The need to further strengthen the European Research Area (ERA) and promote the researchers` careers in Europe, was the focus of the Informal Teleconference of EU Ministers for Research and Innovation, that took place on Wednesday. Cyprus was represented by Deputy Minister for Research and Innovation Kyriakos Kokkinos.
According to a press release by the Deputy Ministry, the teleconference took place upon the initiative of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU, on the 3rd of February, a day after the “Horizon Europe” programme 2021-2027 was launched.
The EU Ministers exchanged views on the link between research and innovation and job creation in the EU and on the promotion of cooperation between member states for the development of new skills, expertise, synergies and incentives for the enhancement of human resources in the fields of research and innovation.
In his intervention, Kokkinos stressed the need to invest in the skills and expertise of researchers, so that they can act effectively and creatively in the new international environment and offer their skills for a sustainable and promising European future. He added that the role of the existing European initiatives towards this goal is important, but pointed out that more can and should be done.
Kokkinos referred to the introduction of common standards for the working and living conditions of researchers, the improvement of their remuneration package with emphasis on social security and pensions, as well as the possibility of portability of grants from European Programs throughout Europe and the promotion of common principles for modernising the rating system.
He also referred to the need to develop the digital and business skills of researchers, in order to strengthen their employment prospects in the private sector.