Insights from the MERID Regional Event 2016

Insights from the MERID Regional Event 2016

On Thursday 12th of May 2016, EMUNI held an Annual Conference 2016 entitled, Migration, Diaspora and Brain Circulation – Drivers for EU-Mediterranean Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation’ in close partnership with the MERID, Horizon 2020 and project Regional Event at ESADE Business & Law School in Barcelona, Spain.

Highly respected keynote speakers representing both European level institutions and academia, like Refaat Chaabouni, the Former Minister of Higher education in Tunisia, Jonathan Wareham, the Dean of Faculty and Research of ESADE Business & Law School, Abdelhamid El-Zoheiry, President of the Euro-Mediterranean University, Cristina Maria Russo, Director for International Cooperation, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission and Tom Mc Grath, European External Action Service shared their insights on the role of diaspora in intercultural dialogue, trust-building and development cooperation.
The event was dedicated to address the challenges of migration and diaspora in light of regional science and innovation. The second part highlighted the importance of energy and water as a key societal challenges and key opportunities for cooperation in science, technology and innovation. Additionally, the speakers participated in a fruitful session paying particular attention to brain circulation and diaspora.
The main outputs of the Conference:

  • Shared an overview of the cutting-edge research that was carried out in the respective MERID members of consortia countries in thematic areas of high socio-economic relevance;
  • Identified the potential cooperation of mutual interests;
  • Provided practical information for the STI cooperation that will commence a policy dialogue for the Practical Framework for Enhancing STI Enabling Factors.

As both countries Iran and Iraq are relatively new players in the regional discussions, particular attention was paid during the event on research developments in these two countries. It is expected that this event will put a strong background for formal research cooperation in the future with Iran and Iraq.
Europe for Business Ltd representative Leonardo Piccinetti participated at the Conference as being a member of consortia of the MERID project.
The MERID is a Horizon 2020 project that started in January 2015. It is a perfect example of Science Diplomacy approach looking from the practical point of view. The main aim of the project is to boost existing collaboration frameworks between the EU and Middle Eastern countries through the creation of both new channels and links that would enhance the Research and Innovation in the long-term perspective.
More information about the MERID project can be found here.