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IRDAC opinion on an industrial host fellowship scheme

IRDAC, the European Commission's Industrial Research and Development Advisory Committee, has published an opinion entitled "Towards a European industrial host fellowship scheme".

The Committee has repeatedly called for the Community's Human Capital and Mobility (HCM) programm...
IRDAC, the European Commission's Industrial Research and Development Advisory Committee, has published an opinion entitled "Towards a European industrial host fellowship scheme".

The Committee has repeatedly called for the Community's Human Capital and Mobility (HCM) programme, and its successor, Training and Mobility of Researchers (TMR), to be more industrially oriented. IRDAC welcomes the Commission's inclusion of its suggestion for the creation of a European industrial host fellowship scheme in the proposal for the Fifth Framework Programme.

In IRDAC's opinion, the scheme should be led by industry, who would identify the areas to be addressed and select the fellows. The Commission would be involved in matching hosts and researchers together, but should not attempt to regulate the process too restrictively. The scheme should be open to all companies, including SMEs, and researchers from all relevant disciplines (both post-graduate and post-doctoral).

Researchers would be funded for two years, or three years for those completing a PhD, with the scheme co-financed by industry and the Commission. The researcher would work in a company located outside their Member State of origin. Fellowships would be managed by the host company, with the researcher employed by the company in order to facilitate the management of IPR issues and confidentiality.

Three crucial conditions need to be fulfilled to ensure the success of the scheme. Firstly, it has to radiate quality, ensuring the scheme brings prestige to both researchers and host companies. The Commission would monitor the quality of training provided by regular scientific audits. Secondly, it needs to be relevant to industry's needs. Thirdly, it needs to be flexible to allow fellows at different levels to participate and to be managed smoothly with the minimum of bureaucracy.

Source: European Commission, IRDAC Secretariat

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