BRUSSELS—Carlos Moedas, the commissioner-designate for research, has won over European parliamentarians in a public hearing here today. A former secretary of state in Portugal with no research policy background, Moedas came across as competent and well-prepared—but the plans he presented for his possible 5-year term remain vague, observers say.
Moedas, an engineer with an MBA from Harvard University, has experience in water management, real estate, and investment banking. He is best known in Portugal for overseeing the country's bailout program, negotiated with the “troika” (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund) after the economic crisis.
However, he seems to have immersed himself in his new subject in the 2 weeks since his appointment was announced. Today, before members of Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), Moedas displayed a good understanding of science policy trends and of Horizon 2020, the bloc's 7-year, €80 billion research funding program, which started this year.