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On 1° July 2014, Italy has taken over the EU Council Presidency and an overall goal of its presidency is to achieve higher and more sustainable growth, enabling Europe to reap the benefits of economic interdependence.
 
This goal will remain unattainable without the critical contribution of strong and competitive national research systems embedded into a truly European Research Area, which constitutes a key element of the valorisation of the human resources component. Researchers must be empowered to circulate freely in an open, transparent, equitable and merit-based single labour market and investment in human capital must be promoted.
 
Therefore the Italian presidency wishes to contribute to the discussion and elaboration of the career development and training of researchers, raising awareness on opportunities and challenges to be faced in cultivating the talent needed to be successful in the complex world they live in.
 
A key priority is indeed the empowerment of researchers –specially in their early career stages- with attractive career pathways (within university and beyond), with a thorough and broad skill set, well-rounded professional development opportunities and programmes, appropriate working conditions as well as raising entrepreneurial ability to underpin the strategic value of investment on human resources are identified as a key priorities.
 
Against this background and with the objective of contributing to the upcoming review of the Europe 2020 strategy, the Italian Presidency wishes to contribute to the discussion and elaboration of the challenges and opportunities of the training and career development of researchers.
 
This will be done with the EU2014 conference “The Empowerment of the Next Generation of Researchers “Promoting talents, spreading excellence” that will take place in the city of Trento from 18 to 19 November 2014.
The conference is organized by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, in conjunction with the European Commission -which is financing the event through the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions of the new EU Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation- and in collaboration with the Autonomous Province of Trento.