ESF to merge with EUROHORCs

EUROHORCs (European Heads of Research Councils), a European association of the heads of research funding organisations and research performing organisations, and ESF (European Science Foundation) have overlapping memberships and are discussing a merger. In April there will be a EUROHORCs General Assembly and a decision will be taken at the Special ESF Assembly in May 2011 regarding the proposed new organisation. The overarching objective is to increase the global competitiveness of Europe. This would need a strong emphasis on strategic activities, and less focus on managing collaborative research instruments, such as scientific conferences, EUROCORES and Research Networking Programmes (RNPs); this may be sad news for mathematicians that have profited from ESF-funding over a range of years!
It was already decided to cancel the launch of the following activities:
* The 2010 Call for Research Networking Programmes (RNPs)
* The 2011 Call for EUROCORES Themes and the ECRP Call
On the other hand, the following activities will continue:
* The RNP proposals recommended from the 2009 Call which have obtained sufficient financial commitments will be launched as planned in early 2011;
* Current ongoing activities such as Exploratory Workshops, Forward Looks, Member Organisation Fora, Science Policy activities and most Conferences partnerships will continue, as will currently running RNPs and EUROCORES;
* ESF will continue with its current obligations to EC contracts. However, it will take on new contracts to be completed by 2015 only if they are directly related to the EUROHORCs/ESF Road Map actions;
* ESF will continue as the implementing agent for COST until the end of EC Framework Programme 7.
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