European Commissioner Addresses the RSE on the Future of EU Research and Innovation

At the RSE’s annual MacCormick European Lecture on the 16 October the European Commissioner for Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas, offered his perspective on the future of research and innovation in Europe.

Mr Moedas emphasised the success of the European Union in encouraging and supporting scientific collaboration. He noted that science was a fundamental part of the European identity, with the countries within the EU sharing a common respect for scientific knowledge and a sense of social and economic purpose.

The Commissioner discussed the challenges presented by Brexit and urged Scottish and UK scientists to, “Keep collaborating with European partners and keep welcoming researchers from other EU countries into universities and research teams.” This, he said, would create a dynamic that will help politicians find solutions to support continued collaboration.

Mr Moedas underlined that progress in science needs large-scale collaboration across boundaries and that scientists who are able to move and work internationally often achieve the best results. He highlighted that collaboration is something the EU does well and that there are ambitions to build on this for the next EU research programme. He said: “The way forward is becoming clear. The next framework programme must be more international, we should enable more international mobility of scientists, more collaborative projects with non-European partners”.

Mr Moedas also stressed the key role of science in tackling some of the most pressing global challenges adding, “We face many challenges in our present, some of the most serious mankind has ever faced. Europe’s leaders see research and innovation as something that can help to face these challenges. And that is something that has uncontested EU added value.”

Commenting on the occasion, RSE President, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell said, “The Royal Society of Edinburgh plays an important role in building research capacity and capability in Scotland through a diverse programme of research grants and awards. We work closely with sister academies and other partners across Europe and beyond, to support research collaborations and the translation of research into useful knowledge. Indeed, just yesterday we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Royal Flemish Academy for Science and the Arts. The Society was delighted that Commissioner Moedas was able to deliver the RSE MacCormick European Lecture 2017 on this, his first official visit to Scotland.”

For the full published speech, please see here.