Dialog Science 2012
The first cross-border Days of Science, Dialog Science, took place from the 4 to the 26 October 2012. Numerous conferences in four cities along the Rhine transpired under the aegis of Professor Alain Beretz, former President of the University of Strasbourg and of EUCOR.
On 8 October the podium discussion for Days of Science opened under the theme “The Tri-National Metropolitan Area: Pioneer of Innovation in the European Research Area?”. The inaugural event provided the occasion for several renowned speakers to respond to this pressing question. While Octavi Quintana Trias (Director of the DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission) and Catherine Trautmann (member of the European Parliament, where she is a member of the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy, as well as Vice-President of the Communauté urbaine de Stasbourg) advocated a more European approach, Winfried Lieber (Head of the Hochschule Offenburg, member of the Board of Directors of Headmasters of Universities and Colleges in Baden-Württemberg, member of the Senate of the German Rector’s Conference) Clemens Nagel (Representative of Cross-Border Cooperation to the Governor of Rhineland-Palatinate) and Sophie Rohfritsch (Deputy in the National Assembly and former Vice President of the Council of Alsace, where she was a member of the Committee on Research, Innovation and Higher Education) advocated a more regional perspective. Octavi Quintana-Trias took the occasion to present “Horizon 2020”, the largest research and innovation program created and funded by the EU to date. Quintana-Trias outlined the many ways this program would benefit the scientific actors in the Upper Rhine Region. Catherine Trautmann called for closer cooperation, specifically based on the fact that although the need for research continues to grow, the resources available to satisfy that need are limited. Although she described the situation as difficult, she stressed that the field of research remains a high priority of the European Union.
Following Catherine Trautmann, the renowned journalist and non-fiction author Franz Alt gave a lecture entitled “Challenges and Opportunities Facing Energy Research in the Upper Rhine Region”, in which he directed attention to renewable energies.
Over the course of the following days, many other scientific actors and researchers were invited to have discussions on the subject of “Economic Development Through Innovation and Creativity: Imagining Cross-Border Research Projects in the Upper Rhine Region”. Participants discussed the meaning and concept, of innovation in the region as well as ways to foster cross-border projects. The immense potential and diversity of cross-border cooperation in the region could be seen not only through the presented studies, but also the many workshops, scientific conferences and project presentations.