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European Commission


Brussels, 20 June 2014

European Commission at 2014 EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF)

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso will on Sunday (June 22) launch EuroScience Open Forum 2014 (ESOF 2014), Europe's leading biennial science conference, being held this year in Copenhagen. Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will give a keynote speech to delegates on June 24. Other prominent speakers during the week will include Robert-Jan Smits, European Commission Director-General for Research and Innovation, European Research Council President Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon and Chief Scientific Advisor to President Barroso, Anne Glover. This MEMO provides information about the event and the Commission's involvement.

What is ESOF?

ESOF 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 2014 is being held in Copenhagen and is being organised by the Danish Ministry for Science, Innovation and Higher Education. European cities compete to host ESOF, with continuity assured by a secretariat based at the EuroScience Association, which launched ESOF in 2004. On June 26 there will be a ceremony to hand over to the host and organisers of ESOF 2016, the city and university of Manchester. The European Union's research and innovation budget covers part of the cost of the event through a grant to the organisers.

Which events will the Commission participate in at ESOF?

President Barroso will speak at the ESOF opening ceremony on June 22. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn will deliver a keynote speech on "Science 2.0: how Europe can lead the next scientific revolution" on June 24. Director-General Smits will speak at panel discussions on science's role in Europe, on international cooperation and on Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation framework programme, and take part in a satellite event organised by the European Industrial Research Management Association. Professor Glover is due to speak in scientific sessions on antibiotic resistance, risk assessment, public health challenges and food regulation. In total, Commission officials will take part in some 50 events. Click here for a full programme of EU events at ESOF 2014.

Does the Commission have a stand at ESOF?

Yes. Commission officials will be offering visitors to ESOF information sessions about EU policies and funding opportunities. The Commission stand will also host displays by eight EU-funded projects or companies that have benefitted from EU research funding, including NanoMaster, that is developing graphene-based material for 3D printers, Materialise, a Belgian 3D printing company, HyperMembrane, that has developed an innovative construction system and Socientize, which is developing tools for citizen science projects.

European Research Council at ESOF

Headed by its President, Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon (ESOF key note speaker), the delegation of the European Research Council (ERC) will be stronger than ever before: some 40 ERC grant winners will highlight their cutting-edge research at the event, on topics such as how to assess childhood risks of developing cancer; the usefulness of climate information for policy-makers; the design of spaces for disabled people; how fossils can uncover the evolution of life; the relation between ecosystems and environmental management; the interdependence between species in nature; and the prediction of epidemics.

The ERC will also be represented by three members of its Scientific Council; ESOF2014 Champion Professor Klaus Bock, Professor Nils Chr. Stenseth and Professor Isabelle Vernos.

The ERC is organising seven scientific sessions and a career workshop and will take part in several debates. On Tuesday 24 June, a press point with ERC President Bourguignon, Professor Bock and numerous grantees will take place (click here for the ERC programme).

The Joint Research Centre at ESOF

The European Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), actively participates in the biennial ESOF events. In line with this year's theme, the JRC's participation is guided by the motto 'bridging science and policy'. Six scientific sessions will cover a variety of topics, including urbanisation in the 21st century, fiscal austerity and economic growth, detection of food fraud, socio-economic issues and raw materials supply as well as the use of social incentives to encourage children to do more physical activity. With the aim of highlighting the role of science as a key basis for finding sustainable solutions that are useful to society and foster economic growth, these JRC symposia will count on the participation of high level speakers from various research organisations worldwide. The JRC will also be present at the "Science in the City" festival organised by ESOF to engage with the public. An exhibit focused on "soil, the hidden treasure" aims at raising awareness of the benefits that soils bring to our daily lives, the environment and the economy.

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