Discussion of Young Vision Scientists with MEPs Dr. Niebler and Dr. Ehler at the European Parliament in Strasbourg
On December 12, 2012 young vision scientist were guests of Dr. Angelika Niebler (MEP) at the European Parliament (EP) in Strasbourg. After a warm welcome by Ms. Niebler, who is member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), the scientists were introduced in the constructive work of the EP to shape the European Research Area. Of specific importance was the common strategic framework for EU research and innovation funding, presently under negotiation. These important developments towards the new European Framework Programme Horizon 2020 were discussed and Dr. Christian Ehler, MEP and rapporteur for the Horizon 2020 rules for participation, joined the group. Mr. Ehler stated that the EU Research programme is the only multinational research programme worldwide. Key issues raised by the MEPs include Horizon 2020's governance and coordination between the three pillars (Excellent science, Industrial leadership and Societal challenges), synergies between the programme and the Structural Funds as well as measures supporting SMEs participation.
An important issue for young researchers are the Marie Curie actions in order to promote their scientific careers. Marie Curie Fellowships are European research grants available to researchers regardless of their nationality and field of research. In addition to fellowships, researchers have the possibility to gain experience abroad and in the private sector, and to complete their training with competences or disciplines useful for their careers. Marie Curie actions are an important instrument for Vision Research and Ophthalmology the gain the best, young and motivated people for our field. One of the objectives of the European Vision Institute is the sustained promotion of young people and to increase the political awareness for Vision Research and Ophthalmology.
This initiative is underpinned by a letter of the President of the European Parliament dated December 3rd, 2012 (ref.320594) in which Martin Schulz wrote to the European Vision Institute: “ The goals of your Institute are to be applauded and on behalf of the European Parliament may I wish you every success for the year ahead.”