Commissioner Potočnik meets new Scientific Council at its inaugural meeting

Brussels, 18 October 2005
Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner for
Science and Research, will meet the new 22-member Scientific Council,
which has been established to head up the future European Research
Council, at its inaugural meeting in Brussels today. The European
Research Council will fund the best of European science and
scholarship, as assessed by peer review, starting from 2007. The new
Scientific Council – made up of scientists, engineers, scholars and
research leaders ?± will play a key role in strengthening the quality
and autonomy of scientific advice which underpins the research funding
decisions made.
?¨The clear aim of the European Research
Council is to promote scientific excellence, and the best judge of that
are scientists. We want to put high quality, independent scientific
advice at the heart of the decision making process and make sure that
the brightest and best of European research gets funded?Æ, says
Commissioner Potocnik.
In the first instance, the ERC Scientific
Council??s main task will be to lay the foundations for the European
Research Council??s management approach by developing a scientific
strategy and operational methods to be in place for it to start its
work by 2007.
The ERC Scientific Council is composed of
22 renowned scientists, engineers and scholars, research leaders. The
Scientific Council is an independent body representing the European
research community in all its breadth and depth and acting
independently of political or other interest. Its members act in their
personal capacity. In this way, the Scientific Council will ensure the
quality and autonomy of scientific judgement that are the keys to the
ERC??s success. Its members were proposed by an independent
Identification Committee, chaired by Lord Patten of Barnes and
announced by the Commission on 18 July.
In its proposal for the Seventh Framework
Programme for Research (FP7, 2007-2013), published in April 2005, and
its Specific Programme ?¨Ideas?Æ, published in September 2005, the
Commission proposed the creation of an autonomous European Research
Council to support ?¨frontier research?Æ carried out by research teams
competing at European level, across all scientific and technological
fields, as well as social science and the humanities. The ERC will fund
the best of European science and scholarship, as assessed by peer
review, and will start operations in 2007, assuming a positive decision
of the Council of Ministers and European Parliament on the Commission??s
For the announcement of the ERC Scientific Council, see IP/05/956.
For biographical information on the Members of the ERC Scientific Council, see MEMO/05/265.
For information on the Identification Committee, see IP/05/90.
For the Commission??s proposal on FP7 Specific Programme ?¨Ideas?Æ, see IP/05/1171.
Media Contact: 
Press & Information Officer
DG Research, European Commission
Tel: +32 22959971
(Credits EUROPA)
Author: EARSC

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