Young European Research Universities Network launched

The Young European Research Universities Network (YERUN), of which Maastricht University is a founding member, has held its launch event on November 7 at the European Parliament in Brussels. Hosted by MEP Soledad Cabezón, the event brought together YERUN members, the European Commissioners, MEPs, permanent representatives, and numerous other EU Stakeholders working on research and education.

YERUN comprises 18 highly-ranked universities younger than 50; it aims to strengthen and develop cooperation in scientific research, academic education, and service to society. In the year since the official opening of the YERUN Brussels Office, the network has put in place various initiatives, such as joint programmes, research workshops and mobility grants for researchers, staff and students of member institutions. Future activities will include developing a strategy to facilitate graduate employability.

The Launch event was an opportunity for YERUN to present its position paper on FP9, the EU’s next framework programme for research and innovation. UM Professor Tom van Veen, Chair of the YERUN Working Group on EU Policy, emphasised that "the overarching goal of FP9 should be to create and fulfil a European research and innovation agenda inspired by global challenges and missions". "YERUN's position outlines distinctive aspects to include in FP9", explained Keith Sequeira, a senior adviser to the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. It focuses on 6 main aspects: sustainable funding to match Europe’s ambition in research and innovation; engage society in the creation of knowledge and innovation; promote and reward a full implementation of Open Science; recognise a more comprehensive definition of impact; enhance support for early career researchers and revise submission and evaluation processes to improve efficiency, transparency, fairness and impact.

The event was also an opportunity to demonstrate the importance of EU collaboration in research and innovation by showcasing 6 EU funded projects coordinated by YERUN members.

UM’s participation in YERUN creates opportunities for international research collaboration, increases international visibility, and opens new paths for mobility. For more information about YERUN and its activities, please visit the UM YERUN website.

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