Exploring Collaborative Avenues at the First Regional Meeting of Science-related UNESCO Centers and Chairs for South-East Europe and the Mediterranean

Venice, October 26-28, 2023


Ioana Spanache

11/1/20221 min read

In a vibrant meeting of minds, the First Regional Meeting of UNESCO Science Chairs and Centers for South East Europe and the Mediterranean took place from October 26th to 28th in the picturesque city of Venice. Dr. Ioana Spanache, a Research Assessment Expert, represented the UNESCO Chair for Science and Innovation Policy from SNSPA. The event was an invaluable opportunity for representatives from 26 centers, chairs, and UNESCO networks across the region to discuss common interests and potential collaborations.

The Essence of Discourse

Fueled by the 'world cafe' model, the event fostered intense discussions and brainstorming sessions. Participants delved into topics by identifying potential areas for cooperation and outlining actionable steps that UNESCO could take to bolster collaboration. Among the salient points discussed were the promotion of Open Science principles, citizen engagement in scientific endeavors, thematic working groups to address pressing concerns like climate change and AI, and the creation of a searchable platform on the UNESCO website to facilitate partnership discovery.

Conclusive Declarations

The meeting culminated with the crafting of a Declaration encapsulating the recommendations of all participants. These insights will be presented at an upcoming anniversary event in Paris on November 3rd and 4th. While the complete Declaration is yet to be unveiled, a sneak peek into its core concepts reveals a profound commitment to advancing the ethos of science, innovation, and cooperation.

Local Actions with Global Implications

Dr. Ioana Spanache shared her insights on local actions to strengthen the UNESCO Chair's impact and new ideas emerged for new collaborative projects with like-minded UNESCO Chairs and Centers in Slovenia, Greece, Brazil, and the Netherlands. Some of the discussed proposals referred to setting up thematic working groups focusing on Open Science and Research Assessment. Moreover, the UNESCO Chair's dedication to Open Access publications, amplified online visibility, and empowering future researchers through targeted courses were also highlighted.