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Conference on the future of the European Research Area

On 26-27 October 2021, the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union organised the “Conference New ERA - Towards a responsible knowledge driven society of the 3rd Millennium.” It was intended to better integrate the ERA in key stakeholder communities, industrial sectors and policymakers on regional, national and EU levels, especially those responsible for research and from broader innovation ecosystems. 

The main objectives of the conference were the following:

  • Fostering dialogue between Member States, countries associated to Horizon Europe, and the European Commission in order to build a renewed ERA.
  • Providing a platform for stakeholders to reflect on the main challenges in implementing the newly designed ERA Actions in effective and efficient manner.
  • Providing recommendations (as outputs of the conference) to policy makers in order to contribute to the design and implementation of the new ERA.

The conference began with keynote speeches from Mariya Gabriel and Slovenian Minister Simona Kustec, both emphasising the importance of involving stakeholders in the ERA governance.

Four parallel breakout sessions took place on the second day, each focussing on a different aspect of the ERA policy agenda, namely: Research Infrastructures; Research Careers; Open Science; ERA for the economy.

Secretary General Lidia Borrell-Damián moderated a breakout session on Research Infrastructures. Participants indicated the need for transnational agendas, the review of the European Charter of Access to Research Infrastructures, and the provision of long-term funding for high-level skills training, as main elements of good governance towards achieving sustainable research infrastructures in Europe.

The incumbent Trio Presidency Research Ministers (Germany, Portugal, and Slovenia) and the upcoming Trio Presidency Research Ministers (France, Czech Republic, and Sweden) held a ministerial dialogue. In addition to this ministerial debate, two panels were held to discuss both the Pact for Research and Innovation and the governance of the renewed European Research Area.

The Slovenian Presidency will produce a report summarising the outcomes of the conference, available shortly.

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