Academic cooperation between V4 for more balanced access to resources

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences held the annual meeting of Visegrád science academies’ presidents in an unorthodox way this year. On 26 and 27 October, the representatives of V4 countries met Science Europe, the representative of European Research Funding Organizations (RFO) and Research Performing Organizations (RPO) in Brussels in order to ensure more success within the scientific framework program of the European Union. The delegates also discussed the academic initiatives in promoting the scientific career of women.

5 December, 2016

Besides the Presidents of the Visegrád Academies close to fifty other leaders of research financing organizations of low R&I performing EU countries shared their experiences on their own projects and produced a set of mutual recommendations for the European Commission.

In a couple of weeks, the General Assembly of Science Europe is expected to release a joint statement reflecting on a more balanced access to European science financing resources and recommendations that assist low performing European countries in catching up. Based on this, the representative of European Research Funding Organisations (RFO) and representatives of member states presented their recommendations on 23 November at the Slovak Presidency Conference “Spreading Excellence and Crossing the Innovation Divide”, where László Lovász, President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences also delivered a speech during the opening section.

The Presidents of the Academies highlighted the importance of targeted programs and grassroots initiatives. Source:ás Szigeti

Immediately after the joint European meeting, the Presidents of the Visegrád Academies shared their views on academic initiatives promoting the scientific career of women at a separate meeting. Although the number of male and female researchers acquiring a PhD degree is almost the same now, it is a crucial problem all over Europe that female scholars’ career path is different from men, and women are still underrepresented in scientific organizations and in their leading bodies. A successful and continuously expanding international cooperation that can ensure flexible working hours for scholars raising children due to modern telecommunication devices was presented by Ágnes Szabó Morvai, a researcher at the MTA Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.

As is tradition, young researchers were presented awards during the meeting. This year, the academic prizes of V4 countries were awarded for research on energy production and storage. Czech, Polish and Slovak researchers were among the winners as was Gergely Ernő Lakatos, a young researcher at the MTA Biological Research Centre at Szeged. His lecture elaborated on research results, which may soon lead to an economical method for producing hydrogen that can be used in electric fuel cells with the help of a special bacterium-algae biomass.