80 for­eign stu­dents and pro­fes­sion­als in Gozo to tackle cli­mate change

The Malta Business Weekly - - NEWS -

En­trepreneurs and in­sti­tu­tions who have been fund­ing eco-ini­tia­tives have all of a sud­den re­alised that no tan­gi­ble re­sults have been achieved through re­search alone and that only the pro­vi­sion of self­sus­tain­able so­lu­tions and tan­gi­ble ini­tia­tives should be sought. This is the spirit be­hind Cli­mate-KIC’s week­long event cur­rently be­ing held in Gozo.

Eighty top stu­dents from schools and uni­ver­si­ties from around Europe are con­ven­ing in Gozo to dis­cuss cli­mate change and to pro­pose tan­gi­ble ideas and pro­pos­als on how to cre­ate projects that are sus­tain­able and that can lead to tan­gi­ble so­lu­tions to our cur­rent lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment prob­lems.

This event in Gozo is the cul­mi­na­tion of The Jour­ney, the world’s largest cli­mate innovation sum­mer school where stu­dents and pro­fes­sion­als from all over the world come to­gether for an in­ten­sive, innovation and en­trepreneur­ship pro­gramme hosted by top Euro­pean uni­ver­si­ties. Af­ter the full-time sum­mer pro­gramme, the stu­dents emerge with the tools to be­come in­no­va­tive en­trepreneurs and the drive to take bold steps in the fight against cli­mate change.

This year The Jour­ney saw 440 stu­dents visit a to­tal of 23 ci­ties across Europe to par­tic­i­pate in var­i­ous “jour­neys”. In fact, Jour­ney 9 and Jour­ney 10 which started on 31 July will cul­mi­nate dur­ing this week in Gozo, dur­ing which, 80 fi­nal­ists work in 18 dif­fer­ent teams to de­velop and pitch their re­spec­tive ideas and pro­pos­als. The win­ning idea will be given the op­por­tu­nity to seek fur­ther fund­ing from Cli­mate-KIC pro­grammes.

Gonce Kara Demir, Project man­ager for the Cli­mate-KIC pro­gramme at Paragon Europe said “it is very ev­i­dent, from in­dus­try achieve­ments and progress that out there, to­day, there are many great ideas that await the op­por­tu­nity to be put into ac­tion. We at Paragon Europe, as the lo­cal part­ners of Cli­mate-KIC, are de­lighted to act as pro­tag­o­nists in con­stantly ad­dress­ing the global is­sue of cli­mate change by fund­ing re­search and de­vel­op­ment projects. Such pro­grammes and projects not only help us ad­dress this global prob­lem but it puts the spot­light on the ur­gency we are fac­ing and in­duces peo­ple to be con­scious, to think of so­lu­tions and to en­cour­age them to take ac­tion”.

Malta, through Paragon Europe, of­fi­cially joined the Cli­mate-KIC com­mu­nity in 2016 to work with the net­work as part of the Cli­mateKIC’s Re­gional Innovation Scheme. Cli­mate-KIC is sup­ported by the Euro­pean In­sti­tute of Innovation and Tech­nol­ogy, a body of the EU whose mis­sion is to cre­ate sus­tain­able growth.

Na­dia Theuma, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec- tor of Paragon Europe said: “We are proud to be bring­ing this amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity to Malta. Cli­mate-KIC is Europe’s lead­ing open innovation net­work driv­ing cli­mate ac­tion by bring­ing to­gether, in­spir­ing and em­pow­er­ing a dy­namic com­mu­nity to build a zero-car­bon econ­omy and cli­matere­silient so­ci­ety. Its com­mu­nity in­cludes over 200 part­ners from busi­ness, higher ed­u­ca­tion and re­search, pub­lic en­ti­ties, as well as re­gional pol­icy-mak­ers. All this is in line with Paragon Europe’s com­mit­ment to play an ac­tive role to spur innovation in Europe.”

Over the past months, Paragon Europe has been guid­ing a lo­cal con­sor­tium based on the knowl­edge tri­an­gle of busi­ness, re­search and higher ed­u­ca­tion, in­volv­ing the Lo­cal Coun­cil’s As­so­ci­a­tion and the Malta Life Sciences Park. As a tran­si­tion re­gion, Malta can fast-track its com­mit­ment to the low-car­bon agenda thanks to Cli­mate-KIC’s ini­tia­tives.

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