Europe has no shortage of potential when it comes to world-leading research, entrepreneurs and companies. But the number of researchers in Europe as a share of the population is well below that of the United States, Japan and other countries. If the EU wants to reach its target of spending 3 % of GDP on research and development it will need to create at least 1 million new research jobs. As global competition for the best research talent continues to grow, a significant number of European researchers are choosing to work outside Europe. Together they represent an untapped asset to further develop European research, which is why the European Commission has initiated the EURAXESS Links project.
The objective is to maintain the link between Europe and European researchers, scientists and scholars working abroad; they are an important resource for European research and for stimulating scientific cooperation between Europe and their host countries. EURAXESS Links provides information about European research and research policy, and opportunities for research funding, international collaboration and transnational mobility. It is becoming a vital networking tool for European researchers working outside Europe, and non-Europeans hoping to pursue a research career within Europe. It has so far been launched in China, India, Japan, Singapore and the United States, and membership is free.
Members of the network are kept informed about EU research policies and made aware of career and collaboration opportunities in Europe. The multidisciplinary network involves researchers at all stages of their careers: it allows them to stay connected amongst themselves and with Europe, ensuring that they are recognised as an important resource for the European Research Area (ERA), whether they remain abroad or choose to return.
In addition, EURAXESS-Researcher in Motion is a unique ERA initiative providing access to a complete range of information and support services for European and non-European researchers wishing to pursue careers in Europe. EURAXESS offers access to the job market, assists researchers in advancing their careers in another European country, and supports scientific organisations in their search for outstanding research talent.
EURAXESS is a pan-European initiative, supported by 40 participating countries across Europe. Through its portal it provides a single access point to information across all countries, and personalised assistance is on offer from more than 500 staff working in the 200 service centres.
The first EURAXESS Links global event recently took place in Beijing, with India, Japan, Singapore and the United States connected online to the event. Topics discussed included that of European researchers outside Europe: how to improve networking, and demonstrating career development for researchers with mobility experience. A highlight of the event was the opening of the online 'Jobs' portal for China on the EURAXESS websites, increasing opportunities for European researchers abroad.
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