About the Initiative for Science in Europe

Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE) is an independent association bringing together European learned societies and scientific research organisations
operating throughout all disciplines and across all research sectors.

ISE supports all fields of science and technology (including the humanities and social sciences) all over Europe, involves active researchers in the design and implementation of European science policies and advocates sound independent scientific advice in the development European policies.

ISE has been instrumental in promoting disruptive excellence-based funding programmes for scientific research and played a central and decisive role in the creation of the European Research Council (ERC).

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The Initiative for Science in Europe was initiated in 2003 by a movement of researchers in the life sciences which was quickly joined by researchers from all other fields of research. It led to the creation in 2004 of an informal platform for learned societies, academies, and other non-governmental research organisations in Europe, with the initial goal of rallying the European scientific community around the goal of creating a brand-new EU funded organisation promoting exploratory research which became the European Research Council. 

Since then, it has been active in making the voice of scientific community heard in number of key science policy questions. It has been active in promoting the European scientific community’s views on the framework programmes and their budgets, on open science, scientific advice, research assessment and support to next generation researchers.

The first president of the ISE was Jose Mariano Gago, former Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education and one of the initiators of the concept of the European Research Area (ERA), followed by Julio Celis, currently Associate Scientific Director of the Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, former Director General of UNESCO, and Maria Leptin (former Director of EMBO, currently President of the ERC). The current president of the ISE is Martin Andler, professor emeritus in mathematics and in the history and philosophy of science.

For many years, ISE was an informal, de facto organisation, housed by EMBO. Since 2017, ISE has been registered in Strasbourg as “association de droit local” (not-for-profit organisation) with registration number (SIREN) 837 814 730. Its statutes can be read here.

A passion for science

Catalyst for Scientific Excellence in Europe.

Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration

ISE serves as a unifying force, bringing together European learned societies and research organizations across all disciplines and research sectors.

Pan-European Impact

Operating throughout Europe, ISE actively supports and contributes to advancements in all fields of science and technology, including the humanities and social sciences.

Researcher-Centric Engagement

The organization actively involves researchers in shaping European science policies, emphasizing a participatory approach in the design and implementation of these policies.

Advocacy for Scientific Independence

ISE advocates for the integration of sound, independent scientific advice in the development of European policies, ensuring a foundation of robust and evidence-based decision-making.

Innovative Funding Promotion

ISE has been a driving force in the promotion of disruptive, excellence-based funding programs for scientific research, reflecting a commitment to fostering groundbreaking initiatives.

Foundational Role in European Research Landscape

With a pivotal role in the establishment of the European Research Council (ERC), ISE has played a central and decisive role in shaping the landscape of scientific research at the European level.