Veljko Milutinovic

Letter from the new Honorary Treasurer Veljko Milutinovic#

Dear AE member,

This is my first letter after my election at the annual general meeting of members, that was held in Barcelona on 28 November 2018. My term of office officially started on 1st January of this year and I would like to thank you for your confidence and trust.

I hope that I can build upon the work of my predecessors in strengthening the financial base of the Academia Europaea, so that as a community of scholars, we can continue to develop our charitable mission for the benefit of European scholarship. I am also very happy to confirm that Ole Petersen will continue to provide his vast experience of the AE and invaluable support as the Deputy Treasurer.

In my Barcelona election statement, I outlined a number of commitments. I am pleased to repeat my statement here:

“I strongly believe that I could give substantial contributions in all areas in which the Treasurer has to be active, and also when it comes to taking a "strategic view," as indicated in "The Role of the Treasurer" by Ole Petersen, currently The Treasurer, so I will here mostly elaborate on the "strategic view," since I find that to be most crucial for the future success of AE. I was lecturing or doing joint research or developing relevant experiences with local scientists in almost all countries that contribute members to AE, so I have a good understanding of the reality in most European countries (I could communicate in a number of European languages, which helped me a lot to understand the cultures). In addition, I could be of help in establishing the strategic cooperation of AE and AAAS (American Academy of Arts and Sciences), as I lived and worked long in the USA, and currently have a cooperation with researchers of AAAS, including two Nobel Laureates elected into AE in 2017, Jerome Friedman and Sheldon Glashow. I am on the Advisory Board of the Vienna Congress COMSULT, and could help in the strategic visibility domains. I was the co-architect/co-designer, for the USA defence industry (DARPA), of the world's first 200MHz microprocessor, and I am a senior adviser to Maxeler Technologies, London, UK (the fastest dataflow supercomputers), so I have industrial experiences, too, which is of potential interest for fund-raising (which, I know, is a duty of the whole Board) and other activities in the domain of strategics of the industrial cooperation.”

During my term as Treasurer, I will work with the Board and within the parameters of the strategic plan to improve the durability, stability and diversity of AE income, especially through the identification of new sources of external funding streams, including both forms of paid-for academic institutional and potential private sector memberships and beneficial longer-term sponsorship opportunities.

However, any successful delivery of this (non-exclusive) list of possible tasks, will also be dependent upon your active support as members. So, even at this very early point in my time as Treasurer, I would like to invite your views, and especially your suggestions on possible ways to achieve these tasks.

Please do mail me (at for now). Your inputs will be read (although not always immediately) and fully considered.

I will now move directly to a core and important function of the Treasurer – the annual request for members to make a financial contribution – the 2019 membership payment.

Our new financial year has now started. In a few days’ time, those of you who are not exempted will receive from our Executive Secretary an e-letter. This will be your 2019 invoice and request to make the 2019 payment.

Can I please ask all members who receive one of these email letters to react as quickly as possible and so avoid the further reminders that will be sent throughout the year.

Many members may not be fully aware of why we ask for member payments each year. Unlike your own National Academies [of Science], the Academia Europaea is a pan-European organisation (and a registered not-for-profit charity) and as such does not receive any national funding. We are also independent of any EU structures and so, apart from the usual competitive project funding, we do not receive any subventions from the Commission or other EU institutions. This means that we are critically dependent on member contributions to enable us to function and develop. This is why we ask members for an annual donation.

Please note, that we are not a subscription driven membership organisation and your annual payments are not obligatory.

Your continuing membership is not dependent on making an annual payment, but we hope and expect members who value their membership will make some payment each year. Our donation policy gives you flexibility and we make only 'recommended' amounts on an age-related scale. The fact that annual payments are voluntary, allows us also to respond to individual member situations and to provide generous exemptions where individual member circumstances dictate.

The take home message and the formula are simple. The more members who support the AE and make an annual payment, the more resources will become available to support and develop members’ activities across the continent in pursuit of collaboration, dialogue and excellence. We can grow only with continuing member support.

So, please do make your payment and I look forwards to hearing from you.

Veljko Milutinovic

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