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Conference alert: Creative Opportunity-seeking in European Research

14 September 2005

Why Europe needs a dynamic research base will be among the issues discussed by key figures from government, industry and academia at the conference, ‘NEST - New and Emerging Science and Technology: Creating New Opportunities through European Research'.

Journalists are invited to attend the two-day event on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 September 2005 , which is organised jointly by the European Commission and UCL (University College London) and sponsored by the UK Presidency of the European Commission.

The UK 's Secretary of State for Science, Lord Sainsbury, and the President & Provost of UCL, Professor Malcolm Grant, will open the conference. The European Commissioner for Research, Janez Potocnik, is one of the keynote speakers. Key sessions include:

  • The renewed Lisbon agenda: why Europe needs a dynamic research base
  • Strategies and mechanisms for risk in new and emerging research
  • Can we have adventurous science with social responsibility?

The main source of support for leading edge research and technological development in the European Union is channelled through the Framework Programmes. Currently, the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) is underway (2002 to 2006) and has embarked on a new activity known as NEST (New and Emerging Science and Technology). It aims to support unconventional and visionary research and develop an ‘investigator-driven' approach to research funding that both encourages risk taking and promotes inter-disciplinary working.

With the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) due to be launched in 2007 the conference will debate the strategies and funding mechanisms needed to stimulate scientific breakthroughs beyond the frontiers of knowledge. By looking across established disciplines in science and technology it will seek to answer how programmes of this type can best promote a capacity for seeking creative opportunities in European research.

Dr Ilse Vickers, UCL's Director Research Europe and the NEST Conference Director, says:

“By considering the NEST programme and other activities with similar objectives, the conference will provide a forum to discuss how programmes of this type can best promote a capacity for creative opportunity-seeking in European research.”

More information on the event can be found at: http://www.nestconference.com

For further information or to register to attend, please contact:

Joanne Marshall of Benchmark, on 0191-241 4523 or via joanne@benchcom.co.uk