EARTO, the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations, has elected President & CEO of VTT, Dr. Antti Vasara, as the President of EARTO in its annual meeting. The term of office is three years. The EARTO Annual Conference 2019 is hosted by VTT at Dipoli in Espoo, Finland on 19–20 March.
"I would like to thank all my European colleagues for this vote of confidence," Antti Vasara comments on his appointment. "The work done by EARTO is important as science and research need to gain more visibility and footing in decision-making also internationally. Now is a perfect time to focus on research, development and innovations, using them to solve global challenges in a sustainable manner – a task in which the world has all the conditions to succeed."
The objective of EARTO is to promote the views of research and technology organisations in the European Union and its decision-making.
"Broad-based cooperation is needed in Europe to enhance its competitiveness. As independent research institutions, the member organisations of EARTO play a key role in enhancing competitiveness," says Vasara. "Also, EARTO has formed an excellent line of communication between its members and EU decision-makers, which is an integral part of having an influence in the EU," Vasara continues.
EARTO influences EU policies through its working groups in which many people from VTT also actively participate. "VTT is a major player in Europe and our task is to help Finnish companies and our other partners to enter the international markets," says Antti Vasara. "Between 2014 and 2018, VTT received in total EUR 134 million of funding under the Horizon 2020 EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, which is the world's largest research funding programme." The share of VTT equals approximately 17% of all the H2020 funding granted to Finland.
Founded in 1999, the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations EARTO is a non-profit association representing European research and technology organisations (RTOs) and their interests. EARTO has more than 350 member RTOs in over 20 countries, which in total employ approximately 150,000 people. The equipment, research environments and services, worth billions of euros, offered by the member RTOs are annually used by more than 100,000 public and private sector customers.