The Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union held today an informal videoconference of EU research ministers to discuss the contribution of research and innovation to the economic recovery and to the strenghtening of society's resilience following the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The videoconference, chaired by Blaženka Divjak
, Minister of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia, was also attended by the Executive Vice-President, Margrethe Vestager
and Commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth, Mariya Gabriel
. On the initiative of the Croatian Presidency, the videoconference was also attended by two renowned scientists as guest speakers, Mr. Peter Piot
, Scientific Advisor to the President od the European Commission and Mr. Igor Rudan
, Professor of the University of Edinburgh.
Research ministers stressed the importance of investing in research and innovation, as well as the need to work together towards finding the appropriate remedies to the pandemic. They acknowledged that without coordinated action by all actors in the field of R&I it will be difficult to overcome the current crisis.
Ministers exchanged views on lessons learned through managing this crisis from an R&I policy perspective, discussed the link between investing in R&I and fostering the creation of future jobs and examined ways of enhancing the governance of the European Research Area.
A large number of ministers emphasized the importance of sharing information and research data. They highlighted the role of artificial intelligence in future jobs creation.
Furthermore, ministers stressed the importance of the future Framework Program for Research and Innovation - Horizon Europe. In this context, ministers recalled the need to ensure complementarity and synergies with other Union programs, as well as to attract additional investment in research at regional, national and European level.
Many ministers highlighted the fact that research and innovation play a crucial role in the Recovery plan, contribute to the objectives of the European Green Deal,, strengthen cooperation with SMEs and promote and expand international cooperation.
European Commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth, Mariya Gabriel, said: “Our renewed commitment to modernize our economies, making them greener, more digital and more resilient, will ensure that we come out stronger from this crisis. Research and innovation are vital to ensure a sustainable recovery for all.”
"Science is crucial for finding the answer to the crisis, both for the economy and for strengthening the cultural, health, social and economic prosperity of the entire society. Joint coordination, data sharing, citizen involvement, investing in science and focusing on future jobs are just some of the basic principles in addressing the crisis, with the aim of protecting citizens and ensuring a sustainable and balanced quality of life."
- concluded Minister Blaženka Divjak.
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