The ISSCR met 11 April with the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy to advocate for investments in basic research in the European Union’s 9th Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. ISSCR members Pete Coffey and Michele De Luca, along with ISSCR Policy Director Eric Anthony, described the need for continued investments in basic research to improve understanding of human physiology and develop new approaches to treat disease.
In June 2018, the European Commission (EC) is expected to propose a draft 9th Framework Programme for Research and Innovation to the European Parliament and Council, initiating the legislative negotiation that will establish the EU’s science policy for the next seven years.
Earlier this year, the Parliament adopted a proposal by the Committee on Budgets and Committee on Industry, Research and Energy calling for a 50 percent increase in research funding. The EC is expected to propose dedicating a portion of the EU’s next research budget toward ambitious and inspirational research missions that are selected by policymakers. If funding priorities target specific missions, many researchers fear that basic research funding will be diminished.
In April, the ISSCR submitted a formal comment letter to the European Commission cautioning that limiting research opportunities to a few narrow missions could slow basic research discoveries and limit cooperative basic research endeavors across Europe.
Also in Brussels, ISSCR members Pete Coffey, Michele De Luca, Malin Parmar, and Giulio Cossu presented at the 5th World Congress for the Freedom of Scientific Research held at the European Parliament. The World Congress was organized by the Luca Coscioni Association to advocate for the freedom of scientific research around the world, including research on embryonic stem cells.