New Director-General at DG INFSO

On 31 March, the European Commission appointed Robert Madelin as new Director-General of the DG for Information Society and Media (DG INFSO), replacing the retiring Fabio Colasanti as of 1 April 2010.

“New approach” in SSH research under FP7

Starting with the 2010 Work Programme, the European Commission is implementing a “new approach” for the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) Theme of FP7.

Instead of calling for a mix of “traditional” topics in all fields of SSH, the Commission is now funding large- scale projects (over €6 mio.) addressing so-called “societal challenges”. These “societal challenge projects” will require an interdisciplinary approach bringing together several teams of scientists from different fields, a professionalised scientific and administrative management, stock-taking and forward-looking activities as well as dedicated dissemination activities by specialised staff.

In order to illustrate the logic behind this new approach and to detail the new requirements towards such large-scale SSH projects, the Commission has recently published an information booklet.

A short leaflet is completing the more exhaustive booklet and can serve as a good tool for general dissemination of SSH research and its new focus on societal challenges in particular.

Staff change at SwissCore

Swisscore informs that on 1 May, Thomas Marty, European Advisor since December 2005 and Deputy Head of Office, will leave SwissCore to take up a position as Senior Consultant at Zurich-based Berinfor, a small management consulting firm focusing on universities, higher education institutions and other organisations active in the fields of education and research. There, he will work on projects addressing the strategy, organisation, governance, controlling as well as the processes of Berinfor’s clients.

During his time at SwissCore, Thomas Marty was mainly in charge of research policy and programmes. He put a special focus on the legal and financial aspects of FP7 and this expertise was greatly appreciated by SwissCore’s partners and customers.

European Research Council slams EU bureaucracy

The work of Europe's scientific funding body has been marred by ongoing tensions with the European Commission and "stupid" bureaucratic rules, agency representatives have told MEPs says the EURACTIV network.

Helga Nowotny, who was appointed president of the European Research Council (ERC) last month, wants the fledgling body to be an autonomous and permanent fixture in the EU's complex scientific landscape, warning that its work has been hampered by Brussels bureaucracy.

Speaking to the European Parliament's committee on industry, research and industry (ITRE) this week (7 April 2010), she said the ERC's original structure was deeply flawed.

This, she said, had led to "an uneasy relationship" between the scientific and administrative sides of the agency and problems between the ERC and the European Commission's research directorate.

Read the full article on the EURACTIV website.

Trust researchers initiative: More than 10000 signatures!

More than 10000 researchers from all over the world agree that the administrative burden and the financial regulation of European research funding should be simplified and signed the Trust Researchers declaration to the attention of the European Council of Ministers and the Parliament.

Have a look at the list of those who signed and read their comments on the Trust Researchers site.

SCIPROM supports this initiative and invites you to join.

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