Academy Medal for Robert-Jan Smits

20 maart 2017

Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission, will receive the 2016 Academy Medal, awarded every other year by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of science in the Netherlands. The award will be presented in Amsterdam on Monday 29 May 2017.

Academy Medal

Robert-Jan Smits is receiving the Academy Medal in recognition of his unflagging efforts on behalf of research and innovation in the European Union. Those efforts are visible in the design of the Union’s research and innovation policy and the heights to which that policy aspires. As the right arm of successive European Commissioners for Research, Innovation and Science, Smits has played a leading role for almost three decades in the development and implementation of Horizon 2020, the European Research Council, the European Research Area (ERA), and the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures.

His vision, perseverance and the results achieved under his leadership have made Robert-Jan Smits an obvious choice as Academy Medal laureate. In the words of jury chairperson Ben Feringa: ‘Robert-Jan Smits has spent almost his entire career working in his own unique way to promote European research. He functions as a traffic manager at the junction of four roads: Dutch research, European research, Dutch politics, and European politics.’

About Robert-Jan Smits

Robert-Jan Smits (born in 1958) studied at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, the Institut Universitaire d’Hautes Études Internationales in Switzerland, and the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy in the United States. After completing his studies, he spent several years working for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. In 1989, he left for Brussels to work for the European Commission. Since 2010, he has been the Director-General of Research and Innovation. Smits was one of the initiators of Horizon 2020, the largest research programme in the world (with a budget of 80 billion euros between 2014 and 2020).

In 2016, Smits was the very first recipient of a new lifetime achievement award by EuroScience, the non-profit grassroots association of researchers in Europe. In his various roles within the European Union, Smits has been vital to the positioning of European research. He is a highly influential voice in the political debate about science. Robert-Jan Smits is always prepared to share his insightful vision of science – in Europe and the Netherlands – with others.

About the Academy Medal

The Academy Medal is presented every other year to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in the Netherlands to the advancement of science in the broadest sense of the word. The jury for the 2016 Academy Medal was chaired by Academy Board member Ben Feringa. Academy members Ferry Breedveld, Birgit Meyer, Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade, and Ton van der Steen also had seats on the jury. Previous Academy Medal laureates include Alexander Rinnooy Kan, Emmo Meijer and Paul Schnabel.

About the Academy

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has three core tasks. It is an active learned society of outstanding scientists and scholars; it is an independent entity that represents the interests of science and scholarship, advises the Dutch government, and encourages public debate; and it is responsible for fifteen research institutes of national and international standing that are active in the humanities, the social sciences and the life sciences. For more information, visit www.knaw.nl.

Source: Press release KNAW: Academy Medal for Robert-Jan Smits

Schrijf u in voor onze nieuwsbrief

Blijf op de hoogte van ons laatste nieuws.

Meer informatie nodig ?

Stel uw vraag aan één van onze medewerkers

Verversen Geef de karakters in die u in de afbeelding ziet. Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.

Gerelateerde artikelen

Gendergelijkheid in Horizon 2020: concrete maatregelen nodig

Er moeten concrete maatregelen worden genomen om gendergelijkheid in Horizon 2020 te garanderen. Dit staat in de tussentijdse evaluatie van gendergelijkheid in Horizon 2020. Er moet meer...

Lees meer

Lamy-groep: maak O&I prioriteit in EU en nationale begroting

Onderzoek en innovatie (O&I) moeten geprioriteerd worden in Europese en nationale begrotingen. Daarom moet het budget van het nieuwe kaderprogramma voor onderzoek en innovatie (KP9) verdubbeld...

Lees meer

Tallinn roept op tot actie voor O&I

Er moet meer geïnvesteerd worden in onderzoek en innovatie (O&I) in toekomstige Europese en nationale beleidsstrategieën. Dit staat in het statement van het Estse voorzitterschap waarbij...

Lees meer

Register now: Neth-ER Event ‘Europe’s need for knowledge’

On the 22nd of November, Neth-ER will host its annual high-level event in Brussels. This year the topic is ‘Europe’s need for knowledge’ and we invite our participants to engage in an open and...

Lees meer