News and Views

International summit in Cork to develop declaration on joint European Research Area

31 Mar 2022
Some of the delegates who attended this week's European Strategy Forum on Engaged Research. Photo: Tomas Tyner/UCC

A delegation of over 60 city, municipal, community, student, research and university leaders from across Europe gathered in Cork this week to discuss agreeing a joint declaration on a collaborative approach to tackling issues such as inclusion, societal transformation and sustainability.

The European Strategy Forum on Engaged Research, hosted by University College Cork, seeks to further the work carried out by an alliance of eight European post‐Industrial cities and their Universities.

The ‘Engaged Research’ Strategy Forum advances pioneering work being-done by the UNIC European University alliance to better connect research, policy and community to address future societal challenges. The approach puts the involvement of citizens, civil society and public/cities authorities at the heart of research and innovation activities. Following a virtual gathering in January earlier this year, the in-person session in Cork begins a consultative process for co-producing a Joint Declaration on Engaged Research across UNIC Universities and City Stakeholders.

Professor John Cryan, VP of Research and Innovation at UCC says:

“This work on developing engaged research contributes to the European Research Area (ERA) ambition to create a single, borderless area for research, innovation and technology across the EU. Unlocking that potential is key to tackling societal challenges and is central to UCC’s plans going forward”.

Ronan Gingles, EU Affairs Coordinator, Cork City Council says:

“From the perspective of cities like Cork, there is a need to harness the practical potential of Europe’s research and innovation capacity to responsively help us address the challenges and opportunities we face on the ground. UNIC is providing opportunities around a common aspiration for urban centres to ensure inclusive and sustainable development, for future generations while actively involving communities in co-developing solutions.”

Dr Jean Van Sinderen-Law, UCC UNIC Director says:

“The development of a Joint Declaration for Engaged Research will be a critical component and key policy milestone to ensure societal needs and interests stay to the fore.

"Alongside this work a common strategy and supportive systems are being developed to involve and engage citizens, civil society, public & city authorities and academia in collaborative research and innovation initiatives."

Dr Martin Galvin, Head of Civic and Community Engagement at UCC says,

“UCC is recognised internationally for its work as a civically engaged university. This is an exciting and ambitious body of work with our European partners to mainstream effective community-research partnerships and practices and to develop new infrastructure and processes to support them."

Delegates come from Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Turkey, Croatia and Finland.

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF