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52 National Funding Agencies gathered at the 8th GRC Meeting in São Paulo, Brazil to discuss impacts of funded research, as well as open access and gender equality

(São Paulo, Brazil, May 1 – 3 2019) Heads of 52 funding agencies from 50 countries and five continents, among them József Györkös, Director of ARRS, gathered at the 8th Global Research Council Meeting (GRC) and focused their discussions around this meeting's focal topic - impact of publicly funded research. Alongside, a fair share of discussions has been dedicated to topics of open access and gender equality.

The Global Research Council is a virtual organization, comprised of 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. ARRS is an active participant in GRC's activities since its establishment on.

The 8th edition of the GRC 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).

Participants agreed on the need of good evaluation methods and new ways of demonstrating impact. They agreed that the subject concerns all countries and further emphasised great importance of pursuit for strategies of engaging with different stakeholder groups. Another point, about which there was a consensus among all the agencies represented at the meeting, was that assessing the impact of research projects is no easy task. President of DFG, Prof. Peter Strohschneider stressed: “There are cases in which you have to wait many years to discover the true impact of research, making demonstration of its importance to society even more difficult.”
(Source: FAPESP)

A strong emphasis has been given to the topic of open access. The representatives of five of the major worldwide Open Access initiatives - African Open Science Platformm, AmeLICA, cOAlition S, OA2020, and SciELO - signed the São Paulo Statement on Open Access. By signing the statement, the five initiatives confirmed to stand 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.

UK's UKRI organised a parallel workshop on gender equality as a third topic to be highlighted by this year's edition of the GRC Meeting.

Györkös held several bilateral meetings at the side of the GRC Meeting. He discussed possibilities of enhancing bilateral cooperation with presidents of FAPESP and CNPq, held talks with leaders of Brazilian technological agency FINEP and visited the University of São Paulo. Györkös also met with representatives of Slovenian community in Brazil and Slovenian industry representatives in Brazil.


Director of ARRS, József Györkös after bilateral talks with FAPESP President Marc Antonio Zago