EC announces members of High Level Group on research

The European Commission, or EC, has selected its 12-member High Level Group on maximising the impact of European Union research and innovation programmes.

The group is tasked with developing a vision for the future of EU research and innovation and delivering strategic recommendations on how to maximise the impact of the EU’s investment in its Horizon 2020 research programme.

Starting next month, it will examine interim Horizon 2020 evaluation results and the outcomes of public consultations and report back in June next year. Its findings will be discussed at a stakeholder conference in Brussels and will influence the future direction of the EU’s research programmes, including Horizon 2020.

The group is chaired by Pascal Lamy, president emeritus of the Jacques Delors Institute and a former director general of the World Trade Organization, who took up his post in late September.

European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas said: "We face economic uncertainty and societal challenges but also promising opportunities in Europe. So it is vital to get even greater impact from EU funding for research and innovation, for everyone's benefit.

“With a wide range of expertise and experience, I am confident that the new High Level Group will provide us with a bold vision for EU research and innovation in the future."

Lamy said: "I am honoured to lead the group's work on maximising the impact of EU investments in research and innovation. I believe that these are crucial for our future prosperity and to solving our biggest challenges, and areas where the EU can demonstrate that we do better together than on our own and that we can exert global leadership."

According to the European Commission, the High Level Group brings together leading personalities from across Europe with a wide range of expertise. The members hold key posts in universities or research organisations, are leaders of industrial giants and dynamic SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), serve in high-level policy positions in national or international organisations, and play important roles in civil society organisations, it said.

The group members are:
  • • Chair: Pascal Lamy, president emeritus, Jacques Delors Institute, France;
  • Martin Brudermüller, vice-chairman of the board of executive directors and chief technology officer, BASF SE, Germany;
  • Mark Ferguson, director general, Science Foundation Ireland, and chief scientific adviser to the Government of Ireland;
  • Lykke Friis, pro-rector for education, University of Copenhagen, Denmark;
  • Cristina Garmendia, chair, Fundación Cotec, Madrid, Spain;
  • Iain Gray, director of aerospace, Cranfield University, United Kingdom;
  • Jan Gulliksen, professor, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden;
  • Harri Kulmala, CEO of DIMECC Ltd, Tampere, Finland;
  • • Nevenka Maher, former dean, Faculty of Business and Management Sciences Novo Mesto, Slovenia;
  • • Maya Plentz Fagundes, managing director, 50More Ventures;
  • Lucyna A Wozniak, vice-rector for science and international relations, Medical University of Lodz, Poland;
  • Milena Zic Fuchs, professor, University of Zagreb, Croatia, and fellow, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
“The group is charged with reviewing the progress and impact of Horizon 2020,” Professor Mark Ferguson told the Irish Times. “That will influence the latter half of Horizon 2020 but probably more likely the next research budget.”

The selection was made from around 350 scientists and business officials who had expressed an interest in being involved.