The Widening

The Science|Business Widening Initiative Group

The Widening Web Header

EU policymakers aim to demonstrate Europe’s strength in science and technology on the global stage. But this is a challenge considering that half of the member states are lagging behind in research and innovation. While only a few countries meet the official EU target of investing 3% of their GDP i-on R&D, others still struggle to increase their expenditure significantly. To support excellence, the EU has implemented several funding schemes within Horizon Europe, to the benefit of less performing countries, with the objective of bridging the innovation gap around Europe. The EU has also called on member states to actively participate in a common policy agenda to strengthen the European Research Area.

Although these plans sound encouraging in theory, their implementation has produced uneven results. Yet, the potential within the designated ‘Widening countries’ is significant as multinational companies are investing in the regions where long academic traditions are ready to foster young scientists and talents. Additionally, promising tech start-ups, spin-offs and projects spring up from Riga to Belgrade.

As the debate about the future of Widening in the next Framework programme for Research (FP10) is heating up, Science|Business launched a dedicated, independent news service in September 2022 and assembled a group of leading research and innovation actors to help research stakeholders and policymakers find the best ways to unlock the EU’s full research potential in the coming decade. The members of the SB Widening group stand for excellence without frontiers, set the agenda for a joint event series, contribute to policy reports, voice their positions and ideas in public and closed-door gatherings across Central and Eastern European capitals and Brussels, and gain  visibility in policy debates and circles.

The SB Widening group is led by Edit Herczog, a former MEP from Hungary now serving several organisations including as Board member of Research Data Alliance Europe and Chair of European Union’s Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).

The Widening Network Members:

  • Adéla Jiroudková, Head of Department of Science and Research, Charles University
  • Aleksander Vukkert, Chief Officer of Research and Development Projects - Research Administration Office, Tallinn University of Technology
  • Borbála Schenk, Head of International Department, National Research, Development and Innovation Office, Government of Hungary
  • Ewa Kocińska-Lange, Director, NCBR Office in Brussels
  • Lenka Procházková, Head of Office, Czech Liaison Office for Education and Research in Brussels, Czech National Agency for International Education and Research
  • Monica Dietl, Executive Coordinator, Initiative for Science in Europe
  • Romana Jordan, Assistant Director for EU Affairs, Jožef Stefan Institute 
  • Ricardo Migueis, Head of Office, INESC Brussels Hub
  • Siret Rutiku, Head of the Grant Office, University of Tartu
  • Tadas Tumėnas, Office Manager, Lithuanian Science Liaison Office, Lithuanian Science Council

Widening Network Member Benefits:

  • Work with us to build and shape the Widening initiative 
  • An unlimited number of news items and announcements from the Member may be (re)published as “Network update” on, and in the Producer’s fortnightly Widening newsletter, if judged relevant by the Producer’s editorial team.
  • 2 seats in all Widening closed-door/public events (minimum 3 a year) 
  • Senior speaker role in at least 1 Widening event 
  • Free access to all Science|Business public events
  • Logo as a 'Member' on the dedicated Widening webpage on and other relevant materials produced in the context of the initiative.

Membership fee works as follows:

12-month membership to the SB Widening group: €5,000 (+VAT if applicable). 

For more information, you may contact Edit Herczog at [email protected], or Denitsa Nikolova at [email protected]