STOA-ERC event - Investing in Young Researchers, Shaping Europe’s Future
30 - 31 May 2018
18:30 - 11:30
European Parliament, Strasbourg
European Parliament - European Research Council
Cover image of STOA-ERC event - Investing in Young Researchers, Shaping Europe’s Future

– by invitation only –

Wednesday 30 May

Networking event - Private Salon (zone canal)
Louise Weiss building, ground floor, room 1

Welcome by Eva KAILI, STOA Chair and
Jean-Pierre BOURGUIGNON, ERC President


  • Martin VECHEV, ERC grantee, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich
  • Krassimir VALTCHEV, Minister of Education and Science, Bulgarian Presidency of the European Union

Closing remarks by Eva KAILI, STOA Chair

Science policy debate   – by invitation only  –

Welcome by Antonio TAJANI, EP President

Welcome by Andrus ANSIP, European Commissioner for Digital Single Market and Vice President of the European Commission


  • Jules HOFFMANN, Nobel Laureate
  • Carlos MOEDAS, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation
  • Agnieszka WYKOWSKA, ERC grantee, Fondazione Istituto Italiano Di Tecnologia
  • Michael BACKES, ERC grantee and Director of CISPA, Helmholtz Zentrum

Moderated by Sir Philip CAMPBELL, Editor-in-Chief, Nature Publications

Closing remarks by Jean-Pierre BOURGUIGNONERC President

Networking event

Welcome by Jose Labastida, Head of the ERCEA Scientific Management department

Thursday 31 May


Louise Weiss building, 1st floor, room 4
Welcome by Eva KAILI, STOA Chair and
Jean-Pierre BOURGUIGNON, ERC President

Opening remarks:

  • Jerzy BUZEK, ITRE Chair
  • Carlos MOEDAS, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation
  • Jean-Marie LEHN, Nobel laureate, ERC grantee

Invitation to the exchange sessions by Eva KAILI, STOA Chair
Parallel Exchange Sessions

Modern energy solutions
Louise Weiss building, 3rd floor, room 3

Energy consumption in today's technological society is still heavily based on fossil-fuel burning. A wide spectrum of renewable sources and energy efficiency measures could already today change the situation significantly. New energy sources appear set to become a practical reality within a couple of decades. Looking into the future, what will the energy landscape be like? How disruptive would be the appearance of a mostly clean and nearly inexhaustible source of electric energy? What are the legal, social and market challenges that clean technologies face?


  • Matteo BALLOTTARI, ERC grantee, University of Verona
  • Thomas Sunn PEDERSEN, ERC grantee, Max Planck Society
  • Valeria NICOLOSI, ERC grantee, Trinity College Dublin

Moderated by Klaus BOCK, ERC Vice President

ERCEA officer: Luis FARIÑA BUSTO, Research Programme Agent

Eco-efficient transport
Louise Weiss building, 3rd floor, room 4

Transport has a large impact on our lives and on energy consumption, through daily commuting and through movement of goods all over the world. Decisions are needed at many levels in order to improve the efficiency of these activities, such as urban planning, strategic transnational networks and technology implementation. As in other areas, important social and ethical dimensions arise, linked to new technological capabilities. What technologies will change transport in the coming decades? What will the role of technology be in planning and decision making? How can we ensure that social and ethical dimensions at local, regional and national levels are integrated in a democratic way in the decision-making process?


  • Markos PAPAGEORGIOU, ERC grantee, Technical University of Crete
  • Ludovic LECLERCQ, ERC grantee, French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks
  • Thomas Wolfram BURGARD, ERC grantee, Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg

Moderated by Nektarios TAVERNARAKIS, ERC Scientific Council Member

ERCEA officer: Martin PENNY, Head of the Physical Sciences and Engineering unit

Sustainable management of natural resources
Louise Weiss building, 3rd floor, room 5

The current production model is leading to exhaustion of the world’s resources and accelerating global change. Natural resources are facing increasing pressures due to climate change, pollution, biological invasions and the search for rare mineral resources among others. Forward-looking policy-making and social transformations are needed to break the unsustainable cycle leading to the collapse of resources. What are the driving forces behind global change? What are the limits to ecosystems and species’ capacity to withstand change and recover from it? What policies and social transformations are needed to change the current production model?


  • Ülo NIINEMETS, ERC grantee, Estonian University of Life Sciences
  • Sebastiaan LUYSSAERT, ERC grantee, CEA / Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Moderated by Dame Janet THORNTON, ERC Scientific Council Member
ERCEA officer: Christine Courillon, Research Programme Agent

Digital revolution - Potential and challenges of the Information Society
Louise Weiss building, 1st floor, room 4

Artificial intelligence, big data, algorithms, machine learning, robotics: everywhere efficient, powerful and ultrafast programmes take over data management, data analysis and decision making. The scale of this shift is overwhelming: machines can already learn and build faster and better than ourselves; they can know our health and behavioural profiles and prompt us to act or consume accordingly. Strictly human aspects of society (communication and personal relations), as well as work, politics and diplomacy, are being dramatically transformed by digital tools and cyber social media. Will there be work for everyone, and, if not, how will that affect our society, economic growth and workers’ rights? Can we still drive this process for the benefit of the most (or for human benefit at all)? Who is in control? How long will democracy still have meaning in this context? For how long will society be (just) human?


  • Nello CRISTIANINI, ERC grantee, University of Bristol
  • Panayiota POIRAZI, ERC grantee, Foundation For Research And Technology Hellas
  • Magdalena NOWICKA, ERC grantee, Humboldt University of Berlin
  • František STEPANEK, ERC grantee, University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague
  • Martin VECHEV, ERC grantee, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich

Moderated by Andrzej JAJSZCZYK, ERC Scientific Council Member

ERCEA officer: Jose LABASTIDA, Head of the Scientific Management Department

Health and life sciences
Louise Weiss building, 4th floor, room 3

Frontier science is leading to exciting new discoveries that are changing at an unprecedented pace the way we can diagnose, treat or prevent diseases. These advances range from personalised medicine, gene therapy and CRISPR-Cas technology to nanotechnology and artificial organs. While the tremendous potential these advances offer is widely embraced, the inherent societal and ethical dimensions need to also be considered when establishing the regulatory framework. Is translational medicine a hope or a hype? How do we ensure advancements in new therapies lead to better treatments? What are the emerging ethical, legal and social implications these discoveries bring along?


  • Antoine JERUSALEM, ERC grantee, University of Oxford
  • Lino DA SILVA FERREIRA, ERC grantee, University of Coimbra
  • Klaus HOEYER, ERC grantee, University of Copenhagen
  • Sarah VERHULST, ERC grantee, Ghent University

Moderated by Paola BOVOLENTA, ERC Scientific Council Member

ERCEA officer: Anna LÖNNROTH, Head of the Life Sciences unit

Science policy, communication and global networking
Louise Weiss building, 2nd floor, room 1

Science is no longer credible for many individuals at all levels of society; evidence is no longer enough to be credible beyond the scientific community. Social media and new communication platforms are driving those attitudes, despite the fact that a scientific and technological revolution is changing profoundly our lives. At the same time, a new trend is emerging: ordinary citizens, regardless of literacy or education, are actively engaging in scientific work, in numbers and at a scale that is only possible thanks those same digital communication platforms. How should science engage with society? What should be the role of society in order to reap the benefits from scientific advances and to drive them to where they want? Must all new technologies be adopted? What is the potential and function of ‘citizen science’?


  • Sofie MARIEN, ERC grantee, KU Leuven
  • Alice MAH, ERC grantee, University of Warwick
  • Jacob SHERSON, ERC grantee, University of Aarhus
  • Manuel FRANCO TEJERO, ERC grantee, University of Alcala
  • Agnieszka WYKOWSKA, ERC grantee, Italian Institute of Technology

Moderated by Martin STOKHOF, ERC Vice President

ERCEA officer: Angela LIBERATORE, Head of the Social Sciences and Humanities unit

Louise Weiss building, 1st floor, room 4

Introduction by Jean-Pierre BOURGUIGNON, ERC President

Feedback from exchange sessions by Members of the European Parliament

Conclusions by Martin KARPLUS, Nobel laureate

Closing remarks by Eva KAILI, STOA Chair