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TWAS Newsletter
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TWAS joins Trieste science agreement

TWAS joins Trieste science agreement

A new agreement endorsed in the Trieste city hall will strengthen cohesion and cooperative activities by 18 research centers that make their home in one of Europe's most influential science capitals.

Trieste offers enormous scientific opportunities and technological know-how, and should hold a leadership position in Europe as an international hub for scientific research and higher education, provided that its scientific institutions can continue to build cooperative ventures.  

To this purpose, representatives from 18 research centers*, universities and other scientific bodies – including TWAS – on 14 June endorsed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at encouraging even more coordinated actions and long-term cooperation in the Trieste System of scientific institutions.

The MoU was signed in the City Hall of Trieste in the presence of Angela Brandi, town councillor with mandate for education, schools, universities and research. TWAS Executive Director Mohamed Hassan was represented at the event by Edward W. Lempinen, the Academy's public information officer.

"Trieste is one of the richest European hubs in terms of scientific expertise and opportunities," said Brandi. "For this reason, we should commit to become an international attractor for students and high-level scientists. Their presence would bring clear benefits to our territory, which is already renowned for historical, geographical and environmental reasons."

"Among the thousands of researchers and students in the TWAS community worldwide, Trieste and Italy are synonymous with scientific excellence in developing countries," Hassan said. "Over more than three decades, TWAS has done so much to advance science in the developing world, and to build bridges between North and South. We look forward to continued important work with our friends and colleagues here to address scientific challenges and to engage with policymakers and the public in this vital region."

TWAS has always been a close partner in the city's Science System as well as in other dissemination initiatives. The Academy has actively participated in outreach initiatives such as "La notte dei ricercatori" (2011), a European event that used to take place simultaneously in several European cities.

And in recent years TWAS has been a key partner during the international event Trieste Next, bringing to Trieste high-level scientists who offered wide-angle perspectives on hot topics such as biotechnology and climate change.

The MoU extends and updates a previous cooperation agreement, and will be in effect for five years. Among the goals it lists, a prominent position is taken by the need to harmonize requests from entrepreneurs and the business world with science education and training activities, as well as providing citizens with innovative facilities and services.

In the frame of the accord, the partners are encouraged to establish reciprocal collaborations, to join in mutual consultation, to endorse ad hoc agreements and to organize promotional events aimed at involving non-experts in the scientific endeavour. The goal of giving young students and PhDs strong education and training is also a major focus of the agreement.

Other key points in the MoU are:
•    translating research outcomes into opportunities for economic development;
•    promoting innovation stemming from scientific research among entrepreneurs and businessmen;
•    sharing strategies to improve reception and hosting of national and international students and researchers;
•    boosting education and research activities at large;
•    promoting science communication and dissemination; and
•    promoting the Trieste System and its accomplishments both at the national and international level.

"This document proofs that the municipality of Trieste, the University of Trieste, all the institutes and research centers located here are working synergistically and in cooperation," Brandi concluded. "We'd like to highlight these qualities worldwide and make knowledge a local asset. Knowledge must be a pillar for Trieste, and Trieste must serve knowledge."

Cristina Serra


*The following representatives from local institutions have endorsed the MoU: Sergio Paoletti, the president of AREA Science Park; Diego Bravar, on behalf of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Chamber of Commerce; Gianfranco Facco Bonetti, the president of the United World College of the Adriatic Onlus; Roberto Turrin, the director of the Conservatorio di Musica “Giuseppe Tartini”; Gianfranco Paulatto the vice-president of CBM S.C.R.L. (Consortium for the Center of Molecular Biomedicine); Mauro Zambelli on behalf of Elettra  Sincrotrone Trieste S.C.p.A.; Stefano Fantoni, the president of FIT (International Foundation for the Advancement and Freedom of Science); Mauro Giacca, the president of ICGEB Trieste (International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology -Trieste); Sandro Scandolo on behalf of ICTP (The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics); Stefano Borgani, the director of INAF-OATs National Institute of Astrophysics - Astronomical Observatory of Trieste; Rinaldo Rui, the director of INFN National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Trieste Section; Mario Bucher, the president of Laboratorio dell’Immaginario Scientifico; Vladimir Nanut, the dean of MIB School of Management; Maria Cristina Pedicchio, the president of the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics – OGS; Stefano Ruffo, the director of SISSA (International School for Advanced Studies); Stefano Pace, the superintendent of Teatro Verdi Trieste - Fondazione Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi; Edward W. Lempinen on behalf of TWAS – The World Academy of Sciences; and Maurizio Fermeglia, the rector of Trieste University.