ERAC is a strategic policy advisory body whose function is to assist the European Commission and the Council of the EU in performing the tasks incumbent on these Institutions in the sphere of research and technological development. ERAC's activities have gained increased importance because of greater prominence of research and technological development in Europe, which is nowadays acknowledged as an important element of Europe's competitiveness and economic growth.
ERA is at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy and its Innovation Union (IU) flagship initiative. The IU aims to ensure that new knowledge-based products and services contribute substantially to growth and creating new jobs but a world-class science is crucial for achieving this aim. One of the key aims of ERA is also to reduce both brain drain, notably from weaker regions, and the wide regional variation in research and innovation performance, aiming at excellence across the European Union through smart specialization strategy.
The Research Working Party meets in Riga in order to discuss draft Council conclusions on open, networked and data intensive research research as a driver for faster and wider innovation. Mr Andrejs Vasiļjevs (Dr. sc. comp.), the chairman of the board of Latvian language technology company Tilde, will give a presentation on multilingualism in the digital age.
"Language diversity is a treasure of Europe, however, it fragments European market and creates language barriers in communication and commerce," says Mr. Vasiljevs. "The Digital Single Market should be multilingual and embrace the state of the art technological solutions to make online services and e-commerce accessible in all EU official languages. There should be no place for linguistic discrimination in the Digital Single Market. Data-intensive research and close cooperation between European research and industry have a tremendous potential for innovation and economic growth. ERAC meeting in Riga should provide an important contribution in unleashing this potential."
Ms Agrita Kiopa, Deputy State Secretary at the Latvian Ministry for Education and Science, will present at the plenary session the outcomes of the research assessment of the Latvian research institutions that was undertaken in 2013 by the Nordic Council, including the influence of this exercise on the recent reforms to Latvian higher education, research and innovation policy. Meanwhile delegates of the Working Party on Research will visit the Institute of Organic Synthesis of Latvia.