Round table discussion ”Balkan synergy for boosting Earth Observation capacities in the cross border area” Saturday 18th of April 2015
On Saturday 18 April 2015, InterBalkan Environment Center (i-BEC) hosted in Thessaloniki a roundtable discussion entitled “Balkan synergy for boosting Earth Observation capacities in the cross border area” with guest of honour Mr. Hoyt B. Yee, U.S.A. Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Euroasian Affairs. In the Round tabel there were participants from the regional government, Universities, as well as Consulate attachee from all teh Belkan countries and the U.S.A
The following institutions were invited:
(i) Region of Central Macedonia, (ii) Region Division of Kavala, (iii) Consulate General of the United States, (iv) Consulate General of the Albania, (v)Consulate General of the Bulgaria, (vi) Consulate General of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, (vii) INTERREG IV Managing Authority of European Territorial Cooperation Programmes, (viii) Municipality of Thessaloniki, (ix) Technical Chambers of Greece-Section of Central Macedonia, (x) Hellenic Technology Clusters Initiative “Corallia”, (xi) Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, (xii) Hydrobiological Institute – Ohrid and (xiii) St. Clement of Ohrid University of Bitola.
During this discussion, the participants exchanged opinions on a wide range of issues regarding environmental management applications such as geo-databases, decision support tools and early warning systems, in order to create cooperation networks and promote knowledge transfer from research institutions to end users between the Balkan countries.
Mr. Yee expressed his gratitude to Professor Zalidis for organizing a very fruitful meeting concerning Balkan Region and focused on three major points that came out from this important gathering: He pointed out that it was clearly shown by the presentation of Professor Zalidis that Balkans are not a “war zone” anymore, instead are a region that has prospects for cooperation and development. Secondly, he emphasized that today the concept of boundaries as barriers that separate countries and people, no longer applies to the Balkans, since now the transboundary region is transformed to a focal point and driver for cooperation and a source of innovation. Last but not least, with the help of i-BEC, the popular notion of aloft science is transformed to science for the service of the people and being beneficial to the commercial sector, by adding great service and added value to products.
The meeting ended with Mr. Yee congratulating i-BEC, through its scientific coordinator Prof. Zalidis, as a flagship for innovation and scientific cooperation in the Balkans and expressed confidence for strengthening the transboudary relationships through the establishment of a ‘ center of excellence’ based on i-BEC’s successful example.
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