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4 februari 2013

Official kick-off meeting

Official kick-off meeting  The official kick-off meeting took place on the 23rd and 24th of January 2013 at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The first day was about getting to know each other and learning more about administrative, financial and legal details related to the FP7 funds. The second day was devoted to discussing the content of work packages 1 and 2 of the INSPIRES research. 

On the first day, we had a few guests' speakers:
  • Pauline van der Meer Mohr, President of the Erasmus University, welcomed everyone in Rotterdam on behalf of the Erasmus University. Also, she talked about the importance of comparative European researches in the context of the recurrent 'EU talks'. In this respect, she used David Cameron's renewed EU strategy to talk on the potential contribution of INSPIRES in which she referred to this project as very topical.
  • Kees van Paridon, professor of Economics; chairman of the department of Public Administration of Erasmus University and Chief Science Officer of the municipality of Rotterdam, also talked about the (potential) societal impact and relevance of the INSPIRES project. He discussed the importance of raising the employment rates in Europe, instead of diminishing the unemployment rates. He talked, for instance, about what makes places, people or systems resilient.
  • Marc Goffart, is the Project Officer for the INSPIRES project (as well as 14 other projects) on behalf of the European Commission. He talked about the projects that he is monitoring for the European Commission. He also gave advise on some do's and don'ts.

The work package leaders (1 to 7) discussed briefly their strategies on how to approach their project. This stimulated a discussion among all the parties. The speakers included: Irene Monsonis (UVEG), Rik van Berkel (UU), Contantine Dimoulas (UPSPS), Giuliano Bonoli (IDHEAP), Renate Minas (SU) and Marion Ellison (QMU). Menno Fenger (EUR), project manager, talked about the management and dissemination of the INSPIRES project.

The 24th of January, 2013 was all about the content of the first two work packages. The members and leaders of the work packages 1 and 2 discussed the next steps and talked on how to move forward.
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