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Portraitfotos von Eva Maria Binder, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, Tan Eng Chye, Merle Jacob und James Wilsdon zu einem Mosaikbild zusammengefügt.
Where does research policy’s freedom of action begin and end if the goal is to achieve excellence with relevance? Experts Eva Maria Binder, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, Tan Eng Chye, Merle Jacob and James Wilsdon will discuss this topic at the invitation of BMBWF and FWF at the Alpbach Technology Symposium.

Novel insights in science are like truffles: they are difficult to come by. Yet new calls for impact are growing louder. International experts will discuss the seeming contradictions between academic freedom and return on investment during this breakout session by BMBWF and FWF on 28 August. Join in virtually!

“We constantly strive to be innovative in everything we do,” said Tan Eng Chye, President of the University of Singapore, when asked to explain his top university’s recipe for a successful research policy. He is one of the five international experts who will take part virtually in the breakout session by BMBWF and FWF on 28 August at the Alpbach Technology Symposium and try to shed some light on the apparent conflicts between academic excellence and social relevance. If you would like to learn more, you can read an extensive interview with Tan Eng Chye on the scilog magazine.

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, Interim President of the European Research Council, will give the European perspective on cutting-edge research. Eva Maria Binder of the ERBER Group, who also used to work in Singapore, will share her experience with managing R&D processes from the original idea to production in business and industry. Merle Jacob, Professor at the Swedish University of Lund, will discuss her work on how research systems can best transfer new knowledge to society in a sustainable way. James Wilsdon, Director of the Research on Research Institute in London, is a science policy expert with a profound understanding of the UK’s research policy and will contribute the Anglo-American point of view. FWF President Klement Tockner will chair the discussion in which questions and input from the virtual audience will play a major role. Finally, BMBWF Director General Barbara Weitgruber will kick off the session with her welcome note.

You can look forward to an exciting discussion on the future of academic freedom and return on investment in science.

“Cutting-edge research is characterised by the striving for excellence with relevance. Ensuring the freedom of research in a sustainable manner and integrating scientific discoveries into business and society on a wide scale are two of the key challenges facing the research policy of tomorrow,” explained Federal Minister of Science Heinz Faßmann in the run-up to the panel discussion.

“With this session, we hope to contribute to the discussion on diversity in research and global developments in an effort to learn from international comparisons and take a look at the research sector of tomorrow. I’m looking forward to a stimulating discussion with many inputs from the audience,” said FWF President Klement Tockner.

Breakout session by BMBWF and FWF at the Alpbach Technology Symposium
Date: Friday, 28 August, 9–11

Panel members

  • Eva Maria Binder, Director of the Executive Board, ERBER Group
  • Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, Interim President, European Research Council
  • Tan Eng Chye, President, National University of Singapore
  • Merle Jacob, Professor for Research Policy, Lund University
  • James Wilsdon, Digital Science Professor of Research Policy and Director of the Research on Research Institute (RoRI), University of Sheffield

  • Klement Tockner, President of the Austrian Science Fund FWF (chair)
  • Barbara Weitgruber, Director General, Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (welcome note)

The breakout session will take place in English and can be accessed via a ticket for the European Forum Alpbach. Tickets are available for purchase at the following link:

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