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[Event review] - JRC annual event "Scientific Support to the Danube Strategy"

Linked with the 4th annual forum of the EU strategy for the Danube region, the JRC held its annual event dedicated to the scientific support of this strategy on 27 and 28 October. Over 200 participants from the Danube countries took part in sessions dedicated to energy, smart specialisation in ICT sector, water and ways of fostering scientific exchange in the region.  

  • Posted on: 03.11.2015
  • Germany

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The JRC - Jont Research Centre´s mission is also to provide support to macro-regional strategies, such as that for the Danube region (DR), in order to boost smart, sustaibable and inclusive econimc growth. JRC applies an integrated approach with key scientific local partners that enable decision-makers and other DR stakeholders to identify the policy measures and the actions necessary for the implementation of the EUSDR.

In 2013 the JRC had launched 4 scientific flagship clusters and 3 horizontal activities whose results were firstly presented in June 2014 in Vienna so as to additionally foster synergies between the scientfic community and the regional developmentin view of cooperation opportunities.

This year, the event has not only focused on the scientific support services for the Danube region by the JRC but it eventually proved how the excellence and importance or research support activities carried out in cooperation with local partners in the macro-region have a remarkable impact on the scientific, economic as well as social and environmental development. Over 200 stakeholders representing the whole Danube countries, and beyond, have attended the event and could participate in discussion in the plenary session and high level panel as well as in four workshops dedicated to: Energy, Water, Smart Specialisation in teh ICT sector, and general Instruments fostering the scientific exchange in the Danube Region.

During the introductory session the JRC Smart Specialisation Platform was presented as well as its tools to demonstrate the top priorities in the DR: energy and ICT. Even if Water is not preceived as a priority for the macro- region, it has a crucial role and cannot be undervalued. Speakers also discussed what is needed to further reinforce collaboration in the Danube macro-region. The Danube Reference Data and Service Infrastructure was presented as a tool to allow for access to essential scientific expertise and data helping decision-makers and other regional stakeholders to identify the policy measures and actions needed for the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region.

A high-level panel of ministries representatives from Austria, Baden-Württemberg (Germany), Croatia, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine discussed on the second day about the needs and opportunities for territorial cohesion and new growth through smart specialisation, as well as the role of research and education in economic development. Strenghtening cooperation with Ukraine was also discussed throughout the conference.

Research and innovation in energy and ICT are among the top priorities in the Danube region, according to an analysis done via the JRC's Smart Specialisation Platform. The participants of the Energy workshop discussed latest results in the fields of bio-energy, photovoltaics and energy efficiency, as well as links to sustainable environment and climate.

Participants of the smart specialisation in ICT sector workshop discussed project proposals for joint transnational ICT activities in the fields of cloud computing, big data and eHealth. A panel of ICT experts provided targeted feedback to support their further development and potential funding options.

The Water session combined perspectives of research, industry and societal challenges and looked into the consequences of the changing pressures of agriculture and energy on water. Topics focused on the management of water pollution, nutrients' concentration in rivers, the water balance and competition for resources also in the context of climate change, the sediment balance and its implications for basin and river management, including navigation. The Danube region was analysed as a test bed for international collaboration.

Participants to the session on fostering scientific exchange analysed innovative demand driven technology transfer and commercialisation, using as a starting point societal challenges faced by the Danube countries, such as affordable sustainable energy, climate change mitigation and access to/use of ICT technologies.

Finally, on the first day during the presentation of the "Danubius Award" and the "Danubius Young Scientist Award" Barbara Weitgruber, Director-General in the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy awarded the Danubius Award 2015 in the field of life sciences to Professor Leopold März, former rector of the BOKU-University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna. In addition, 14 young scientists – one from each country – received the Danubius Young Scientists Awards, for their extraordinary achievements.

 

 

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S&T field/scope: General | Affilation and Pillar: EUSDR Priority Areas, Research and innovation community, Policy Dialogue | Geographical focus: Danube Region

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