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Science Europe: promoting and strengthening European research

Science Europe is a Brussels-based association of 52 European research funding organisations (RFOs) and research performing organisations (RPOs) from 27 European countries, including the French National Research Agency (ANR). Founded in 2011, its aim is to promote the collective interests of the funding and the conduct of research in Europe and to contribute to strengthening the European Research Area (ERA).

The association is chaired by Paul Boyle, Chairman of the Economic and Social Research Council in the UK (ESRC), elected in 2011 by the general assembly of the association and re-elected to a second term in November 2013.

At the general assembly of the association in November 2013, Pascale Briand, ANR’s Director General, was elected to the Governing Board. This appointment consolidates ANR’s position and visibility among the main funding agencies in Europe. It reinforces the agency in its efforts to contribute actively to the construction of the European Research Area and to foster European research.

Promoting European research and developing excellence

A common vision brings together the members of Science Europe: it is necessary to finance and achieve excellence in research, despite national borders. The association thus provides its members with a forum to speak with one voice to the institutions concerned, whether the EU institutions, national governments or other stakeholders.

Its main objective is to develop common positions on a number of science policy issues.

Science Europe has established its own roadmap, based on the document “Vision on a Globally Competitive ERA and their roadmap for Action” developed in 2009 jointly by the presidents and heads of the various funds and research councils in Europe (EUROHORCs) and the European Science Foundation (ESF).

Science Europe is also very active in supporting the development of the European Research Area, just like ANR for whom this is also a priority. 

In this context the association has established working groups. Created by the governing board for a two-year renewable term, their job is to make recommendations for the implementation of the policies outlined in the roadmap or any other topic of interest to science policy.

They are composed of experts from member organisations and they meet regularly. ANR is actively involved in these groups: cross-border collaboration; ex-post evaluation; gender and diversity; open-access; research data; research careers; research infrastructure; and research integrity.

Representing European research internationally

Finally, Science Europe participates in the governance of the Global Research Council. The President of Science Europe is a member of the GRC’s governing board and the Head of Policy Affairs of the association is a member of the International Steering Committee, which includes the co-organisers of the GRC regional meetings and the co-organisers of the GRC annual summit.

In October 30, 2013, Science Europe co-organised with ANR the European regional meeting in preparation for the 2014 GRC Summit in Paris.


The structure of Science Europe

The association is composed of four main bodies:

  • The Presidency
    It is composed of the President and two Vice-Presidents. One of them represents the funding agencies and the other one represents the research performing organisations. They have a two-year mandate, just like the President.
  • The Governing Board
    It is composed of the President, the two Vice-Presidents and at least six ordinary members, i.e. presidents or directors of member organisations, elected by the General Assembly for a two-year term. The Board meets at least twice a year and up to four times over the same period.
  • The General Assembly
    This is the highest decision-making body of Science Europe, composed of representatives from each organisation member of the association. It is empowered to invite high-level observers from external organisations and it is chaired by the President of Science Europe. It usually meets twice a year.
  • The Office
    The Director of Science Europe’s Office is currently Amanda Crowfoot. Its main mission is to support the activities of the Governing Board, the General Assembly and the member organisations.

Finally, Science Europe is informed and supported in its activities by six Scientific Committees, composed of highly-authoritative academics coming from all over Europe and representing the broadest range of scientific communities and disciplines. They are essential for the provision of scientific evidence to support science policy and strategy developments at pan-European and global level.