Aarhus University

focuses on excellent research

In April Aarhus University hosted the international Excellence 2012 conference

in conjunction with the Danish Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2012.


Below is an extract from the conclusions from the debates and presentations at Excellence 2012

Excellent research requires cooperation and trust

Collaboration and trust were two of the main concepts cited as important by Jacob Bundsgaard, the Mayor of Aarhus, Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief of Nature, and Flemming Besenbacher, Chairman of the Board of the Carlsberg Foundation, when they presented their ideas on excellence in research.

Advancement through excellence

Dr Vilhelm Krull, Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation, and Alex Klinge, Head of Department at Copenhagen Business School, sounded optimistic notes. Their conclusions were clear: it would be excellent research that secured the future of Europe.

The politicians say: investment in excellent research is a way out of the crisis

The economic crisis in Europe provided the starting point for the approach to excellent research taken by the two politicians among the speakers, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and Poul Nyrup Rasmussen. Their message was that investment in excellent research is important as a way out of the crisis.

The future lies in less bureaucracy and more research

Morten Østergaard, the Danish Minister of Science, Innovation and Higher Education, promised researchers more basic funding and more trust. He will now take the Aarhus Declaration forward to the negotiations for Horizon 2020.

Drawings from the conference

While the many speakers from Denmark and abroad were debating what excellent research involves, Jens Hage put their words into pictures at the Excellence 2012 conference.

The Aarhus Declaration

Download The Aarhus Declaration and follow the declaration's future in European research politics

The new declaration is an important contribution to research efforts in Europe

The Aarhus Declaration is the outcome of three days of discussion at the Excellence Conference among the key players in European research financing. It contains specific recommendations concerning European research environments on how in the future we should ensure the provision of optimal conditions for promoting research of the highest quality.

Europe must focus on excellence in research and innovation

Rector at Aarhus University and President of Euroscience, Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen argues in a commentary that Horizon 2020 should allow for a more flexible funding system in order to reach excellence in research

The Aarhus Declaration: A strong signal to Europe

The Aarhus Declaration was handed over to the Danish Minister of Science, Innovation and Higher Education, Morten Østergaard. He will take it to the negotiations on Horizon 2020.

Statements from the conference

"Excellence should leave a trail of death behind it. An excellent theory wipes competing explanations out"

- Rane Willerslev, professor at Aarhus Universitet and Director of Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo

Video and presentations

See videointerviews with several keynote speakers or download presentations from the conference

Excellence 2012: The Aarhus Declaration

The Danish Minister of Education, Morten Østergaard, president of the European Research Council, Helga Nowotny and rector of Aarhus University, Lauritz Holm-Nielsen express their optimism for the impact of the declaration and the future of European research on the final day of the conference.

Excellence 2012: Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn

"We have suffcient quantity but not enogh quality in European research." The European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, talks about the Horizon 2020 Programme and how it will improve the conditions of excellent science in Europe.

More videos from the conference

Presentations from Excellence 2012

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Revised 2014.07.01