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Research and innovation
News article27 January 2020Directorate-General for Research and Innovation1 min read

Top experts to advise Commission on future research and innovation policy in support of sustainable development

Today, the European Commission announces the 16 experts that will provide independent advice on how future EU research and innovation policy can best support sustainable development and the Von Der Leyen Commission’s priorities. The chair of this Economic and Societal Impact of Research and Innovation (ESIR) expert group is Sandrine Dixson-Declève, co-President of the Club of Rome.

The experts cover sustainability subjects from angles such as social and ecologic transitions, sustainable development measurement, innovation policies, higher education, youth, digitalisation, circular economy, governance issues and citizens’ engagement. Most notably, they will engage their relevant user communities to establish an ‘ESIR Community’ to help co-design the group’s activities and outputs.

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel said:

These experts will address the most pressing societal challenges, and reach out to key players in the field of sustainability. I am confident that they will inspire us with new and fresh insights on how Europe can best design and implement a forward-looking research and innovation policy.

Chair of ESIR Sandrine Dixson-Declève said:

The establishment of ESIR is a testament to the Commission’s commitment to address purpose-driven research and innovation with a focus on people, planet, and prosperity. I commend the Commission’s future orientation and openness to working with global experts to help deliver a transformative EU research and innovation policy and Horizon Europe to ensure they are truly innovative, impactful and 21st century proof.

Based on a demand-driven approach, the group will:

  • co-design policy briefs to provide European and national policy-makers with strategic advice on R&I and sustainability;
  • organise outreach activities to fully engage with relevant stakeholders;
  • foster policy experimentation to find new and more impactful innovative public policies;
  • propose solution oriented-policy initiatives that address current grand challenges.


The experts are appointed in their personal capacity, and have been selected on the basis of the call addressed to individuals for the establishment of a database of prospective independent experts to assist Commission services with tasks in connection to Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme (OJ 2013/C 342/03, 22/11/2013). The group will initially run until 31 December 2021, and will cover Commission priorities such as the ‘European Green Deal’, ‘An economy that works for people’ and ‘A Europe fit for the digital age’.

More information

Economic and Societal Impact of Research and Innovation (ESIR)

ESIR factsheet

Register of Commission expert groups


Publication date
27 January 2020
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation