Academia and industry to advise on the European Research Area (ERA)

On 26 September 2001, the new European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) will meet for the first time. Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin has taken the initiative to set up this new top-level European body to provide the European institutions with advice on the Unionís research policy. It is made up of senior representatives from industry and science and will support the creation of the European Research Area.
Commenting on the creation of the new advisory body, Commissioner Busquin said: ìMaking a reality of the European Research Area is an objective we want to reach with and for the scientific community. I am happy that we will be able to count on the advice of such eminent scientists, both from the public and from the private sectors.   They will help us in meeting our priorities: bringing science and society closer together and achieving more co-operation and co-ordination in European research, a pure necessity if we want Europe to succeed in a global knowledge society and promote our well-being and quality of life.î

EURAB counts 45 members, 20 of which have been proposed by the European Science Foundation (ESF) to represent the world of science and academia, and 20 proposed by UNICE, the Union of Industrial and Employers’ Confederations of Europe, to represent the world of business and industry. Five members have been appointed directly by the European Commission.
ESF and UNICE have been entirely free in proposing their nominations, being only invited by the Commission to respect basic criteria in relation to geographical, gender and discipline / sector balance. Set up by a Commission decision, EURAB will operate independently both from the European Commission and from existing science or industry organisations. It will nevertheless be able to call upon the expertise of representative organisations that exist at European level.

Commissioner Busquin expressed particular satisfaction that ESF and UNICE had responded so positively to the Commission’s hopes concerning the:
? Overcoming of the traditional academia-industry divide and commit themselves to co-operation in one single body;
? Nomination of top figures for EURAB membership; EURAB membership does in fact include Nobel prize winners and other highly distinguished scientists as well as senior figures from industry – both from big companies and small and medium size enterprises;
? Provision of advice to the Commission, both upon request, but also spontaneously on the basis of membersí intimate knowledge of scientific and industrial developments.

With EURAB, the European Commission hopes to dispose of the advice and support that reflects Europe’s impressive scientific and industrial potential. EURAB is expected to deal with all issues that will come up in months and years to come. Commissioner Busquin expressed confidence that the quality and relevance of EURAB’s work would leave nothing to envy other countries or regions of the world about.

Among the agenda items of the first meeting are a discussion on the challenges of European research and the expectations from EURAB as well as the election of its first president. Philippe Busquin will open the inaugural meeting.

On the occasion of the first EURAB meeting the European Commission will host an informal lunch, to which the media are invited. The lunch will be an opportunity for journalists to meet with EURAB members and to discuss forthcoming activities and priorities. At lunchtime the name of the first EURAB President may also be known. Journalists will also have the opportunity to question Commissioner BUSQUIN and Achilleas MITSOS, Director General of DG Research.

The lunch will take place in the Conference Centre Albert Borschette (CCAB)
Rue Froissart 36, 1040 Brussels
on 26 September 2001, starting at 13.30hrs.

Notes for Editors

For the List of EURAB Members and the text of the Commission decision establishing EURAB please visit the web site:


Rosenbaum Juergen