AUAS involved in prominent R&I conference in Brussels

10 Feb 2023 00:00 | Communication

The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) was well represented at the annual Science Business conference in Brussels from 6-7 February, ensuring that the perspective of applied sciences was heard among key European policy makers. This annual conference is an important networking opportunity with our European stakeholders, focusing on research and innovation topics.

The conference theme, Sustainable Horizons, focused on the future of research and innovation in Europe. AUAS joined other Science Business Network members, R&I stakeholders, and EU representatives for a unique set of debates: first, to explore the science and tech agendas to bring planetary sustainability goals within reach, and second, to address some of the fundamental tensions at the interface between the two.

The AUAS delegation included Rector Geleyn Meijer, FDMCI Faculty Dean Frank Kresin and EU Liaison Officer Maren Pannemann. It was a prime opportunity to express AUAS’s vision of how universities of applied sciences can play a role in the future of European innovation via applied research.

AUAS Rector Geleyn Meijer (centre left) spoke at the event.

Climate focus

During the event, the contribution of science and education to European climate targets was underlined. In her keynote speech, Swedish minister for Climate and Environment, Romina Pourmokhtari, stressed the need for research on resource efficiency, policy innovation and behavioral change linked to the Green Transition. We need to use fewer resources, less energy and transport, and work together towards a circular economy. This was echoed by Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, who stressed that the green and digital transition go hand in hand.

In the session on “Big Data for sustainability” AUAS Rector Geleyn Meijer was a panel speaker. He pointed out the importance of digital technology and AI in the transition towards a circular economy. ‘For this, human capital is very important. We should not only design solutions, but also need to educate skilled professionals that are able to use these new technologies. Who are the people who are going to deliver this and how can we ensure they are educated to do so?’ Meijer also pointed out that there is a need to ‘break down the silos of fundamental research, applied research, and entrepreneurship - a much more holistic approach is needed.’

Romina Pourmokhtari, Swedish minister for Climate and Environment, delivered the keynote speech virtually.

Sustainability is a pillar of our strategy at the AUAS, alongside diversity and digitalisation. It is also driving collaboration within our European network of higher education institutions – U!REKA. Together with U!REKA (Urban Research and Education Knowledge Alliance) partners, AUAS is committed to contributing to the EU Climate Mission through our impact driven research and education programmes for climate proof and digital savvy professionals of the future. This is reflected in U!REKA’s recent bid to become a European University, which includes a strategy shift that focuses our partnerships towards sustainability driven by a common vision of climate neutrality and the role of higher education in delivering this.

AUAS representatives networked with R&I and EU stakeholders during the conference.

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Science Business exists to bring together three worlds which should work together but too often stumble apart: industry, research and policy. The Science Business Network of universities, companies, and research and policy organisations is a uniquely powerful forum for driving innovation forward. Its newsletters reach Europe’s most influential innovators and policymakers. SB meetings bring together speakers and audiences looking to make a real difference. The SB reports utilise its unrivalled expertise and knowledge of European policy making to analyse and point the way forward. (Text from SB website)

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