Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Visit by Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the EC

As I wrote earlier, I attend ICT 2010 as a young researcher. Yesterday morning in the “Students’corner” – the base of young researchers –has been visited by Neelie Kroes, the vice-president of the European Commission. She gave a short a talk, and spent around 30 minutes with us discussing issues that young researchers are most concerned of. I have to admit that after hearing her plenary talk yesterday I did not expect much from this visit – a few sentences about the Digital Agenda, a few praising words about the greatness of young researchers and of Europe, but nothing more. I was surprised in a positive way! Her talk touched a few interesting topics, and included several “worth to take home” messages. On top of that the vice-president even mentioned the EC project that I am involved in in her talk: EGI‑InSPIRE! These were the key points that I would like to share with you:

· The digital agenda is a dialog. It’s not the EC dictating what and how to do.

· The older generation’s focus is more on competition (compete for success, compete with colleagues), while the young generation focuses more on collaboration (collaborate with colleagues, collaborate with competitors to deliver better services) Interesting observation.

· Europe still calls the glass “half empty” instead of “half full”. This is a sign of fear. We should face the future without fear, because fear parallelises the mind.

· A recently funded project (with 25 million Euro) delivers distributed computing infrastructure for European research communities. Yes, this is EGI-InSPIRE!

· Marie Curie scholarship is a successful mobiliser for European researchers, 5000 applications have been received only this year.

· Researchers should always keep in mind the impact of their work. The goal is to deliver solutions that are capable of improving people’s life.

After the talk the floor was opened for questions, and a very interesting discussion emerged between us, PhD students who are involved in EC ICT projects, and the vice-president. It deserves a separate post...

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