The Official Visit of the BSUN Delegation to Brussels, Belgium
Prof. Karin MARKIDES, BSUN President and Prof. Eden MAMUT, BSUN Secretary General, had a meeting with Commissioner Mariya GABRIEL at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium on July 12th, 2022
On July 12th, 2022, Prof. Karin Markides, BSUN President and Prof. Eden Mamut, BSUN Secretary General, had a meeting with Ms. Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.
Commissioner Gabriel presented the initiatives of the Commission in supporting the European Universities for the enhancement of their role in promoting Innovation as a factor for implementing the initiatives of the European Commission as the Green Deal and Fit for 55. At the same time, Commissioner Gabriel expressed support for the activities of BSUN.
Prof. Karin Markides presented the current concerns and priorities of the BSUN member universities, the need for capacity building and the initiatives for developing the role of universities in the field of Innovation and their efforts in institutional transformation, adaptation of the educational programs and scientific research for addressing the current challenges. There were presented the approaches that have been followed to initiate partnerships between BSUN and EPICUR European University Alliance and the collaboration activities with CIVITAS - European Civic University Alliance. It was presented the recently starting project on Boosting Black Sea Blue Biz - 4BIZ as potential approach for developing a Regional Innovation Cluster for the Black Sea Region.
Commissioner Gabriel invited BSUN to play an active role in the implementation of Horizon Europe Mission - Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters.
The BSUN representatives have invited Commissioner Gabriel to participate in the Opening Ceremony of the BSUN 2022 Congress that will take place between 12 and 14 October 2022, at the University of Bucharest.
Prof. Karin MARKIDES, BSUN President and Prof. Eden MAMUT, BSUN Secretary General, had a meeting with Mrs. Amanda CROWFOOT, EUA Secretary General, at the premises of European University Association on July 11th, 2022
On July 11th, 2022, it has been organized a visit to the premises of the European University Association (EUA) and a meeting with Mrs. Amanda Crowfoot, EUA Secretary General.
The main concerns that have been defined in Yerevan were related to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the complex aspects of addressing issues as energy, water resources, food and Artificial Intelligence but later, after the 24th of February 2022, BSUN concentrated on the support of universities, professors and students from Ukraine and mainly of refugees.
Mrs. Crowfoot also presented the priorities of EUA, the EUA Strategic Plan and the EUA Operational Agenda for 2022. In this context, EUA developed different initiatives, including support actions for the universities of Ukraine, invitation for the Conference of Rectors from Ukraine to join EUA and support activities for the scholars from Ukraine.
At the same time, EUA initiated a position document on Ukraine, namely European University Association Statement on Ukraine.
The collaboration between EUA and BSUN has been developed on project base. As an example, in the last period, BSUN participated to the Erasmus+ funded NEWLEAD (Innovative Leadership and Change Management in Higher Education) project.
Prof. Markides presented also the collaboration activities that have been initiated by BSUN with the European University Initiative, particularly with EPICUR, with an emphasis on the involvement and the active role of universities in regional development as part of the global value chains of knowledge. The Universities have a global dimension and by the involvement in local and regional development, the universities are supporting the local development.
Prof. Mamut presented the joint initiative with the World Academy of Art and Science on supporting Psychotherapists and medical doctors from Ukraine on the topic of Trauma informed and Best Practice, in the support of the population in Ukraine.
At the same time, there were presented the plans for organizing the BSUN 2022 Congress and the BSUN Initiative for Relaunching the Dialogue and Cooperation in the Black Sea Region.
Mrs. Crowfoot presented the interest of EUA to support the activities and initiatives of BSUN and at the same time, she summarized the internal procedures that EUA is following in the process of establishment of some specific cooperation activities with EUA members, affiliated members and other international organizations.
Prof. Karin MARKIDES, BSUN President and Prof. Eden MAMUT, BSUN Secretary General, had a meeting with Mr. Marian-Jean MARINESCU, at the premises of the European Parliament on July 12th, 2022
The visit to the European Parliament was scheduled on the 12th of July 2022 and it consisted on meeting with Mr. Marian-Jean Marinescu, Member of the European Parliament, on behalf of European People's Party. Mr. Marinescu is collaborating for a long time with the Black Sea Universities Network (BSUN) and he developed different activities to facilitate the promotion of the proposals and initiatives coming from BSUN member universities in the European Parliament and the European Commission.
Prof. Karin Markides presented the very critical situation of the conflicts from the extended Black Sea Region that included the confrontations between Armenia and Azerbaijan and at present, the situation of the unprovoked aggression of Russia in Ukraine.
