Go back

Research managers invited to branch out

Image: Craig Nicholson for Research Professional News

Earma 2023: Commission suggests roles in support of business and public sector innovation

The European Commission has encouraged research managers and administrators to branch out, even as the profession is already expanding well beyond its traditional roles.

Speaking via video message at the annual conference of the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators in Prague on 25 April, Anna Panagopoulou (pictured), director of the European Research Area and innovation at the Commission, suggested that those working in the area could do more in the innovation sphere.

Traditionally, research management has been university-focused, and it has only recently begun to receive professional recognition.

“I invite Earma to continue to expand its network and to consider areas beyond research management, such as innovation-oriented management capacity for companies and the public sector,” she said.

In particular, she called for RMAs to support a new EU initiative to create ‘Regional Innovation Valleys’, which is intended to “strengthen and better connect innovation players from Europe, including regions that might lag behind”.

The Commission wants 100 regions to prioritise three-to-four interregional innovation projects linked to broader EU priorities under the Innovation Valleys banner.

“We expect that all research and innovation stakeholders will mobilise to encourage their regional authorities to participate in this initiative,” Panagopoulou said.

“Because of your connection with your region and your experience with grant management, I invite you to liaise with your regional authorities.”

Her remarks came as other speakers emphasised how much the RMA role had already changed in recent years.

“A lot of very specialised [RMA] roles are needed for the R&I system to function properly, from data stewards to business developers,” said Stijn Delauré, a Commission policy officer.

Research Professional News is media partner for the Earma 2023 conference in Prague. Read all of the coverage here.