Making an impact in Europe

  • Date

    Wed 8 Nov 17

YERUN logo

We’re working with universities across Europe to enrich the educational experience of our students, increase the impact of our researchers and share best practice across institutions.

Our Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster helped launch the Young European Research Universities Network (YERUN) at the European Parliament this week.

Professor Forster, who is a member of YERUN's executive board, said: "By bringing new perspectives and strengths to European discussions, and working together on initiatives that positively impact on European students, staff and researchers, YERUN will, I hope, very quickly become a key contributor to our competitive knowledge-based economy."

The launch event was hosted by MEP Soledad Cabezón and brought together YERUN members, the European Commission, members of the Parliament, Permanent Representations and numerous European Union stakeholders working on the areas of research and education.

A year on since the opening of the YERUN Brussels Office, the network has already started work on joint programmes, research workshops and mobility grants for researchers, staff and students of member institutions. Future activities will include a strategy to facilitate graduate employability.

The event also showed the importance of EU collaboration in research and innovation with six EU-funded projects showcased which were coordinated by YERUN members.

YERUN members are keen to maximise the impact of EU funding including Horizon 2020 - the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available from 2014 to 2020.

The European Commission is now consulting on Horizon 2020’s replacement, which has a working title of FP9, which will look at emerging technologies and new fields of research which should be funded in the future.

The Launch event was an opportunity for YERUN to present its Position Paper on FP9.

Professor Juan Romo, YERUN President, said: "YERUN joins the call for further investments in research and innovation at EU level. Let's continue the success of Horizon 2020 and update it to work even better, and to maximise its impact by showing how it delivers solutions to problems we all face."

Ms Cabezón said: "We need to make sure that FP9 increases the funding and tools available for Early Career Researchers."

Professor Tom van Veen, Chair of the YERUN Working Group on EU Policy, said:  "The overarching goal of FP9 should be to create and fulfil a European Research and Innovation Agenda inspired by global challenges and missions”.

YERUN's position focuses on six main aspects:

  • Sustainable funding to match Europe’s ambition in research and innovation
  • Engage society in the creation of knowledge and innovation
  • Promote and reward a full implementation of Open Science
  • Recognise a more comprehensive definition of impact
  • Enhance support for early career researchers
  • Revise submission and evaluation processes to improve efficiency, transparency, fairness and impact