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Man in protective gear for building sites kneeling before viewer under a large piece of equipment from CERN
Man in protective gear for building sites kneeling before viewer under a large piece of equipment from CERN © 2019 CERN

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Leaders hail $8bn fund for Covid-19 R&D

Science Europe Secretary General quoted in Research Europe saying that “Research has to be competitive, no matter who manages the funds,” Open competitive calls are “the first proof of excellence”, she said, and should be part of processes that disburse public funds.

“This should be seen as a first positive step. Now this money needs to be properly used [and] given to the right hands.” It is not certain whether there are enough suitable researchers to do the work world leaders have pledged to fund, she warned. “It’s a market question—to what extent the scientific community is able to absorb all these funds in an efficient way,” she said.


Draft Horizon Europe plan teases assessment and award changes

Research leaders welcome overarching aim of strategy, but express reservations about some proposals.

Science Europe Secretary General, quoted in Research Professional, said that the concepts in the draft strategy were “welcome as a clear outline for the implementation of Horizon Europe”. “Maximising impacts, greater transparency and further simplification, fostering more and better synergies with other EU programmes, ease of access through streamlined information portals…these are issues that have been requested by many stakeholders for many years, including Science Europe.”  But one proposed change, a “clearer specification of the expected impacts” of projects, has caused some concern, she added. 


CESSDA asks ten questions to Lidia Borrell-Damian

Lidia Borrell-Damian is the new Secretary General of Science Europe.
She started her position in September, after over thirteen years at the European University Association (EUA). She works closely with the Governing Board and the Member Organisations and will be in charge of implementing Science Europe’s strategy and leading the office in Brussels.
From 2014 onwards, Lidia Borrell-Damian was Director for Research and Innovation (R&I) at EUA, where she was responsible for the overall policy development and project work related to the area.
CESSDA asked Lidia Borrell-Damian to answer a few questions.


Research ‘in safe hands’ as Commission starts new term

Sector upbeat about new EU leaders and promise to transform bloc’s economy via research.

Lidia Borrell-Damián, Secretary General of research association Science Europe told Research Europe that Commissioner Gabriel is "a fantastic person, a really hard worker,” she said.


‘Don’t pit education against research’

Fears over budget crunches and education’s moment in the spotlight. Science Europe Secretary General, Lidia Borrell-Damian, quoted in Research Professional. She says that it is hard to assess proposals on their own because what matters is spreading funding across research and education. She adds that it’s not that education isn’t important, but it should not come at the expense of budget cuts in research. 


Views from a continent in flux

Nature asked nine leading Europeans to pick their top priority for science at this pivotal point.

Stephan Kuster, Secretary General of Science Europe, shared how there is no time for complacency in reinforcing the European Research Area