The annual conference of the European Association of Research and Technology Organizations is currently underway in Luxembourg City on 27-28-29 April 2015. For the first time, the conference has been co-organized in association with the European Industrial Research Management Association. A key focus of the event is the issue of infrastructure sharing, an area in which Luxembourg is already active.
With the redesign of the national public research landscape, the imminent official opening of the "Cité des Sciences et de l'Innovation" in Belval, the future Luxembourgish Presidency of the European Union, and the Juncker Plan for investment in Europe through infrastructure projects and innovation, the time seemed right to affirm the commitment of the newly formed Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology to follow the lead of European Research and Technology Organizations (RTOs) and focus on collaboration and partnership with the private sector.
One of the main tasks of an RTO is to bridge the gap between academic research and the application of research results within the economic sector. And it is precisely here that LIST intends to position itself by developing scientific and technological skills and transferring them to companies through collaborative research partnerships. This large-scale conference organised by the European Association of RTOs (EARTO) provides an unmissable opportunity for LIST to position itself at European level, even more so since this year the conference is co-organised by EARTO's equivalent in the industrial sector, the European Industrial Research Management Association (EIRMA).
This conference is an opportunity for representatives of RTOs, industry and European institutions to take part in discussions on industrial strategy and research needs in order to come together in a joint effort to support European industry. The theme of this edition will be "Infrastructure and Resources Sharing between Industry & RTOs in Europe". Indeed, infrastructure plays a critical role in the interface between industry innovation processes and RTOs. The key questions the conference will pose are: What facilities, tools or services are needed in Europe to align the needs and contributions of industry and RTOs in order to deliver competitive results on the international stage? What are the respective roles of RTOs and industry in supporting smart specialisation in Europe and in the organisation of the delivery of key enabling technologies?
Luxembourg has already begun to reflect on its own research infrastructure. Two national initiatives have already been launched on the theme and focus on two areas: one concerns the establishment of a national platform for High Performance Computing and the other the creation of a Centre for Composite Materials.
The EARTO-EIRMA Conference 2015 is taking place from 27-29 April, 2015 and brings together more than 250 participants from 21 countries. Among them are more than forty industrial groups including Volvo, Schaeffler, Agfa, Boeing, Corning, SKF, Hitachi, Umicore, Air Liquide, Solvay, Delphi, IBM, John Deere, Goodyear, ABB, Rolls-Royce, Tarkett, and fifty RTOs. The programme features 35 renowned speakers, with Gabriel Crean, the CEO of LIST who will take office on May 1st, introducing the conference together with Marc Hansen, Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research, Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, the President of EARTO, Maria Khorsand (CEO of SP in Sweden) and the President of EIRMA, Carlos Härtel (CEO of GE Global Research Europe).