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In the face of a pandemic, the Green Deal becomes even more important

 

Yesterday, more than 200 researchers, innovators and policymakers discussed the post-pandemic recovery of the European economy based on the EU Green Deal and green technologies in an webinar “Post-COVID Green Deal Technology-Powered Recovery in Europe”.

How will COVID-19 affect the European Green Deal? What will be the process of post-pandemic recovery in the European Union? Will it be based on scientific knowledge and technological innovation? These and other topical issues were discussed by the participants of the remote seminar and guest speakers: Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius, President of the European  Association of Research and Technology Organizations (EARTO) and VTT Technical Research Center in Finland prof. Antti Vasara, Member of the Management Boards of EARTO and RTO Lithuania, Director of the Center for Physical Sciences and Technology (FTMC) prof. Gintaras Valušis.

At the event commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius shared thoughts that green technologies are at the heart of the solutions we currently need. They help us lower emissions, while creating high-tech production and employment in Europe and strengthening strategic autonomy: “Later on this year we will launch Green Deal call under the Horizon. It will be a large call with a volume of around 900 million targeting practical results, like demonstration project over the next few years”.

In his opinion, it is important to make investments which would allow not to bounce back to old normal, but to bounce forward to better future. Because of that, research and innovation should be based on the needs of society: “in the future we need to ensure that public money invested in research and innovation serves the interest of general population even if there are no short term profits”.

The European Commissioner was endorsed by EARTO President A. Vasara. In his speech, he mentioned the need to exploit the potential of research and technology to innovate and improve the quality of life and strengthen economic competitiveness of region.

Asked about Smart Specialization, Vasara said that small countries must discover and develop their own unique competencies and at the same time respond to pan-European initiatives such as the Green Deal. The President of EARTO also called attention to the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to climate change, and that countries and institutions must work actively together to address the challenges ahead.

Based on his experience, FTMC Director G. Valušis mentioned the inter-institutional joint research program initiated by the members of RTO Lithuania and the strengthening of cooperation with the countries of the Baltic Sea region – Scandinavia, Poland, Germany.

In discussions on the importance of high added value of science and technology innovations for national economies, G. Valušis pointed out that, for example, the Lithuanian laser sector in the face of the previous crisis has shown that it is much more resilient to economic shocks than many other economic sectors.

The webinar is organised jointly by Research and Technology Organisation Association Lithuania (RTO Lithuania) and The Lithuanian Research Development and Innovation Liaison Office in Brussels (LINO). The whole webinar can be seen here: https://youtu.be/BLCDk9xeopk.

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