NordForsk key participant at ESOF in July

NordForsk key participant at ESOF in July

NordForsk will have a strong presence at this year’s European Science Open Forum (ESOF2012), to be held in Dublin on 11-15 July. Nordic cooperation will be in the spotlight as NordForsk hosts three sessions in the Science Programme and one in the Science-2-Business Programme, leads two panel discussions and mans a stand in the exhibition area. The well-known BBC journalist Quentin Cooper will serve as moderator for NordForsk’s sessions, which this year cover a wide range of topics from education research, eScience, nutrition and health, to welfare and ageing, adaptation to climate change and “open innovation”.

How will Europe address the challenge of an ageing population?

It is common knowledge that an ageing population is posing difficulties for large parts of Europe. In Germany, more than 20 per cent of the population is over the age of 65. From 2012, the proportion of the working population will decline, while the proportion of people over 60 will rise by two million each year. This situation creates both challenges and opportunities for Europe, and this is why the EU has declared 2012 as the European Year for Active Ageing. In this context, the session on ageing hosted by NordForsk, “Ageing in Europe: Abyss or opportunity?”, will contribute to a highly relevant debate. Professor Jaanus Harro, Professor Mikael Fogelholm and Professor David Nut will introduce a discussion of how basic research in various areas can serve as the basis for policy formulation in the health and welfare sector and how advancements in research can benefit society as it deals with ageing in Europe.

How can brain research help to improve teaching in the schools?

Education and learning is a priority in Europe 2020, the EU’s growth strategy for the coming decade. One objective is to reduce the number of pupils who drop out of school and increase the number of those who complete their education. Earlier this year, NordForsk launched the thematic programme “Education for Tomorrow”, aimed at generating new knowledge about the Nordic educational system. At the ESOF in Dublin, Nordic and European researchers will discuss how brain research can help to maximise learning and thus create a more inclusive learning process adapted to the individual pupil.

eScience: The third pillar of scientific investigation

Many consider eScience to be a significant development in research. eScience makes it possible to model complex phenomena and creates new opportunities to interpret and process large amounts of data. The Nordic countries are at the forefront of eScience development, and at the ESOF NordForsk will present and debate the challenges and opportunities in this field. The seminar will consist of a panel discussion with recognised researchers and resource persons in eScience. The topics to be addressed include the ethical considerations surrounding the use of personal health information in cross-disciplinary research projects. In addition to Professor Sverker Holmgren of NordForsk, several internationally renowned researchers from various countries in different parts of the world will take part in the discussion.

From science to business: How can productive cooperation between research and business be ensured?

“Open innovation” is a term coined by Henry Chesbrough in his book “Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology”. The term refers to a situation in which companies utilise a variety of sources for their innovation activities, both internally within the company and externally from other areas such as the research sector. At NordForsk’s session, leading experts in the field will discuss what the key conditions are for ensuring a good “open innovation” process. As one example of this, NordForsk will present the NORD-STAR project, a Nordic Centre of Excellence involving cooperation between the insurance industry and Nordic climate researchers.

In addition to the seminars, NordForsk will have a large stand located in the middle of the exhibition area where many of NordForsk’s programmes will be presented and discussed. Come and visit us at stand no. 24!


Tekst: Marius Hagen