NEREUS General Assembly and Symposium 15-16 April 2010 in Granada/Andalusia

NEREUS General Assembly and SYMPOSIUM in Granada/Andalusia, 15/16 April 2010

Nereus held its bi-annual General Assembly under Spanish EU-Presidency in Granada/Andalusia on 15 April 2010. The second day, the Symposium on 16 April was dedicated to bringing the different NEREUS-Working Groups together to exchange on their first findings and to launch a strategy debate.

The two day event combined the official program with opportunities to experience the member region Andalusia first hand. A visit to the Alhambra followed by a cocktail in a Carmen (Spanish traditional house) with a magnificent view on the historic part of Granada and an excursion to CALAR ALTA, an Astronomical Observatory gave the participants an insight into what the region has to offer.

On invitation of the Andalusia region the meeting took place in the Crucero Central del Hospital Real, a historic building of the University of Granada whose history dates back to the 15th century. Almost 60 participants from all over Europe attended the meeting. Prof. Francisco González Lodeiro, Rector of the University of Grenada and Mrs. Susana Guitar, General Director of Research,Technology and Enterprises of the Andalusia Government welcomed the participants on behalf of the region.

NEREUS-President Alain Bénéteau thanked the Andalusia region for hosting the event. In this speech he  gave an overview on what NEREUS accomplished in the past year and put emphasis on the strategy debate that was launched on the occasion of the GA/SYMPOSIUM. He highlighted that NEREUS has taken off in the last year and has grown from 22 to 26 regions but needs to grow further to really profit from its regional diversity.  

For NEREUS to consolidate its structure and efforts a sound strategy with a prudent prioritization is indispensable.


NEREUS-President Bénéteau announced that the next General Assembly will take place on 30th November 2010 under Belgian Presidency in Brussels. Treasurer Reinhard Oehler, region Brandenburg, presented the accounts for 2009 and the budget for 2010. Both were unanimously accepted by the General Assembly. Ms Ayazi, NEREUS-SG, presented the milestones in retrospect to 2009 and the work program for the current year. In 2010 priority will be given to the consolidation of the NEREUS-Working Groups, continuing Political Dialogue at European and national level, supporting NEREUS-partners to mobilize projects that are relevant for core mission of network, NEREUS-Communication Strategy – Communicating Space to the broad public, mobilizing Young Professionals, Graduates, Students etc.

During the Symposium the chairs of working groups got the floor to present their findings. Prof. Alan Wells, East Midlands, co-chair GMES-Working Group took the opportunity on behalf of the Management Board to introduce the network community to the strategy debate and its importance for the further development of the network.  All regions and working groups are invited to discuss and review this paper and to give their feed-back till the end of May.  A consolidated version of the strategy paper will be presented to the General Assembly on the meeting on 30 November 2010.

The EO/GMES-working group presented the results of their mapping activities and the publication with illustrative GMES-examples from NEREUS-Member regions they are currently working on. The collection of short papers describing the foremost applications of GMES being developed or employed within each NEREUS region that is active in GMES will be an important tool for the promotion of space technologies among our regions but also for the political dialogue. The publication is expected to be finalized for the Toulouse Space Show 2010 in June.

The GNSS-Working Group presented the Strategy Paper “A regional approach to the European Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) programme” and the first examples of regional GNSS-Experiences. To make the GNSS-capabilities in NEREUS-member regions more transparent and to encourage regions to present their applications the working group had organized a workshop jointly with the PEGASE-consortium in Brussels. In the coming months the working group will continue to gather more regional GNSS-Examples and exchange with the European institutions. The working group Telecommunication chaired by Reinhard Schnabel, Baden Württemberg, Chairman of the German Center for Satellite Communication raised the question why telecommunication was met with so little interest by the regions. He stressed the importance to initiate a study on the regional potential of telecommunication, what are the obstacles for regions regarding telecommunication, what are their strengths. The working group Education, Training and Communication co-chaired by Martina Hilger, Bremen and Malecka Saleman, Midi/P presented its ideas for the direction of this working group and the first outcomes of their mapping activities regarding UNIVERSITY LEARNING RESOURCES in the field of Space Technologies in each region. The working group Regional Policy stressed the importance to exploit existing regional programs and their tools for enhancing the use and up-take of space technologies in the regions. The event ended on Friday night and most participants had adventurous journeys back home due to the effects of the volcano. Thank you for attending our event and we hope you all got home safely. Soon we will launch a competition regarding your trips back home…..

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