European research excellence: impact and value for society

European research excellence: impact and value for society

On 12th October, a largescale international conference in Tallinn, Estonia, focused on the impact and value of European research.  The event was organised as part of the Estonian Presidency of the European Council, with Professor Sierd Cloetingh (AE President) and Louise Edwards (AE Cardiff Hub Manager) acting in advisory and editorial roles as members of the Steering Group.

Moderated by media presenter Professor Brian Cox, key themes that emerged included:

  • The importance of building a strong research and innovation ecosystem
  • The need to focus on challenges and problem-solving, with ‘missions’ that inspire citizens
  • The role of the social sciences and humanities in helping us to manage change in society, with an emphasis on fairness and resilience
  • The importance of diversity, including the participation of youngsters, women and ‘creatives’ (like artists) in research and innovation programmes
  • The impact of the Lamy Report, which makes a set of recommendations for the future of European research and innovation programmes

The outcome of the conference was the handover of the Tallinn Call for Action, Seize the opportunity now: research and innovation matter for the future of Europe, by the Prime Minister of Estonia, Jüri Ratas.  The final version was published on Monday 16th October.