Implementing the European Research Area

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Science  18 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5554, pp. 443
DOI: 10.1126/science.1068923

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First aired 2 years ago by European research chief Philippe Busquin, the concept of a European Research Area to promote cross-border research projects and to help coordinate research across the continent has won acclaim. But implementation--particularly the role for basic research in the ERA--is hotly debated. Science has solicited the views of four prominent European statesmen on this issue. Enric Banda leads off with a discussion of ways in which a European Research Council can serve as a support structure and how the European Science Foundation can be involved. In counterpoint, Sir George Radda comments that scientific networking across Europe is proceeding well without the need for a new administrative structure. Hans Wigzell believes that the Framework Programme itself needs to be split into a European Research Council and an Innovation Council to promote large projects. Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker suggests strategies that will aid "small science" and provide a "bottom-up" approach.