Plan to coordinate efforts comes as G7 science ministers confirm “unwavering support”
A group of European and US national academy organisations have adopted an action plan for supporting research and innovation in Ukraine amid the Russian invasion, as the science ministers of the G7 group of leading global economies underscored their own support for the besieged country.
The action plan, published on 13 June, recognises that there are “challenges” in supporting R&I in Ukraine with the invasion ongoing, but adds that rebuilding Ukrainian R&I is “critical to ensure [Ukraine’s] long-term prosperity and sovereignty”.
It includes maintaining Ukrainian institutional affiliations for researchers who have temporarily moved abroad, creating funding programmes for joint research and early career researchers, providing access to facilities abroad that duplicate ones damaged or destroyed during the war, and establishing a council to coordinate and maximise support.
Signatories were the leaders of the national science academies of Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, the UK, Ukraine and the US, as well as the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities.
Common values undermined
On the same day, G7 science ministers adopted a statement saying that “common values of democracy, respect for international law and respect for human rights and freedom…are at present seriously undermined due to Russia’s premeditated and unjustified invasion of Ukraine”.
The ministers expressed “unwavering support for Ukrainian scientists and students whose lives and engagement in science and research are threatened by Russia’s aggression”, adding that they were committed to collaborating with Ukraine and supporting its researchers and students.
Meanwhile, the European Parliament research committee called for the EU to provide further support for Ukrainian research. An oral question for the European Commission by committee chair Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, which was unanimously adopted, welcomed EU support so far but added that “more is needed”.
Buşoi asked the Commission whether it was planning to mobilise extra funding and to help rebuild Ukrainian research infrastructure after the war. “We need better implementation of the possibilities provided within the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and new ways to support the survival and future reform of the Ukrainian research infrastructure, as the full impact of the war is yet unknown and the unstable situation is likely to continue,” he said.
The interventions came as the European Investment Bank warned that the finances of EU member states “will likely” deteriorate because of the war between Russia and Ukraine, due to factors such as higher energy prices and disrupted trade. Countries closes to Ukraine are worst affected, but others are also feeling the strain, the EIB said.