On 12th October 2017, the project partner University of Tartu represented Baltic TRAM at the “European Research Excellence – Impact and Value for Society” conference in Tallinn, held under the Estonian Presidency of the EU council.

The conference is timely, as research is under considerable pressure across Europe. Public expectations for science to solve societal challenges are increasing. At the same time, we observe a decline in political commitment towards funding. Whilst there are expectations on realizing the immediate economic benefits of research, it is also vital that we demonstrate the indirect economic and social benefits of public investment.

Truly transformative effects lie in new and unpredictable scientific and technological discoveries, which lay the foundations for new industries, markets and broader social renewal. The conference demonstrated the value of research, built a case for investing in research and innovation, and aimed to strengthen political commitment for ambitious long-term public investment in European research and innovation.

The conference brought together internationally outstanding scientists and policymakers from many EU countries, as well as a range of stakeholders from academia, business, and civil society. It encouraged a perspective that goes beyond a short timescale and focuses instead on a long-term vision, namely how excellent research generates societal and economic added value and how we nurture the framework post-2020.

The outcome of the conference and earlier topical discussions under Estonian Presidency are presented in the Tallinn Call for Action.

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