ECRI 2010

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Ministerio de Ciencia e InnovaciónPresidencia Española 2010EUESFRI

Robert-Jan Smits

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Director of Directorate B - European Research Area: research programmes and capacity
Robert-Jan Smits
Robert-Jan Smits

Robert-Jan Smits is the Director of Directorate B (The European Research Area: Research Programmes and Capacity) at DG Research of the European Commission. Amongst his responsibilities are the formulation and management of EU research activities in the fields of Joint Programming, Coordination of National Research Programmes, Cooperation with intergovernmental research organisations (EIROforum, EUREKA, COST), Research Infrastructures, Regions of Knowledge, Research Potential and the relations with the European Investment Bank (EIB). Robert-Jan Smits chairs several Programme Committees and is the EC representative on the high-level group on Joint Programming, the European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), the ESF Governing Council and the EUREKA High Level Group (HLG).

Robert-Jan's previous roles have included being the Director of 'Structuring the European Research Area' and being the Head of Unit in the areas of Legal Affairs, the SME Unit, and 'Strengthening research cooperation and Europe's science base'.  Between 2003-2006, Robert-Jan Smits was responsible for developing the European Research Council (ERC) and the European Technology Platforms (ETPs), as well as for the shaping of the Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs), which are public-private partnerships in the field of Research.

Robert-Jan Smits was born in 1958. He has degrees from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Institut Universitaire d'Hautes Etudes Internationales in Switzerland and from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy in the United States of America.