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Robert-Jan Smits: On Tearing Down Silos, Horizon 2020's Chances, and Solving His 'Headache'

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Science  09 Dec 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6061, pp. 1332-1333
DOI: 10.1126/science.334.6061.1332

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With the European Commission launching its proposal for the Horizon 2020 research program last week, Science talked with one of its architects: the European Union's director-general for research, Robert-Jan Smits. A long-standing commission official who is popular with researchers, Smits can now look forward to a year of explaining, lobbying, and cajoling to persuade the union's parliament and 27 member states to back the ambitious €80 billion program.