Jana Kolar appointed new Chair of ESFRI

The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) is pleased to announce the election of Jana Kolar as the Forum’s next Chair. Jana’s term of office will commence in January 2022 with a two years duration. After an in-depth analysis of her application and a comprehensive interview by the selection committee, it was concluded that Jana Kolar can be recommended to the Forum as the next ESFRI Chair.

“I would like to leave ESFRI better integrated into renewed ERA, better functioning and with higher visibility”, stated Jana Kolar during the 76th ESFRI Plenary meeting this Wednesday, 30th June 2021, concerning the priorities of her term, adding that “we should have a more proactive approach to the research infrastructure landscape analysis. Europe is changing, and we have to identify the gaps with more respect to the policies and integrate the ESFRI research infrastructures in the renewed European Research Area”.

Jana Kolar

Current ESFRI Chair Jan Hrušák from the J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences expressed his delight for the election: “I would like to congratulate Jana Kolar on her election as the new ESFRI Chair. This is an excellent choice for ESFRI since Jana Kolar combines scientific and policy expertise. Her engagement within the Slovenian Ministry, the experience gathered at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, and the skills in management of research infrastructure acquired as CERIC-ERIC Executive Director will be beneficial in leveraging the strategic role of ESFRI in the new ERA.”

Anna Panagopoulou, Director for ERA and Innovation at the European Commission, offered the Commission’s perspective: “I would like to extend my congratulations to Jana Kolar for this very important role that she is now taking up. She has great experience on research infrastructures both on policy and implementation aspects and I am sure she will provide the right steer to ESFRI in the next two years. ESFRI has already multiple tasks ahead, more will surely come, and I am confident that it will be able to tackle them successfully. During this next term, ESFRI’s work should be further integrated in the new ERA policy. It is important to establish stronger links with broader range of stakeholders and actors to promote the contribution of research infrastructures to the global challenges and to enhance the scientific excellence and knowledge creation. The Commission looks forward to continuing the work with ESFRI Forum under the leadership of Jana Kolar.”

Dr Jana Kolar is Executive Director of CERIC-ERIC. She has a broad range of expertise, ranging from policy development and implementation, research and innovation, to entrepreneurship. Among others, she was Director-General of Science and Technology at the Ministry in Slovenia, Chairman of the Board of Slovenian Technology Agency and Slovenia’s Research Agency, a Member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and a Member of the High-Level Group of Innovators for a European Innovation Council that advised the European Commission on how to strengthen support for breakthrough, market-creating innovation. She was also a Member of the ERA Council Forum Austria – a high-level expert body advising the Austrian Minister responsible for Science and Research, and is currently supporting Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU.