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1 jun 2021

Kick-off activities 2021 Interregional Internationlisation Initiative - 3i

It is important to launch the activities of the network in order to bring together stakeholders around the project and provide a road map for future activities. At the same time, given the current health crisis, it is unrealistic to plan a large event requiring the physical presence of participants, as was originally envisioned for 2020, at least until a significant percentage of the population has been vaccinated. Based on current vaccination schedules, it is reasonable to assume that such an event could be organized for Autumn 2021.

There is a risk, however, in waiting until Autumn 2021 to rally stakeholders around the project. Therefore, the proposal is to organise four online thematic workshops in Spring 2021 and an in-person official kick-off event in Autumn 2021.

Online workshops

Four online thematic sessions will take place in Spring 2021. Each session will bring together researchers around a particular theme, with each workshop organised by the lead partner.

These workshops are expected to accomplish several goals: allow researchers to meet one another, present the lines of research and strengths in the domain at each partner institution and sketch a plan for future collaboration.

These workshops should be organised between March and June 2021, with attention given to holidays organized in April and May (24 April to 10 May in Lille, for example). Each workshop should be no longer than two hours long, with perhaps 90 minutes representing a target length, in order to avoid fatigue from the online format. Ideally, workshops would consist of short presentations from each partner and breakout rooms for discussions.

Workshop 1

Workshop on Community and Well-Being (coordinated by University of Lille)

June 11, 2021, 2pm-4pm

  • Lille (Lead): Yannick Courbois,
  • Ghent: Sara Willems,, Department of Public Health and Primary Care
  • Kent: Eleanor Jupp, Social Policy (Community), & Dieter Declercq, Film & Media (Wellbeing),
  • KULeuven: Eline Vanassche,

Registration link:
Visio link:

Workshop 2

Workshop on Marine and Maritime Challenges (coordinated by Université of Ghent)

June 15, 2021, 3pm-4:30pm

  • Ghent (Lead): Sara Vandamme,
  • Kent: Jesse O’Hanley, Kent Business School,
    & Ramin Raeesi, Kent Business School,
  • KULeuven: Pieter Rauwoens,
  • Lille: Sami Souissi,

Registration link:
Visio link:

Workshop 3

Workshop on Nutrition and Health (coordinated by KU Leuven)

June 11, 2021, 10am-12pm

  • KU Leuven (Lead): Imogen Foubert,
  • Ghent: Stefaan De Henauw,, Department of Public Health and Primary Care
  • Kent: Rowena Merritt, Centre for Health Service Studies,
  • Lille: David Seguy,, Simona De Iulio,, Susan Kovacs,

Registration link:
Visio link:

Workshop 4

Workshop on Climate and Energy (coordinated by University of Kent)

June 16, 2021, 2pm-4pm UK Time

  • Kent (Lead): Simon Barnes,
  • Ghent: Jan Desmet,; Lieven Vandevelde, (Department of Electromechanical, Systems and Metal Engineering)
  • KU Leuven: Koenraad Muylaert,
  • Lille: Benjamin Hanoune, and Betty Semail,

Registration link:
Visio link:

Official kick-off

In Autumn 2021, a larger event will be organised to bring together not only researchers, but other stakeholders, including the local and regional governments, representatives from the European Commission, the Straits Committee, associations, etc. It would be interesting to coordinate the event with the annual meeting of the Straits Committee.

This will be an afternoon event ending with a cocktail reception. It will be possible to integrate many of the activities originally planned for 2021, but on a smaller scale since much of the discuss in the thematic workshops will have already taken place.

Proposed Programme

2:00pm – 3:00pm
Registration and coffee, poster session with doctoral students

3:00pm – 4:00pm
Thematic workshops involving researchers and representatives from other stakeholders

3:00pm – 3:15pm
Coffee break

4:15pm – 5:15pm

  • Feedback from sessions
  • UE Commission on inter-regional collaboration
  • Representatives from regional/county/provincial governments
  • Rectors / President / Vice-Chancellor (or international dean / vice-president / directors)

5:15pm – 6:30pm
Cocktail reception


Institutional contacts

Ghent University

  • Guido Van Huylenbroeck, Director for Internationalisation:
  • Gijs Coucke, Policy Advisor for strategic alliances and regional cooperation:
  • Marieke Merckx, Policy Adviser Internationalisation:

KU Leuven

  • Bert Reynvoet, Research coordinator of KU Leuven - Kulak Kortrijk and Bruges Campuses:
  • Petra Huyst, Research and external relations:

University of Kent

  • Jeremy Carrette, Dean for Europe:
  • Hannah Mc Norton, Director of International Partnerships:

University of Lille

  • Kathleen O’Connor, Vice-President for International Development, Université de Lille & Coordinator of International Development, I-SITE ULNE:
  • Stéphane Thys, Head of International Cooperation, I-SITE ULNE:

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