Fifty funding agencies from 23 countries founded on Friday (October 21) an organization that they hope will strengthen their bargaining power on science policy at the European Commission, the EU's legislative body.
Based in Brussels, Belgium, Science Europe's main goal is to coordinate policy among its members by creating six Scientific Committees headed by European researchers. These leaders will bring the needs of scientists in their area to the attention of Science Europe, and help shape its policy objectives,which will then be discussed with various governmental organizations.
The organization replaces EuroHORCS, an informal group comprised of the heads of research organizations and representatives from research funding organizations. Science Europe plans to eventually combine with the European Science Foundation (ESF), an organization that facilitates collaboration between its members, some of whom are European funding groups, according to ScienceInsider. Pär Omling, director of the Swedish Research Council who is tapped to be the next president of ESF, will serve as vice president of Science Europe, and encourage the melding of the two organizations. The president, who was chosen at Science Europe's first meeting last week, is Paul Boyle, a geographer who serves as chief executive of the UK Economic and Social Research Council.