On 18 September, the SOILCON conference – “Ground for future cooperation in Europe” took place in Prague, organised by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic in cooperation with the Technology Centre Prague and the Research Council of Norway as a part of the EEA and Norway Grants series of events focused on synergies with European missions. The conference was held under the auspices of the Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, Ms. Helena Langšádlová, and the Ambassador of Norway in Prague, H. E. Victor C. Rønneberg, who also opened the conference together with representatives of the organisers.
The theme of SOILCON was the synergy with the European Soil Mission (A Soil Deal for Europe) and the related possibilities of supporting scientific projects.
In the first part of the conference, leading Czech and European experts debated in two panel discussions the contribution of mission-oriented policies in addressing societal challenges and the important steps and necessary cooperation leading to healthy soil and sustainability. The keynote lectures to the panels were given by Ms Orsolya Frizon-Somogyi, a representative of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Ms Anna Krzywoszynska, a member of the Soil Mission Board.
In the second part of the conference, representatives of the Czech and Norwegian National Contact Points for Horizon Europe and for the Soil Mission presented the current funding opportunities and an overview of the involvement of Czech and Norwegian subjects in this mission. Furthermore, there was an opportunity to present a number of initiatives and projects that are actively taking steps to meet the objectives of the Soil Mission, including the MetalRem project from the KAPPA Programme. The researchers then engaged in a discussion, which was concluded by a summary of the conference by the rapporteurs of each session.
More information can be found on the conference website. Speaker presentations are now available and we will publish the recordings and a photo gallery in the coming days. Also, there is still a possibility of matchmaking, through which you can connect with other interested participants, and we are also preparing an overview database of all projects from the EEA and Norway Grants research programmes relevant to the Soil Mission.