The Malta Independent 18 November 2018, Sunday

80 foreign students and professionals in Gozo to tackle climate change

Thursday, 23 August 2018, 12:11 Last update: about 4 months ago

Entrepreneurs and institutions who have been funding eco-initiatives have all of a sudden realised that no tangible results have been achieved through research alone and that only the provision of self-sustainable solutions and tangible initiatives should be sought.

This will be the spirit behind Climate-KIC's week-long event due to be held in Gozo between the 25th August and the 1st of September.

80 top students from schools and universities from around Europe will convene in Gozo to discuss climate change and to propose tangible ideas and proposals on how to create projects that are sustainable and that can lead to tangible solutions to our current local environment problems.

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This event in Gozo is the culmination of The Journey, the world's largest climate innovation summer school where students and professionals from all over the world come together for an intensive, innovation and entrepreneurship programme hosted by top European universities. After the full-time summer programme, the students emerge with the tools to become innovative entrepreneurs and the drive to take bold steps in the fight against climate change.

This year the Journey saw 440 students visit a total of 23 cities across Europe to participate in various 'journeys'. In fact, Journey 9 and Journey 10 which started on the 31st of July, will culminate with this week in Gozo, during which, 80 finalists will work in 18 different teams to develop and pitch their respective ideas and proposals. The winning idea will be given the opportunity to seek further funding from Climate-KIC programmes.

Gonce Kara Demir, Project Manager for the Climate-KIC programme at Paragon Europe said "it is very evident, from industry achievements and progress that out there, today, there are many great ideas that await the opportunity to be put into action. We at Paragon Europe, as the local partners of Climate-KIC, are delighted to act as protagonists in constantly addressing the global issue of climate change by funding research and development projects. Such programmes and projects not only help us address this global problem but it puts the spotlight on the urgency we are facing and induces people to be conscious, to think of solutions and to encourage them to take action."

Malta, through Paragon Europe, officially joined the Climate-KIC community in 2016 to work with the network as part of the Climate-KIC's Regional Innovation Scheme. Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the EU whose mission is to create sustainable growth.

Nadia Theuma, Executive Director of Paragon Europe said "We are proud to be bringing this amazing opportunity to Malta. Climate-KIC is Europe's leading open innovation network driving climate action by bringing together, inspiring and empowering a dynamic community to build a zero-carbon economy and climate-resilient society. Its community includes over 200 partners from business, higher education and research, public entities, as well as regional policy-makers. All this is in line with Paragon Europe's commitment to play an active role to spur innovation in Europe."

Over the past months, Paragon Europe has been guiding a local consortium based on the knowledge triangle of business, research and higher education, involving the Local Council's Association and the Malta Life Sciences Park. As a transition region, Malta can fast-track its commitment to the low-carbon agenda thanks to Climate-KIC's initiatives.

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