In this context, Prof. Eden Mamut presented the initiatives and the activities that have been carried out by BSUN to support the universities, professors and students from Ukraine and the refugees by organizing an office for their support in Bucharest and recently, large programs of assistance on Trauma informed activities for the persons in need from different regions in Ukraine and among the refugees.
Mr. Marinescu present the current context and priorities of the European Parliament and the European Commission and the possible impact that initiatives like the Green Deal and Fit for 55, will have on the economy of the European Union member states from the Black Sea Region, candidate countries and of the neighbouring partner countries.
Prof. Markides presented the results of the Conference that was organized in 2021 in Yerevan and the current activities for involving the universities as active players in promoting innovation, both at local and regional level.
Mr. Marinescu expressed his personal support for the initiatives of BSUN with a particular emphasis on the development of a Black Sea Regional Innovation Cluster, as a platform for supporting the initiatives of the European Commission for the Black Sea Region.
The parties have agreed to evaluate the possibilities of developing joint actions to promote the challenges for the Black Sea Region countries within the European Parliament and other European institutions.
Prof. Karin MARKIDES, BSUN President and Prof. Eden MAMUT, BSUN Secretary General, paid a visit to the European Research Council Headquarters on July 12th, 2022
On the 12th of July 2022 it has been organized the visit of the BSUN Delegation to the European Research Council (ERC) Headquarters in Brussels. The meeting was attended by Mr. Jose Labastida, Head of Unit at the European Research Council and Dr. Elena-Simona Toma.
Prof. Karin Markides presented the Black Sea Universities Network and the large number of talents in Scientific Research that are not able to find opportunities for developing a successful career in their home countries and many of them emigrate to Western Europe, developing outstanding research careers in different Western Europe and international research groups in universities.
Prof. Eden Mamut pointed on the commitment of BSUN to support the researchers from the BSUN member universities, to initiate and accomplish ambitious research projects and to be able to shift from the role of followers in Scientific Research to the very challenging role of discoverers.
Mr. Labastida underlined once more that ERC grants are dedicated to support individual researchers and Principal Investigators with their research teams and not institutions but, he recognized that there are countries from the Black Sea Region, from where there are not many researchers that have been granted with ERC grants.
In order to address this issue, ERC has developed several initiatives consisting on internships for researchers that could follow the activities carried out within the funded projects and mentoring activities where the experienced Principal Investigators are counselling and advising young researchers to prepare successful proposals.
Taking into account the BSUN 2022 Congress that is planned to be organized between 12 and 14 October, 2022, at the University of Bucharest, the parties have agreed to collaborate for using this opportunity and to promote the ERC Calls and instruments, initiatives and opportunities to encourage and to support researchers from BSUN member universities to prepare successful proposals.
Prof. Karin MARKIDES, BSUN President and Prof. Eden MAMUT, BSUN Secretary General, paid a visit to the European Innovation Council Headquarters on July 13th, 2022
The visit to the European Innovation Council (EIC) has been organized on the 13th of July 2022 and consisted of a meeting with Mr. Viorel Peca, Head of Unit - EIC Transition and Mr. Martin Lange, Deputy Head of Unit - EIC Pathfinder at the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA).
Prof. Karin Markides presented the current priorities of the BSUN member universities in the field of Innovation and the different models that have been developed as brokerage events, exploratory workshops and Open Innovation centers.
Mr. Peca presented the mission of the European Innovation Council (EIC), the EIC Transition Activities and the EIC’s Business Acceleration Services , while Mr. Lange gave an overview of the activities supported under the EIC Pathfinder programme .
The EIC is Europe’s flagship innovation programme to identify, develop and scale up breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations. Financial support is provided through three main funding schemes: the ‘EIC Pathfinder’ for advanced research on breakthrough / game-changing technologies; ‘EIC Transition’ for transforming research results into innovation opportunities; and the ‘EIC Accelerator’ for individual companies to develop and scale up breakthrough innovations with high risk and high impact. While the majority of EIC funding is awarded through open calls with no predefined thematic priorities, dedicated EIC Challenges also address specific technological and innovation breakthroughs, taking into account EU priorities for transitioning to a green, digital and healthy society. The 2022 Challenges include topics such a mid to long term and systems-integrated energy storage and carbon dioxide and nitrogen management and valorization.
The parties have agreed to collaborate in organizing Info Days for EIC Calls and to facilitate the participation of different EIC grantees to some of the events of BSUN. Other topics of discussion were the current support programs for Ukraine and the possibility for universities in Horizon Europe widening countries to join ongoing EIC Pathfinder projects via the Hop on Facility .