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Climate change, IKnowFood and a new network in Brussels

Climate change, IKnowFood and a new network in Brussels

We held the first event of our White Rose series of seminars on the 11th October in the European Parliament. The meeting was entitled “Sustainable solutions for Europe: Meeting the challenges of air quality and climate” and as speakers for the event, we had three eminent scientists from the three universities: Prof. Piers Forster from the Priestley International Centre for Climate, University of Leeds, Dr. Lisa Emberson from the Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York and Prof. Colin Osborne from the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures. The European Parliament event was hosted by Amjad Bashir, MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber and was moderated by Ian Duncan, MEP for Scotland and ENVI rapporteur of the EU-ETS iv, and the seminar in the afternoon was hosted by Ulf Björnholm, UN Environment Programme. The meeting report, together with the presentations, can be found here.

The office had its first university staff member to use the meeting room on the 25th October. Prof. Bob Doherty, University of York held a meeting with potential collaborators to discuss his interdisciplinary research programme IKnowFood and potential collaboration opportunities. The meeting room can seat up to 26 people around a table and has a projector, screen, laptop, wifi and free tea and coffee. Lunch can also be ordered to the room, or there are numerous restaurants and cafes within walking distance. If you would like to book this free meeting room, please contact me.

Brussels has many pan-European associations, networks and groups, some more formal than others, representing all sorts of different sectors, such as forestry ownership to internet service providers. When I started at the White Rose Brussels Office, I was surprised to find that there wasn’t a network for university offices based in Brussels. There was the European University Association (EUA), representing universities from 47 European countries, there was the Ambiorix Group of EARMA, representing EU funding managers at European universities, but nothing for university liaison offices based in Brussels, or with a strong interest in Brussels activities. So with the help of my graduate trainee, Naomi Popple, we started to contact other university offices in Brussels asking if they would be interested in setting up a network. The response was a resounding “Yes!” and we held our first meeting on the 13th September. We have about 35 offices interested in the network, from over 12 countries. At the moment, we are focused on learning more about each of our offices and what we do in Brussels, but in the future we may organise a joint event in Brussels, so watch this space!

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