The Guild’s Presidents discuss key priorities of the European Research Area with Commissioner Gabriel

At the Guild’s General Assembly, convened on 8 June 2021, Presidents discussed how to strengthen universities through the European Research Area with Commissioner Mariya Gabriel.

As the Council and the Commission are currently consolidating their visions and agreeing on the governance process for the renewed European Research Area (ERA), the Presidents of The Guild had a timely discussion with Commissioner Mariya Gabriel on the proposed Pact for Research and Innovation, alongside a range of other concerns.

In considering the main values, principles and policy actions that will shape ERA in the next decade, the Presidents highlighted the role of fundamental research in enabling disruptive innovation. They reflected how years of basic research has, for instance, paved the way for the current corona vaccines, and stressed the need to have a balance between investments in applied and basic research. Furthermore, the Presidents expressed their concern that Switzerland should be able to associate fully to Horizon Europe. They also discussed research careers, highlighting the challenges researchers are facing within different national funding systems and assessment processes.

The Presidents were also joined by Adam Tyson, Senior Advisor International Cooperation Strategy at DG RTD, to hear insights into the Commission’s highly anticipated Global Approach to Research and Innovation, published last month. The Presidents discussed the ERA’s role in the Global Approach and how to ensure its values and principles are reflected also in external cooperation. Moreover, collaboration with Africa and supporting research capacities of low-income countries were at the core of the discussions as the members emphasised the role of cross-border collaboration in research and innovation to tackle global challenges.

The General Assembly re-elected Vincent Blondel (UCLouvain) as Chair and Svein Stølen as Vice-Chair of the Board of The Guild for another year, respectively.

10 June 2021


Published June 10, 2021 1:30 PM - Last modified June 10, 2021 1:30 PM