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EU leadership candidate seeks to harness research

German politician Manfred Weber, the conservative candidate for becoming the next European Commission president, has said he would use big data to boost European research.

Weber, a Bavarian MEP who leads the European People’s Party group in the European Parliament, won an EPP vote on 8 November that made him the party’s spitzenkandidat /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;} —putting him in line to become the next Commission president. The EPP is set to win the most seats in the parliamentary election taking place in May 2019, which puts Weber in pole position for the presidency.

On his personal website, Weber said that one of his priorities is to make Europe a leader in digital innovation, and to use big data to make the most of research. “With the joint research strength of our continent, we could finally find cures for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s,” he said.

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