The 2019 GRC Annual Meeting took place on 1 – 3 May 2019 in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, with a focus on ‘Addressing Expectations of Societal and Economic Impact’. Over 150 delegates attended the Annual Meeting with over 60 Heads of Research Councils participating from around 50 countries to share good practices and discuss research funding policy issues.
The meeting was hosted by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and co-hosted by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina (CONICET).
The meeting was framed by the increased expectations of funding organisations to deliver research which has societal and economic impact. One discussion addressed the implications of relying on societal and economic impact as funding criteria. The second discussion focused on assessing and demonstrating the impact of funded projects after their completion.
Marc Schiltz, Secretary General of the FNR and President of Science Europe, was (re)elected as one of three European representatives to the Global Research Council (GRC) Governing Board. Along with Marc Schiltz, Peter Strohschneider (DFG, Germany) and Mark Ferguson (Science Foundation Ireland) are European representatives to the GRC Governing Board. At the meeting, Marc Schiltz also reported on Plan-S an initiative requiring all scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms from 2020 onward.
About the GRC
The Global Research Council (GRC) comprises the heads of science and engineering funding agencies from around the world, dedicated to promote the sharing of data and best practices for high-quality collaboration among funding agencies worldwide. The GRC meets once per year, with the 2019 meeting taking place in São Paulo, Brazil.
2019 GRC Statement of Principles: Addressing the Expectations of Societal and Economic Impact
Excerpt from the statement:
Political decision-makers worldwide commit substantial amounts of public funds to support and foster scientific research on behalf of and for the society they represent. In return, they expect publicly funded research to generate some measure of impact. Research funding organisations have a key role in identifying and supporting research that generates such impact, using specific funding criteria and decision-making processes.
No research is impact-free, but the impact of research can have different forms. Research funded by GRC participants has a wide range of impacts including among others the advancement of knowledge (scientific impact), the development of societies (societal impact) and fostering innovation (economic impact). The different forms of impact can come in different degrees and at different points of time and vary in their predictability and measurability.
São Paulo Statement on Open Access
The representatives of African Open Science Platform, AmeLICA, cOAlition S, OA2020, and SciELO – five of the major worldwide Open Access initiatives are united in their common mission of making knowledge available and accessible wherever it can have the greatest impact and help solve humanity’s challenges regardless of where it was produced.
The combined effect of the five initiatives has generated a new momentum in the push towards universal, full, and immediate Open Access.
The five initiatives jointly state that:
- They consider that scholarly and scientific knowledge is a global public good. When generated by public funds, free access to it is a universal right.
- They share one common ultimate objective: providing universal, unrestricted, and immediate Open Access to scholarly information, including use and re-use by humans and machines.
- They share the belief that this common goal can be achieved through a variety of approaches.
- They will pursue points of alignment among their approaches and ways to co-operate towards reaching the shared objective.
- They seek an active dialogue with all stakeholders, including researchers, research funders, universities, libraries, publishers, learned societies, governments, and citizens to take into account the diversity of the global scholarly community.