The European Research Advisory Board: 3 years of successful work
Brussels, 08 June 2004
EURAB, the high level advisory board set up in 2001 on the initiative of European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin, has completed its first three years of operation. "EURAB has greatly contributed to the higher profile of European research policy on the European Union's agenda", said Philippe Busquin. The 45 members, coming from 19 countries and including 13 women, have worked in full autonomy and independence and have tackled numerous issues, the most important being the realisation of the European Research Area and the use of policy instruments such as the Sixth Community Framework Program for Research and Technological Development.
"During these three years, I have felt that the diversity of the Board, bringing together the "know" of the academic world and the "how" in industry to a European "know-how", has been most beneficial in allowing EURAB to develop ambitious, but realistic and robust recommendations to the Commission", said Helga Nowotny, who chaired EURAB. "We have been able to develop an excellent working relation with the Commission services based on trust and mutual understanding."
This assembly is the first of its kind bringing together academia and industry to advise the Commission on research policy. EURAB developed a range of working methods including working groups, study visits and workshops. It presented recommendations to the Commission on topics ranging from the creation of a European Research Council, the role of university research and university-industry relationships, the impact of enlargement on research and the interdisciplinarity in research to the link between research policy and the structural funds, technological platforms, small-and medium sized enterprises and social sciences and humanities. The Commission responded to EURAB on all of the recommendations and its majority was taken into account in policy formulations.
EURAB contributed to fundamental issues such as the drafting of the Convention on the Future of Europe, calling for taking advantage of the revision of the Treaty, in order to "build the vision of a knowledge-based society into a legal framework". At the same time, the experts gave valuable advice on administrative issues like for instance the criteria for the evaluation of research project proposals.
The first term of EURAB has surely been most productive. The new assembly, which will meet for the first time on 15 June 2004, welcomes 21 new members and will continue to strive for a higher profile and quality of research in the European Union, not only for the scientific and economic community, but also for all European citizens.
Notes for editors
What is EURAB?
The European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) is a high-level, independent advisory committee created by the Commission to provide advice on the design and implementation of EU research policy. EURAB is made up of 45 top experts from EU countries and beyond. Its members are nominated in a personal capacity and come from a wide range of academic and industrial backgrounds, as well as representing other societal interests.
EURAB focuses its attention on the realisation of the European Research Area and the use of policy instruments such as the Community RTD Framework Programmes.
EURAB delivers advice and opinions on specific issues either at the request of the Commission or on its own initiative. The board is free to cooperate with organisations and institutions interested in European research, to create working groups on specific themes and to consult with other experts who could enrich its reflection.
When and how was EURAB created?
EURAB was created in June 2001 by a Commission decision, which describes in legal terms its mandate, principles of functioning and the criteria to be used for its composition. The members of the board were nominated, based on proposals received from the academic and industrial communities.
EURAB is the result of a long and wide consultation process. In May 2000, Commissioner Busquin, realising the pressing need for an independent advisory committee in the field of research policy, set up a large working group of high-level European experts to advise him on how best to establish such a body. The recommendations contained in the Group's final report (issued in February 2001) were the basis of the Commission decision establishing EURAB.
Professor Helga Nowotny,
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH)
Tel. + 41.1.632.5230,
European Commission, Research DG