25 September 2017
Young Basques joined the dialogue opened by the European Commission to build a more cohesive innovative Europe which is capable of facing future challenges. They discussed the role of industry-university-society at the conference on European Innovation towards a new industry-university-society relationship, organised by Orkestra, the Basque Government, the Biscay Regional Council and the European Committee of the Regions.
The debate held today at the University of Deusto highlighted the importance of putting people at the centre of building a new Europe.
Work must be done to implement new cooperation mechanisms between firms, institutions and society, based on industry-university-society as well as the administration and public institutions, to more accurately address the challenges being raised.
The conference included reflection on the need to create a new relational paradigm. Institutions participating in the conference called for young people to work on building this new paradigm so that the new European challenges can be tackled by all.
Marian Elorza, Secretary General for External Action of the Basque Government, coincided with Jean-Claude Juncker, Head of the European Commission, on the need to build a Europe that engages its citizens and takes their opinion into account. She invited the conference participants to reflect on the challenges being raised in the fields of advanced industry, the ageing population, security, economic promotion and social welfare. At a time when European growth rates are beginning to show a positive turn, however, recovery is not being felt in the territory as a whole. And, as a result of the crisis, the differences between North and South are even more noticeable.
Koldo Atxutegi, Secretary General for External Action at the Biscay Regional Council, centred his talk on examining the administration's role in the industry-university-society fabric to contribute to advancing towards a sustainable Europe in terms of competitiveness. Atxutegi put forward the idea that "the administration has to create the conditions and ecosystem, but the way it works depends on the three agents, above all, private firms."
Lastly, Mari Jose Aranguren, Director of Orkestra, discussed the university's role as a link between research, business needs and challenges and society. Aranguren mentioned Orkestra as a case in point, an institution which has, from its very beginnings, developed a transforming research model which is closely linked to business's and the Basque people's needs. In line with Mari Jose Aranguren’s comments, José Luis Larrea, Honorary President of Orkestra, called for the generation of mechanisms that strengthen the university's role as a key agent in design of an innovation and open science system.