During the course of 2013 ESF is focusing on the responsible winding down of its traditional research instruments and the transfer of policy activities to Science Europe. To ensure the continued high level and quality of science management we have restructured the organisation to run more efficiently and work with a more streamlined approach to our science network.
ESF’s former scientific Standing Committees, composed of leading scientists nominated by the ESF’s Member Organisations, have been transformed into 5 smaller Scientific Review Groups (SRGs). The SRGs are designed to work more efficiently on the decreasing number of programmes and advise ESF and its Chief Executive on research matters.
In addition to the 5 SRGs, ESF is pleased to continue hosting 6 Expert Boards and Committees (EBCs) that provide in-depth and focused scientific expertise in selected disciplines. The EBCs address specific scientific needs and provide high-level advice in areas of research, policy, infrastructure, environment and society in Europe. Today the EBCs operate under the strategic guidance of either ESF Member Organisations or other European organisations.
The review by ESF and Science Europe concluded that the EBCs are a very important contribution to the successful development of the ERA. Their future at ESF is guaranteed until the end of 2015. Between now and then ESF will actively work with each EBC to assist into evolving a sustainable structure to meet their needs. The governing bodies of ESF and of Science Europe recognised that the EBCs are of value within their domains and that there is potential benefit to collaborating with these interdisciplinary groups.
In 2013 there will be no new calls for EUROCORES, European Collaborative Research Projects (ECRPs), Research Networking Programmes (RNPs) and Forward Looks. However, a call for Exploratory Workshop proposals was launched in March 2013. Additional efforts will be made to assure the widespread dissemination of the outputs from these valuable, transdisciplinary workshops. In addition, ESF will continue to manage the project "Mapping of the European Research Infrastructure Landscape" (MERIL) throughout 2013. MERIL will be launched in the autumn of 2013.
The ESF Research Conferences will continue in 2013 and 2014 with a much reduced but high level calendar of events, with prestigious partners including FENS and EMBO. An important World Materials Summit will take place in Strasbourg in October 2013 and ESF will be a strong supporting stakeholder. In addition, we are pleased to announce that we will be involved in several work packages of the Graphene Flagship programme which includes the running of the Graphene Week conferences for the coming 2 years. We are excited to take on this dynamic and ambitious project.