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The first In-person Circular Economy Scientific Meeting

The first In-person Circular Economy Scientific Meeting

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On Thursday, the 7th July 2021, representatives of the thematic area- Circular Economy- met inside a scientific committee held at West University of Timișoara, within one of the work packages of UNITA-Universitas Montium. This work package is dedicated to research and innovation aiming to reduce development inequalities between central and peripheral regions through the sustainable development of rural and mountain areas.

We remind you that the European Alliance UNITA brings together 6 European universities: West University From Timișoara (Romania), Università Degli Studi di Torino (Italy), Université de Pau et des pays de L’Adour (France), Université Savoie Mont Blanc (France), Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain), Universidade Beira Interior (Portugal).

Solutions for the sustainable development of rural and mountain areas in the regions represented by the region’s six universities cover three thematic areas: circular economy, renewable energies, and cultural heritage. To achieve its ultimate objective, the task forces of the work package are subsumed to fulfill 3 main actions: focusing research on territories; connecting research with educational programs, and regionally activating the territories.

During the first task, all the concerns regarding the three areas of interest were mapped out in a cartography which has been carried out at an individual level of each of UNITA’s  six universities.

The event from the 7th of July was intended to establish an operational model of the Research and Innovation hub in the circular economy area, with the ultimate goal that partners from Pau and Chambery will organize similar events in the areas of cultural heritage and renewable energy during July 2021.

The meeting was attended by the physical presence of representatives of 4 of the 6 partner universities:

Prof. Carole HARITCHABALET -Université de Pau et des pays de L’Adour, Assoc. Prof. Jose Maria FRAILE – Universidad de Zaragoza, Assoc. Prof. Grégory CHATEL -Université Savoie Mont Blanc, Professor Catalina Ancuta and Professor Gabriela Mircea- West University of Timișoara.

The other two higher education institutions in the consortium were represented online as follows: Università degli Studi di Turin – Prof. Luca Cocolin, Prof. Giancarlo CRAVOTTO, Universidade Beira Interior — Prof. Ana Paula DUARTE, Assistant Prof. Tania LIMA, researcher Annabel FERNANDES, Ricardo Gouveia RODRIGUES, Sónia Cristina Almeida NEVES .

The agenda included panels dedicated to addressing circular economy concerns

from all UNITA universities, the specificity of the stakeholders in the circular economy in Timișoara and other regions, discussion of the operational model of the Research and Innovation hub, and planning the implementation seminar in October dedicated to the researchers in the field of interest.

The conclusions of the meeting are very useful for the continuity of our work inside UNITA and not only. 

Thus, great potential has emerged in terms of sharing best practices, interests and results at the university level ; also the stakeholders have highlighted the need and usefulness of a Research and Innovation Hub concerning the circular economy. The Hub will bring together researchers and stakeholders from the circular economy area, in order to facilitate dialog, stimulate the transfer of research results to them and ensure the definition of related educational programs. The debates showed that the hub will be structured to enable interaction between researchers and beneficiaries in the region, but also connections with socio-economic actors from the whole consortium.

The seminar to be held in Zaragoza in October 2021 will meet dozens of researchers from the circular economy areas in the six universities of the European alliance UNITA. They will be part of various sub-groups organized around common themes in the area of the circular economy, as identified in the process of mapping the interests of Research in the UNITA consortium, held this spring. 

Following the meeting in Timișoara, our partners will continue, in Zaragoza, to develop the framework and content of the activities that will take place in UNITA’s Research and Innovation Hub dedicated to Circular Economy.


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