Official office launch and the Dutch Presidency Open Science conference

Official office launch and the Dutch Presidency Open Science conference

20160407-1270-veldemanphotoLast week we held the official launch event of the White Rose Brussels Office. The launch event was actually two separate events, the first was an evening reception at the British Residence, with speeches from the British Ambassador to Belgium, Alison Rose, the vice-chancellor of the University of Leeds, Professor Sir Alan Langlands and myself, followed by networking and canapes. There was a good number of European Commission officials at the event, including Robert Madelin, Policy Advisor on Innovation and a good turnout from alumni of the 3 universities based in Belgium. The second event was a seminar held at the Hotel Renaissance Brussels focused on three themes: sustainability, food security and health and wellbeing. The aim of the seminar event was to give the Brussels crowd a flavour of the excellent research that takes place at the 3 universities in areas of strategic importance to the EU. Professor Koen Lamberts, vice-chancellor of the University of York, gave the welcome address. Each session had 3 speakers, one from each university giving a short presentation and a European Commission official joined the panel discussion for the food security and health and wellbeing sessions. Professor Shearer West, deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Sheffield concluded the event. More information on the seminar event can be found in the report. I would like to thank all the speakers, panel members and chairs for their contribution to the event.


The Dutch Presidency of the EU, which started in January and will end in June 2016, hosts numerous conferences, one that I attended recently was the Open Science conference held at the Europe Building in Amsterdam on 4 and 5 June. The conference launched the Dutch paper “Dare to share – open access and data sharing in science” written by the Dutch Advisory Council on Science, Technology and Innovation (AWTI) and focused on open access to publications and data and the findings are that to obtain the fullest potential of research publications, they should be made open access but also presented in an intelligible, user-friendly way. Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research and Innovation also gave a keynote speech on the Commission’s open science policy platform.

Following this Dutch Presidency paper on Open Science, there will be Competitiveness Council conclusions next month to support Horizon 2020 and EU policy initiatives.

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