Commissioner Moedas speaks of "reinventing European research for the information age"
Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, spoke on the issue of "Reinventing European Research for the Information Age" at a conference in Cambridge, UK, on 3 March 2016.
Stating that he wanted Europe to be "the best place in the world for excellent science and innovation", Commissioner Moedas emphasised the importance of the UK's contribution to European research and innovation. He reiterated his three priorities open innovation, open science and open to the world and stressed that "for the UK and Europe to get ahead in the information age of big science and big data, we need science without borders, we need innovation for global markets".
Pointing out the large number of ERC grants attracted by the UK, and by Cambridge in particular, the Commissioner added that "the value of engaging in EU research programmes cannot be measured by the number of grants alone. The value lies in building networks: in exchanging information and experience", thus improving Europe's competitiveness in science, which is now "a global endeavour".
Mr. Moedas also emphasised the importance of European innovation to create new markets, in addition to building European research capacity, saying that he wants "Europe to embrace new approaches to creating and commercialising innovation. Because today value mostly lies in the data and not the product. ... Before, companies told their customers what they wanted. Now customers tell companies. Before, the value was in the product. Now it's in the data that product generates. Before, the first and fastest companies took the largest shares of the market. Now we all want choice tailored to our individual needs." He claimed that through open innovation, "we can innovate European business models together and create new markets too".
As for the second priority, open science, the Commissioner sees "a revolution happening in the way science works. Every part of the scientific method is becoming more open, inclusive and increasingly interdisciplinary too", pointing out that openness is a cornerstone of EU research and innovation support. This can be seen e.g. from the fact that all projects funded by Horizon 2020 have to publish results in Open Access journals. The Commissioner intends to make open data the norm for Horizon 2020 projects too.
With regard to the third priority, open to the world, Mr. Moedas wants to "ensure the European Union's competitive edge in research in global knowledge markets in the information age", as well as to "make sure researchers in Europe can collaborate with their counterparts in other regions of the world without administrative or financial barriers." The Commissioner concluded by an appeal, saying "if we are to reinvent European research for the information age, we must work together across Europe. We must be open to crossing disciplines and to disruption. We must foster open science and open innovation. And we must be open to the world".
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Photo: by ECTOP