On 17 and 18 March 2022, the EU - Georgia Conference “Georgia’s Full Engagement with Horizon Europe“ was held in Kutaisi, Georgia at the premises of the Kutaisi International University. The event, which celebrates the launch of the Horizon Europe Programme in Georgia, following the signature of the Association Agreement on 7 December 2021, was organized by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, the Horizon Europe National Office of Georgia, the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia and the Kutaisi International University in close collaboration with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation.
The Horizon Europe launch event brought together a wide variety of actors from the Georgian national research and innovation system: researchers, small and medium-sized enterprises, start-ups, scientific associations, non-governmental organizations linked to scientific activities, and institutional partners. Due to current Covid-19 measures in Georgia, the conference was organised in a hybrid format, with 50 participants present at the event and approximately 250 participants online.
The conference has been hosted by the Kutaisi International University, where a Hadron therapy centre will be established, offering researchers the possibility to perform a scientific research in medical and nuclear physics. The Centre will host two cyclotrons, which are used for cancer treatment and research in nuclear physics.
The event was opened by a video message from Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, followed by the opening speeches of Dr. Mikheil Chkhenkeli, Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, His Excellency Mr. Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia, Ms. Signe Ratso, Deputy Director-General, DG R&I, European Commission, Dr. Alexander Tevzadze, Rector of Kutaisi International University and the Mayor of the city of Kutaisi, Ioseb Khakhaleishvili.
Ms. Signe Ratso, the Horizon Europe Chief Negotiator and Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, underlined in her keynote speech that the association to Horizon Europe will enable Georgian researchers and innovators to develop exciting and ambitious new research ties and collaborations with researchers and innovators throughout the EU and around the world. Ms. Ratso also highlighted that under the new Horizon Europe programme we will not only experience even better numbers in terms of Georgia’s participation, but also a greater and more successful integration of Georgia in the European Research Area.
The Horizon Europe launch event in Georgia was also the perfect occasion to celebrate the inauguration of two new Horizon Europe Regional Grant Offices, respectively located in the Kutaisi International University and in the Kutaisi Akaki Tsereteli State University. Ms. Ratso participated in the inauguration of these fundamental structures together with Dr. Mikheil Chkhenkeli, Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Dr. Alexander Tevzadze, Rector of Kutaisi International University, and Mr Rolandi Kopaliani, Rector of the Kutaisi Akaki Tsereteli State University.
- Publication date
- 23 March 2022
- Directorate-General for Research and Innovation