The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Prof Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International Strategy, Dr Jennifer Barnes (pictured right), were in Brussels on Monday 7 September for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Cambridge and the European Commission’s in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC).


The purpose of the agreement, signed by Dr Barnes and by the JRC’s Director General, Vladimír Šucha (pictured left), is to promote research collaboration between the two organisations, particularly regarding the use of evidence to inform policy-making in Europe.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor said: “All the best science in the world without translation into policy really is of no practical value in the world of tomorrow. Doing the science itself is not enough –we have to work with those who are in positions of making decisions, as these will affect the lives of citizens of Europe”.

Vladimír Šucha said the MoU followed a series of contacts between the two organisations: "I'm extremely happy that we're going to have a formalised understanding between the JRC and the University of Cambridge. I hope that European policy will profit from these contacts and from this ocean of knowledge within Cambridge."

The Memorandum of Understanding foresees collaboration in research into the use of evidence in policymaking, particularly with the University’s Centre for Science and Policy. It will also facilitate academic exchanges, and the undertaking of joint research projects in areas of common interest.

A pilot programme on Green Growth and Sustainability is already being developed jointly by the JRC’s Institute for Environment and Sustainability, the Cambridge Forum for Sustainability and the Environment, and a number of the University’s Strategic Initiatives.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was followed by a lunch-time lecture to JRC members, “Cervical cancer –A biological and public health policy conundrum”, delivered by the Vice-Chancellor.

The JRC supports the European Commission by providing EU policymakers with independent, evidence-based scientific and technical support throughout the whole policy cycle. This is the latest in a number of agreements with which the JRC pursues closer cooperation with the European scientific community through partnerships with universities, national academies and other umbrella research organisations.

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