The EUSDR got together academics from universities of the Danube Region, Regional Development agencies and EU experts. During two intense days the matters were addressed to enhancing participation of universities and scientific-research development in the EUSDR, promoting Smart Specialization strategies (S3), discussing best practices of university management and international cooperation networks. There was also a meeting with regional authorities concerning implementing of S3.
The key task of the conference was to activate universities for participating in EUSDR by creating the synergy of 11 PAs and to make the impact on various spheres of activities within the Danube Strategy. The importance as such was underlined by Michael Ralph from DG Regio.
Jaroslava Szüdi from the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Slovak Republic (one of Priority Area 7 Coordinators) introduced via virtual participation the mission of the Priority Area 7 and highlighted the role of the universities and their importnace for the Strategy. The presentation offered also the general overview of the PA - its main targets, projects and future opportunities for cooperation.
Presentation of Smart Specialization strategy was mainly focused on practical instruments and tasks for universities, highlighting the importance of research commercialization, increasing innovation potential and investment attraction.
Anette Koester, the expert from Wurzburg University, gave exposure on building an effective work on different levels of university structure for improving university management. There were prioritized a forming of university strategy, concentration on main objectives in research and teaching, appropriate organizational structure and fostering of management competences.
It was discussed the strengthening of international cooperation in the frameworks of EUSDR. This time the focus was made on of relevant networks, instruments and projects in EUSDR as well as clarification of stepped joining procedures. Sebastian Shaffer from Danube Rectors Conference presented the network, its relevant projects and application process.
The international conference "The role and opportunities for universities in the European Strategy for the Danube Region" was initiated by the Ukrainian Institute for International Politics in partnership with the Ministry for Regional Development and the Ministry of Education supported by Hanns Seidel Foundation in Ukraine.