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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

28 Apr 2015

EUA Conference addresses research impact on society

The Europan Universities Association (EUA) held its annual conference in Antwerp last week. Around 400 university leaders met to discuss "European Universities in Research and Innovation: People, Policies and Partnerships", addressing new opportunities for universities to increase their research capacity and impact on society.

When opening the conference, Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said he wanted to work closely with EUA and ensure that the university sector’s concerns were heard and taken into consideration. Calling himself a “torchbearer of fundamental science”, Mr. Moedas stressed the need for universities to maintain academic leadership in a world driven by new digital technologies; the need for shorter visa applications to attract more talent from third countries to Europe; as well as the need for more women in research and as rectors of Europe’s universities.

Among the issues addressed by the conference were the following:
  • the importance of doctoral education and training for the production of cutting-edge scientific knowledge;
  • how partnerships between universities and stakeholders can foster competitiveness;
  • the role of and benefits of science to society in connection with societal challenges (e.g. water environments, energy efficiency, health and medicine);
  • the role of universities in creating a low-carbon society, in connection with the European Union’s priority work area of the "Energy Union’", and how universities can lead the way towards a sustainable energy system (UNI-SET project).
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