Dear Carlos …
I was going to give a detailed analysis of Jean-Claude’s invitation letter to Carlos, but to be honest, it was so full of titles like ‘Commissioner in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights’ (yes, my friends that is a job) – that I thought we would just write our own letter of appointment to Mr. Moedas so that he knows what he needs to do. Here goes …
You’re becoming a Commissioner in the new EC at a particularly challenging time for the European Union. As well as doing all the standard stuff – such as liking Europe, looking smart on the television and not fiddling expenses – we, the scientific community, would very much like you to prioritise the following activities in your portfolio:
1. Linking together research and infrastructure planning and funding at the European, national and regional levels, so that the next scientific breakthrough can be developed quickly to market/field or patient, rather than floating about until somebody from the US or China decides they will do it instead and the European taxpayer subsidises profits somewhere else and then has to buy the final product.
2. Making the best use of Europe’s brains by opening up the often clogged scientific pipeline between school, university and the wide world of biotech, and ensuring that talents are not lost for any reason throughout careers.
3. Empowering SMEs further to drive innovation into commercial reality, plus recognising where the skills and financial gaps are and plugging them.
4. Stop asking nicely for private investment in science and incentivise it to be an integral part of investment portfolios.
5. Ensure that when you spend public money on science, you spend wisely, spend big and spend consistently – big words and small money do not deliver crops, medicine or energy.
6. Join it all up. In a complex and fast-changing world, the bottlenecks often have little to do with the science and everything to do with a lack of money, regulatory barriers, access to downstream partners and getting the right skills at the right time.
To help you fulfil your responsibilities, the whole scientific community in Europe will guide you on your way. You are just about to find out what a passionate sector you serve. We look forward to working with you on the next step needed by Europe’s scientific community.
All of Us
Well, that should do it.