Baku hosted the opening ceremony of the “5th Eastern Partnership E-infrastructures Conference - EaPEC 2022” in “JW Marriott Absheron Baku”, September 28, 2022.
The opening ceremony was attended by the state officials of Azerbaijan, managers of research institutes of ANAS, scientists and specialists representing about 50 countries, including relevant international organizations and prestigious foreign companies, as well as media representatives.
The main goal of the event organized within the framework of the “EaPConnect” (‘EU4Digital: Connecting Research and Education Communities’) project, initiated and coordinated by the GEANT Association, covering the Eastern Partnership countries, is the expansion of collaboration of the Eastern Partnership countries and the acceleration of their integration into the European community.
Attending the conference, Academician Arif Hashimov, Acting President of ANAS, made a speech and emphasized the implementation of a consistent and purposeful policy towards the integration of Azerbaijan into the Euro-Atlantic community by the nationwide leader Heydar Aliyev for many years and pointed out its successful continuation by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
Talking about the history of broad-spectrum cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the European Union, the academician mentioned that the legal basis of these relations was established by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement signed in 1996, and that a new stage in the relations between the European Union and Azerbaijan began in 2004.
Academician A. Hashimov stated that as a result of the IV Industrial Revolution, science and education, as all fields of activity, stepped into a new stage of development: “The government of Azerbaijan is taking a number of steps related to the wide and effective application of the technologies of the IV Industrial Revolution in our country. I believe that the possibilities of these technologies are of great importance in terms of the integration of Azerbaijan into the European community.”
“EaPEC 2022” will hasten the integration of the scientific community of Azerbaijan into the European community, as well as allow Azerbaijani scientists to conduct joint research with foreign colleagues, implement projects and strengthen international scientific cooperation, he noted.
At the end of his speech, Academician A. Hashimov highly appreciated holding such a prestigious conference in our country as an indicator of the European Union’s trust in Azerbaijan and its state policy.
Eric Huizer, CEO GEANT also made a speech and emphasized widespread opportunities opened by the “EaPEC 2022” for the development of science and education in Azerbaijan, and expressed his deep gratitude to the Institute of Information Technology, as well as other relevant institutions, for organizing the conference at a high level.
He stated his readiness to provide the necessary assistance for Azerbaijan and its scientists and researchers to expand collaboration with the Eastern Partnership countries, ensuring the more effective use of European resources and services in the field of research and education.
Experts from the participant countries will listen to reports on various topics within the framework of the conference, and share experiences and opinions on important issues with colleagues, E. Huizer pointed out.
Later the floor was given to the Deputy Minister of Science and Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan Firudin Gurbanov. He made a speech about the policy pursued by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev in research, education and training of highly qualified and educated personnel. He touched upon the successful policy implemented in this field and consequently, holding international scientific events organized in Azerbaijan by the global prestigious institutions had become a tradition.
The Deputy Minister emphasized the importance of the event for the development of science and education in Azerbaijan, he said that the rapidly developing information technologies in the world put new demands on research and education system of our country. He noted that such events are extremely significant in terms of deepening and strengthening collaboration of Eastern Partnership countries in the field of research and education.
“Holding the ‘EaPEC 2022’ conference in our country, where e-science and e-infrastructure issues are discussed, and the goal of which is coordinating the research and education community in the European Union and Eastern Partnership countries within the framework of the “EaPConnect” project, will make imperative contributions to the development of Azerbaijani science,” he added. Gurbanov expressed his confidence that ‘EaPEC 2022’ would also open wide opportunities in terms of determining the development prospects for research and education in Azerbaijan.
Another speech was made by the Deputy Minister of Digital Development and Transport of the Republic of Azerbaijan Samir Mammadov. He welcomed the event participants and stressed the importance of the collaboration of the Eastern Partnership countries in the field of information and communication technologies, he expressed his belief that the event would open up new opportunities in terms of establishing cooperative relations of Azerbaijani scientific and educational community with the prestigious institutions in the relevant fields.
He also stated the special care of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev for the development of science and education, and talked about recent serious achievements and the integration of Azerbaijani scientific community into world community.
“The reports and discussions to be presented at the conference in two days will undoubtedly give a serious impetus to the expansion of scientific relations between Azerbaijan and European countries,” the speaker concluded.
Then the floor was given to Viktor Bojkov, the head of the Cooperation Section, Delegation of the European Union to Azerbaijan. He pointed out that the ‘EaPEC 2022’ conference is extremely important in terms of training scientific and technical personnel and raising their professional level, organizing international cooperation, conducting joint scientific research and sharing experience, presenting important scientific achievements of Azerbaijan to the European community.
Afterwards, Thibault Charlet, Programme Manager for Digital and Economic Cooperation with Eastern Partnership countries, spoke about the importance of the event for Eastern Partnership countries. He highly appreciated the attention of Azerbaijan’s scientific research institutions, higher education institutions and relevant state organizations to this conference, and expressed his confidence that the event will contribute to the upward development of relations of Eastern Partnership countries.
He expressed his belief that effective discussions on various topics would be held during the conference, and new scientific researches and projects would be founded for the future.
Later, EapConnect project manager Irina Matthew spoke about the importance of the ‘EaPEC 2022’ conference, which envisages strengthening cooperation in the field of science, education and research of Eastern Partnership countries. Appreciating the conditions created for the Institute of Information Technologies to join the European research and education projects, Mathew stated that they are interested in continuing collaboration with the institute. Mathew stressed out the importance of active participation of Azerbaijani research institutions, higher education institutions and relevant state organizations in the conference and noted that she believes that the event will create wide opportunities in terms of strengthening international scientific cooperation.
Academician Rasim Alguliyev, vice-president of ANAS, also made a speed at the opening ceremony of the conference and greeted the guests, event participants and media representatives.
Bringing some historical facts to the attention of the conference participants, the academician said that the Republic of Azerbaijan is one of the countries that joined the EU Eastern Partnership initiative in 2009, within the framework of this partnership, our country has established cooperative relations with the countries and institutions of the European Union in various spheres.
The scientist mentioned that since 2010, Azerbaijan has been represented in the GEANT Association through the AzScienceNet network of the Institute of Information Technology.
‘EaPConnect’ project has been launched in Azerbaijan since 2015, R. Alguliyev stated and drew attention to the important works implemented within the project so far, and expressed his deep gratitude to the European Commission, GEANT and ‘EaPConnect’ project managers for their support.
“Research and educational community of our country could benefit more from the opportunities of the EaPConnect project,” said the vice-president of ANAS, highlighting the main problems facing scientists, teachers, and students in Azerbaijan and made his suggestions.
The academician said that during two days important reports will be presented in the context of global challenges and digital transformations, which are important for science and education, and wished success to the work of the conference.
Later the conference continued its work in sessions.