European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas wants to become ambassador of the “Extreme Light Infrastructure – Nuclear Physics” (ELI-NP) project at Magurele, Romania, saying that the project is one of the best examples of open science.
“ELI-NP is open to the world; it is open science, open innovation when the science of things that matter to the people is applied; I believe this is a unique example and I would like to become an ambassador for this project,” said Moedas on a tour of the ELI-NP facility at Magurele on Tuesday.
He added that the ELI-NP is one of Europe’s most important projects. “It will really be a torchbearer, the first to include three different countries, distinct funding procedures and to most it will be the best in the world, drawing people from around the world,” said Moedas.
He said the project is a terrific opportunity for Romania to showcase the wonderful things it does in sciences and the fine scientists it has. There should be more talk of the project in Europe and elsewhere in the world, he said, and more people should be drawn to Magurele (southern Bucharest – editor’s note) for experiments and to show the importance of making the invisible world visible.
Moedas mentioned that very little is known about dark matter, which makes up the largest share of the universe, and this project will be a way of making the dark matter more visible.
In his turn, ELI-NP Project Director Nicolae Zamfir said the value of the investment, co-funded by the European Commission under the European Regional Development Fund is 310 million euros.
“The project is designed for the construction of a new European scientific research institute. Works on it started in 2013 and we have planned on making it operational in 2019; we are half-way to implementation. Two weeks ago we took over the building from the constructor; we have started installing the large pieces of equipment as well as the experiments, which are not negligible, as they in fact make up the scientific part of the project. As far as the team is concerned, we have hired 100-120 of 200-250 scientists we would like to employ in 2019; about one third of them are from abroad, from 20 countries,” Zamfir explained.
Part of his visit, Moedas presented the awards to the winners of the ‘Laser in Magurele Valley competition.’
“The competition was organised by the Bucharest University of Architecture, the Bucharest Faculty of Construction, the Romanian Education Ministry and the Research Authority. It is a competition of city-planning ideas,” said Adrian Curaj, the high representative of Romania’s prime minister for the development of science-based ecosystems, innovation and entrepreneurship related to the ELI-NP pan-European infrastructure.
EduMin Dumitru calls ELI-NP project fantastic achievement
Romania’s Education Minister Mircea Dumitru said Tuesday that the “Extreme Light Infrastructure – Nuclear Physics ” (ELI-NP) at Magurele, southern Romania, is a fantastic achievement.
“This is an absolutely fantastic achievement by any international standards; what is already here and what will follow in the near future is one of the world’s most important scientific research centres with fascinating results, some of which we might not expect today. I want to congratulate all those who have the project vision and the courage and determination to see it through to completion,” said Dumitru on a visit to Magurele facility alongside European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas.
Adrian Curaj, high representative of Romania’s prime minister for science-based ecosystems, innovation and entrepreneurship related to the ELI-NP pan-European infrastructure, said the project is unique for the infrastructure it provides.
“Nowhere else in the world is there this combination, the kinds of experiments that can be conducted here. As I say, there will definitely be a Nobel prize in store for experiments conducted here. (…) I believe this project is important as a message that brains, highly performing scientists, have to move. I am convinced that the subject will draw in very many because of its uniqueness and scientific attractiveness,” said Curaj.
In his opinion, research in Romania has suffered in the long run from a lack of predictability and attention, but this year it has been routed to the good track, with a significant increase in budgeting, which signals interest in science and innovation.
“There is a famous dilemma ?which came first, the chicken or the egg?’ We know the answer to the question: we have the chicken and now we have to make sure the chicken lays the golden eggs, meaning that we have this project that is pure research unless we develop something around it in order to turn pure research into applications for our daily lives,” Ilfov County Council Chairman Marian Petrache said in his turn.
PM Ciolos: Our intention is to use research as local development source
Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Tuesday at the launching of the ‘Dincolo de frontierele cunoaşterii Laser Valley – Land of lights’ (‘Beyond Knowledge Frontiers – Laser Valley – Land of lights’) postage stamp issue (photo) said that Romania wants to use research as a source of development for local communities.
The head of Government underscored that if there is already a consecrated research centre called Silicon Valley, Romania will build a “Laser Valley, Land of Lights.”
“It is a project I personally care for a great deal, it is (…) a great success of Romania, the previous governments, the Romanian high-level research to bring this project in Romania. (…) Romania is one of the three partners which is going to develop, on European funds, a European project where laser can be used in research. (…) In Romania we wish to go beyond research, and even beyond the applied research, using this laser. Our intention is to use research and development as a project, as a source of local development. It is a modality to bring top researchers from Europe and worldwide to Magurele to use this facility, but also to develop around this research centre a series of other applied projects leading to economic development using top research,” Dacian Ciolos said at the Victoria Palace.
The PM brought to mind that, due to the importance of the project, he proposed the former Education Minister, Adrian Curaj, to take care of its unfolding as the PM’s representative.
Ciolos also said that in the coming days there will be a discussion on the manner in which the local authorities of Bucharest, Magurele and in the region can get involved “to make out of this project a local development project, also including an infrastructure part, an education part and a part of rooting some SMEs in this area.”
Attending the launching, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Carlos Moedas hailed the project of Magurele, saying that there are few countries in Europe which grant a significant budget to research.
“The example of this project – the example you give to the world – is truly unique. I don’t know many countries in Europe to have increased the budget for research and science by 30 percent in one year. Romania is one of these countries. I don’t know too many countries in Europe to have granted fiscal facilities to those working in the research-development area,” the European Commissioner said.
In respect to the postal stamp issue, Romfilatelia director Cristina Popescu underscored that through the launching on Tuesday Romania is among “the countries already marking important events with own technical means.”
Education Minister Mircea Dumitru and his predecessor Adrian Curaj also attended the event.
European Commissioner Moedas says Competitive Romania programme, a model for European politicians
European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas hailed the programme “Competitive Romania” released by the country’s Ciolos Cabinet, saying it can be a model for European politicians.
“What I have seen here is unique in Europe. I have seen the programme of Mr Prime Minister Ciolos ?Competitive Romania,’ and, to be honest, there are not many similar programmes elsewhere in Europe. There are not many European countries that have increased public spending on science and innovation – by 30 percent in just one year. There are not many European countries to offer tax incentives to science and innovation employees to boost employment of scientists,” Moedas told a news conference at the Romanian Senate House on Tuesday.
He praised Ciolos for his ability to draw a path to science and innovation, saying that Ciolos’s programme could be a model for European politicians.
“The Prime Minister’s ability to draw a path to science and innovation is unique, and Mr Ciolos, through his programme, is an inspiration to European politicians,” said Moedas.
Asked what the role of the EU and the European Commission could be in the continuation of the programme by Romania, Moedas said that from what he saw in Romania there can be contributions and cooperation as far as the digital world, IT&C, bioeconomics and nanomaterials are concerned.
“All this is in line with the European agenda and Romania’s interest in generating synergies, particularly under the Horizon 2020 project,” added the commissioner.
He said this is the first time in Bucharest, but he got to see wonderful things in the realm of science and innovation.
“Innovation and sciences are very important to the future of Europe. There is no improving living standards in Europe without science and innovation. (…) In order to make our life better, we need science and innovation,” added Moedas.
At the Romanian Senate House on Tuesday, Moedas met members of Romania’s Parliament’s committees on European affairs, education, science, youth and sports.