Brussels, 01 July 2002
Danish Minister for science, technology and innovation, Helge Sander, took over both the chair of the EU Research Council and the chair of EUREKA on 1 July. The 'headline' for both organisations will be the European research area (ERA), Mr Sander told CORDIS News.
Speaking to CORDIS News at the EUREKA ministerial meeting in Thessaloniki, Greece, on 28 June, Mr Sander welcomed the opportunities that having the two chairs at the same time will offer Denmark. One of the Danish priorities for its EUREKA chairmanship is to position EUREKA within ERA. Mr Sander outlined how he believes that the EU Framework programmes and EUREKA can complement one another.
'In EUREKA we have an innovation focus, and in the Sixth Framework programme [FP6] more research. It's my hope that we can work much more closely together.' Mr Sander also said that the Danish EUREKA chair will 'come up with concrete results in terms of collaboration projects.'
Mr Sander highlighted the important role that every EUREKA member plays, comparing the organisation to a football team. 'Some players are the stars, and get all the attention, some do a lot of hard work, often in midfield, but all have a role to play, all are important,' he said.
The outgoing Greek EUREKA chair highlighted at the conference the progress which has already been made in bringing EU research and EUREKA closer together.
'We have made good progress in determining EUREKA's role in ERA,' said Hellenic Secretary General for development, Dimitrios Deniozos. 'Joint discussions with the European Commission have already identified some key areas where we can work more intensively together.' These include combining financial support under the Framework programmes with national support provided under EUREKA, common use of instruments and networks, particularly for the benefit of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and regular meetings to encourage the exchange of information on research and innovation in Europe.
'All of us together would like to promote collaboration and want to promote a European research area for technology and innovation, not just in EU countries, but in all European countries,' said Greek Minister for development, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, closing the EUREKA ministerial conference. 'We are transcending borders [...] and the effort is further supported through collaboration with the Commission,' he said.
For further information on EUREKA, please consult the following web address: http://www.eureka.be