The ERIC Forum leadership team was reconfirmed today, 26 January 2021, at the ERIC Forum Annual Meeting. Dr John Womersley (ESS) was re-elected Chair and Dr Anton Ussi (EATRIS) Vice Chair, in a resounding endorsement of their achievements over the past complex year for research infrastructures, characterised by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the development of the next European multiannual financial framework. The Chairs are responsible for the strategic planning of the ERIC Forum, and coordinate external relations with the European Commission, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), and other stakeholders. Dr Womersley and Dr Ussi will continue to be supported in their work by the three other members of the Executive Board, each representing a specific scientific cluster:
- Dr Franciska de Jong, Executive Director, CLARIN ERIC, for the social sciences cluster
- Dr Wolfgang Fecke, Director General, EU-OPENSCREEN, for the life sciences cluster
- Dr Juan Miguel González-Aranda, Chief Technical Officer, LifeWatch ERIC, for the environment cluster.
The ERIC Forum brings together 21 leading European Research Infrastructures Consortia (ERICs), and is one of the leading science policy voices in Europe, representing the research infrastructure sector which is crucial in providing high level services to European researchers and making science and innovation possible. Dr Womersley praised the ERICs for coming together quickly to explain and emphasise the critical role of European research infrastructures as service providers to those researchers working to understand the Sars-COV-2 virus. “The Forum showed cohesion and an effective quick response. At the same time, and despite the impact of the pandemic, we came together again to maintain awareness of EU stakeholders concerning the role ERICs must have in Horizon Europe and the new European Research Area,” he said, asserting that 2021 would be a year of confirmation and continued development, in which to build on the achievements of 2020. ENVRI week, dedicated to Environmental Research Infrastructures, will be virtual this year for the first time, from 1-5 February, 2021. It hosts ENVRI-FAIR project-related and other sessions targeting a variety of stakeholders. See here for the 2021 ENVRI week agenda and register here to access the meeting.