National Round Table in Slovakia: Science Policy
As a part of the Science and Technology Week in Slovakia, an expert meeting entitled, National Round Table on Science Policy, Together for Improving the Conditions and Quality of Science and Research in Slovakia, took place on 6 November 2019, at the Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information. The event was organized by the Biomedical Center of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, in cooperation with the Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information and the Learned Society of Slovakia.
Having national round tables on science policy is one of the key activities of partners of the Alliance4Life international consortium, an association of Central and Eastern European research and educational institutions supported by the European Commission. The aim of the event was to contribute, through expert discussion, to finding opportunities to improve conditions and the quality of Slovak science and research by sharing progressive national and foreign experiences and good practices.
Participants of the national round table included personalities with a significant impact on science and research in the Slovak Republic, relevant policy makers, key representatives of universities and the Slovak Academy of Sciences, representatives of ministries and grant agencies, as well as other major institutions in the field. The event was also attended by leading representatives of the Alliance4Life coordinator, the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC) at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic.
The discussion focused on three main areas that are closely interrelated and need a comprehensive approach: (1) openness and fairness of the national research area, as well as institutional culture, (2) motivation to improve the quality of research and development, and (3) sustainability of research and human infrastructure. The mission of institutional management, as well as key actors in science policy, is to look for solutions that allow for the improvement of conditions and incentives for institutions and individual scientists to enable high-quality research, while strengthening the responsibility to society as a whole. An important part of the discussion was dedicated to the problem of sustainability of research infrastructure, which is hampered by generally absent national resources for investments and enormously bureaucratic procedures of public procurement. All participants agreed that Slovakia urgently needs an international audit of research performance, as well as a national research strategy document, which has not been clearly formulated so far, and expressed their deep interest in participating in the process of document preparation.
The outcomes of the expert discussion will be verbalized in common conclusions, including the message and recommendation of the scientific community to relevant policy- and decision-makers that have the authority to take the necessary steps and measures for improving conditions in order for Slovak scientists to accomplish their research.
The project "Alliance for Life Sciences: Closing Research and Innovation Divide in the European Union" received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 779303.