Jean-Pierre Bourguignon ERC President ad interim

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 A. Bracco, L. Cifarelli    31-08-2020

Following the resignation of Mauro Ferrari in March 2020, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon has been appointed President ad interim of the European research Council (ERC) and will be in office from 27 July 2020 until the next ERC President is selected and takes up duties. Bourguignon was the President of the European Research Council from January 2014 until December 2019.

This is a particular year for the ERC, of course because of the COVID-19 emergency but also in view of the launch of Horizon Europe, the new European framework programme to succeed Horizon 2020, whose budget, despite general dismay from the scientific community, and in particular from the ERC Scientific Council, seems to have been sizably reduced. This shrinking of the resources would imply that for the first time, there would be no increase in the EU to the core resources for research and innovation.

In the ERC statement of 14 July 2020 one can read: "We understand that there could be additional frontloaded funding for certain targeted areas through the Recovery Instrument. But we know how vital it is to provide support for research and innovation in a balanced way. Focusing too much on short-term results will put the future seeds of innovation at risk and will not offer the proper perspectives for the next generation of researchers."

As declared in the SIF President's Editorial of the July issue of SIF Prima Pagina, the views of the Italian Physical Society on this matter are clearly in accordance with the position of the ERC.

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