012.

Does the Commission have a stand at ESOF?

Yes. Commission officials will be offering visitors to ESOF a programme of information sessions about EU policies and funding opportunities, including specific workshops on the proposal for Horizon 2020, the EU's next research framework programme, Innovation Union and EU research careers. Researchers funded under the "Science and Society" programme will also present the results of their projects. The European Research Council, the Research Executive Agency and the European Parliament's Science and Technology unit (STOA) will also organise workshops at the stand.

Agreement with U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)

On July 13, the Commission will also sign an agreement with the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) that will open the way for young U.S. researchers to join the teams of European Research Council (ERC) grant holders.

European Research Council at ESOF

European Research Council (ERC), President Helga Nowotny (ESOF key note speaker), ERC Secretary General Donald Dingwell and numerous ERC grantees will speak at several events, including an ERC press conference on July 13. The ERC will also organise three scientific sessions: “Quantum computing: the final frontier?”, “Ageing: from genome to sex” and “Adaption or extinction? Responses to radical climate changes” with ERC grant holders and representatives.

The Joint Research Centre at ESOF

The Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), is an active player at the biannual ESOF events. In this year's edition, the JRC will have representatives in 12 different sessions covering topics such as smart grids, scientific support to financial crisis, technology transfer or sustainability of resources. ESOF's multidisciplinarity and aim to promote scientific excellence and the sharing of scientific knowledge perfectly fit with the JRC's mission to provide EU policies with the best available independent, evidence-based and technical support. JRC scientists will debate with other participants and highlight the role of science in today's complex world as a key element to finding solutions to global challenges.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Conference 2012

Ahead of ESOF, on July 10-11, the European Commission will be organising a conference for fellows whose careers have benefitted from support under Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. The EU's Seventh Framework Programme is on track to have helped around 50,000 researchers' careers and 10,000 PhDs by the end of 2013. The programme will provide fellows with information on patenting and marketing research stories to the scientific press.


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