The 2nd Bordeaux-Euskampus Symposium held on 26 and 27 November in Donostia-San Sebastian has turned out to be useful in “consolidating things that had been started” in the previous edition, according to the director of the Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC) Ricardo Díez-Muiño. This event has been a “good way of helping the researchers on each side to get to know each other”.
This view was shared by the CEO of Tecnalia Ventures Asier Rufino, who highlighted the Symposium as a place for meeting and pooling purposes; he drew attention to the importance of knowing “who the players on each side of the frontier are” to “understand and share the problems we are facing”, by identifying ways of integrating the “opportunities for collaboration, or the possible solution to the common challenges we are facing” into each other’s dynamics.
Open innovation, according to Rufino, “has to have a regional dimension that will support it”. The universities that are geographically closer to each other “have many more bonds” in terms of culture as well as proximity, owing to the ease in “developing stronger bonds with researchers who are closer and who you can see on a regular basis”.
In this respect, he regards initiatives such as the Euroregional Campus as having the potential to tackle complicated challenges from “various angles”, which can be complementary among the differing scientific disciplines and research groups. “In a global environment like the one which exists, problems are not solved just by applying capabilities in the sphere of Materials; these capabilities may be tremendously significant when linked to other kinds of capabilities that are not even technological ones, to other sensibilities in the more humanistic sphere,” he explained.
By way of example he referred to biomimetics, “which basically boils down to understanding the natural environment, and since animals and plants are evolving”, it is “providing solutions on a level of materials”; it is a “clear example in which the fertilisation of various knowledge environments can produce results in complicated problems”.
For his part, the director of the DIPC did not spare any words of praise either for the cross-border Campus, a “wonderful, exceptional” project “that is in perfect harmony with the European strategies for creating Euroregions, and helps us for a while to forget frontiers, which at the end of the day do not mean much in science, either”.
Both the UPV/EHU and the University of Bordeaux “have very good groups in research in general”, and in physics in particular, and cross-border collaboration, he said, is “a fantastic idea”, and the role being played by Euskampus-IdEx is “phenomenal”.
It is an alliance that is driving forward the internationalisation of both institutions, an aspect that in the field of research “is not an aim”, but “a means for doing better research, and this helps to make progress in this means”.
In this respect, he believes that the Euroregional Campus “can contribute a lot”, because in both education and research “one of the significant ways in which improvement is made is knowing about places where things are done differently”, so the project allows “different experiences and ways of doing things to be shared”, and this makes it “tremendously enriching”.