The Role of Life Science Universities in Transitioning to Climate Neutrality and Open Science is the main topic of the ICA Rectors and Deans Forum 2021

October 26, 2021
   The annual ICA Rectors and Deans Forum 2021 began on October 20, 2021 at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium.

    The Forum began with a meeting of the Board of the ICA Association chaired by the President of the Association, Rector Magnificus of Wageningen University and Research (WUR) Professor Arthur Mol. The council meeting was attended by 15 members representing different regions of Europe. NUBiP of Ukraine, as well as all other Eastern European universities were represented by Vice-Rector for Scientific and Pedagogical Work, International Activity and Development, Vadym Tkachuk, who this year completes his second term in office at the ICA Association.

   Session 1 was opened by Dean of Bioscience Engineering, KU Leuven, Jos Van Orshoven, who briefly presented the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. KU Leuven ranks first in Europe as an innovative university, fifth in the European Horizon grant program, and 70th in the world QS rankings.

    The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) is a Catholic research university in the city of Leuven, Belgium. It conducts teaching, research, and services in computer science, engineering, natural sciences, theology, humanities, medicine, law, canon law, business, and social sciences

    The university has more than 60 thousand students, of which 12.4 thousand are foreign students from more than 140 countries, 12 thousand employees, and more than 7 thousand researchers. The university has 16 faculties and implements 48 bachelor and 137 master programs. The research funding in 2020 amounted to 522 million euros. The number of Horizon projects is 514.


    The ICA Rectors and Deans Forum 2021 was devoted to the Role of Life Science Universities in Transitioning to Climate Neutrality and Open Science. This annual ICA Forum for Rectors, Deans and senior management of agricultural and life science universities in Europe aimed to provide these university decision makers from ICA's member universities with the opportunity to meet, to discuss current issues in the agricultural and life sciences and to exchange views on issues with relevant stakeholders in industry, government and NGOs.

    Among the participants were the representatives of the European Commission, well-known scientists from Wageningen University and Research (the Netherlands), University of Aberdeen (UK), French National Institute for Agricultural Research INRA and Syngenta Crop Protection company.

The delegates took back to their universities their reflections on:

• their university’s policy on research addressing the multiple dimensions of the bioeconomy to deliver outcomes to support the achievement of the EU Farm to Fork Strategy by 2030 and the need to reach climate neutrality by 2050
• the scope of their current degree programmes to address the multiple challenges of a sustainable bioeconomy
• their current strategic approach and implementation of open science in their institution

Olexander Labenko

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