The official inauguration of the European coordination office for the cooperation between Europe and Asia in Science, Technology and Innovation, ASEM – Cooperation Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation, based in Athens and hosted by PRAXI Network / Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas, was announced during the “2nd ASEM seminar on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development”, which was held on Monday, October 24, in Athens, Greece. The event was organized by PRAXI Network and the Beijing Municipal Commission for Science and Technology (BMCST), under the auspices of the Sector for Research and Innovation of the Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Secretariat for Research and Technology. ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) is an intergovernmental forum for dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe which fosters political dialogue, reinforces economic cooperation and promotes collaboration in other areas of mutual interest.
The event was honoured to have the Greek Alternate Minister for Research and Innovation, Prof. Costas Fotakis, and the Secretary General of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Xu Jianpei, addressing the welcome speeches. “Today’s event, with the establishment of the ASEM node in Athens in cooperation with BMCST, marks the strategic decision of the Greek government to render Greece a supportive pole for Euro-Asian Cooperation in Science and Technology. It should be noted that the multilateral cooperations within the ASEM framework, will further enhance the advancement of the bilateral relations between Greece and Southeast Asian countries”, stated Prof. Fotakis. Additionally, he refered to a framework of joint initiatives of mutual interest, which were discussed with the Chinese delegation and the General Secretary of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Xu Jianpei, such as the establishment of a research center-observatory to collect seismic and volcanic activity data and the establishment of a science and technology park in Attica in order to facilitate technology transfer between Greek and Chinese enterprises and research institutions.
“The launch of the European coordination office of the ASEM-CCSTI signals an important step towards theexploitation of complementary strategies, opportunities and strengths, contributing thus substantially to effectively addressing common challenges”, highlighted Mr. Panagiotis Karniouras, coordinator of PRAXI Network. In particular, “the European hub will act as a liasion between European and Asian stakeholders in order to contribute to the development of dialogue and strengthening the links between industry and research,” said Mr. Epaminondas Christofilopoulos, Head of International Cooperation at PRAXI Network. On his part, Mr. Zhu Shilong, Deputy Director General Director of Beijing Municipal Commission for Science and Technology, referred to the need for innovation and development beyond borders for win – win relationships, consistent to the ASEM basic philosophy.
The event hosted several high – level speakers from Greece and abroad, addressing issues such as potential key cooperation areas for unlocking sustainable growth in the ASEM countries as well as key science and technology collaboration initiatives from both Europe and Asia.
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