By Samuel Hinneh, Copenhagen, Denmark ?

Jos? Manuel Dur?o Barroso (President of the European Commission)
Jos? Manuel Dur?o Barroso (President of the European Commission)

The European Union (EU) says the representation of women in science and research is unsatisfactory, given that only 30% of women end up with careers in research.

This means that, majority of careers in research is male dominated covering 70%, however, women hold 45% of all PhDs in Europe.

?We must also adapt our culture so that women are better represented in research and science,? Jos? Manuel Dur?o Barroso, President of the European Commission says at EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF2014) taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark.

There is the need to bring in the younger generation into science and innovation, reinforcing and tailoring the educational systems so that they can fully embrace creativity and risk.

?This is key to Europe’s future,? he noted at the ESOF 2014 on the theme Science Building Bridges is designed as an open platform for debating science and as a showcase for European and global research at all levels from June 21-26, 2014.

Barroso says the EU is building bridges between all the scientific disciplines which needs to be continued collectively.

The Innovation Union seeks to mainstream science and innovation across all sectors, and cross-fertilise ideas to develop new technologies, products and services for the complex multi-disciplinary challenges in societies.

?We are building bridges between researchers and the general public. Horizon 2020 is a large programme, with a broad set of objectives from excellence in science allowing us to focus on the big priorities relevant to every European citizen?.

?But in order to ensure that the progress you make, for example on new vaccinations or nano-technology, is properly explained and embraced rather than feared, across society, we need a considerable communication effort from scientists themselves as well as from policy makers,? he said.

According to the European Commission president, the EU is also building bridges between the laboratory and the marketplace.

After 30 years of negotiation, Europe finally agreed a European-wide patent. Once fully implemented, this will reduce the cost by up to 80% for small and medium sized businesses and individual researchers to register their creative ideas.

?This should encourage more private investment, because at 1.30% of GDP, we still lag behind the United States, Japan or South Korea, where private investment, venture capital and the culture of risk are more widely shared,? Barroso emphasised.

He added that the EU is also trying to reach out to all countries in the world to tackle together more smartly and efficiently global challenges confronting the world.


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