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ESOF 2020: Berlin, Trieste in running to host WB Foundation

Plan confirmed at a scientific summit in Rome

01 June, 10:16
(ANSA) - TRIESTE - The official seal is still missing, but Trieste is likely to host the headquarters of the Western Balkan Foundation, the entity which, within the framework of the Berlin process, should implement policies aimed at improving the mobility of scientists from southern European countries.

The goal was highlighted today at the fourth scientific conference of the intergovernmental cooperation mechanism, focusing on infrastructures and economic investments in southeastern Europe held at the Lincei Academy in Rome, as part of the diplomatic initiative linked to the enlargement of the European Union to the countries of the Western Balkans. The plan will now be delivered in the hands of the heads of state who will meet at the July 10 summit in London to make political decisions within the framework of the Berlin process, one of Germany's most important diplomatic initiatives launched in the area during Angela Merkel's third term as chancellor. The choice of Trieste was not made by chance. ''I think it depends on the geopolitical position of the city, snd the high quality of scientific research in Trieste (4,500 employees in the sector with a percentage of scientists that reaches 40% per 1,000 inhabitants), as well as the recognition of ESOF 2020 Trieste'', underlined Stefano Fantoni, champion of the Euroscience Open Forum, which will transform Trieste into the European Capital of Science in July 2020.

The repercussions of such a choice would be extremely positive for the scientific world of the Julian capital city, but not only. ''It would become a point of reference in the Western Balkans, even more than it already is, developing a traditional vocation of that area - Fantoni said -; the scientific repercussions will be the possibility of strengthening the relationship and the ties with the countries of South East Europe''. The unity of purpose with ESOF 2020, with the choice of Trieste due to the fact that the city is a bridge between the research networks in eastern and western Europe, is obvious. Among the tasks of the Foundation, which is still being drafted in terms of structure and methods of resources and funding, is the implementation of policies aimed at facilitating the mobility of scientists from southern European countries, through the allocation of funding. The goal is to support young researchers who choose to spend some years in institutions of international value both to complete their training and carry out research projects to be developed in their home countries,, guaranteeing the qualitative growth of scientific research. Trieste, with its many research centres, might therefore also host young Balkan scientists, confirming its attractiveness for researchers even coming from outside Italy. (ANSA).

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