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Dr Kutnar at European Research and Innovation Days 2020

Dr Andreja Kutnar, InnoRenew CoE director, took part in the European Commission’s premier annual event presenting the past, present, and future of research and innovation in Europe, ”European Research and Innovation Days 2020”, which took place as a virtual event 22-24 September 2020.

Dr Kutnar was a panel member during the Synergies: New opportunities to leverage R&I funding and maximize impact session, part of the Smart Implementation and Synergies hub. Moderated by Magda De Carli, Head of the Sharing Excellence – Country Intelligence Unit within the European Commission’s DG Research and Innovation, this session highlighted what synergies mean to policy makers and how they are leveraged in practice in several projects.

Magda De Carli, Head of the Sharing Excellence – Country Intelligence Unit within the European Commission’s DG Research and Innovation. Image: Lea Primožič

Dr Kutnar spoke about InnoRenew CoE’s experience using complementary funding from different sources to increase the sustainability of research and innovation institutes in Europe and, in particular, Widening countries. She emphasized complementary financing from the H2020 Widening instrument and European Regional Development Funds.

 “This joint financing enabled us to establish InnoRenew CoE,” said Dr Kutnar. “With the support of both financing programs – Horizon 2020 and cohesion funds – we were able to create InnoRenew CoE, which is attractive for researchers from around the globe, not only from Slovenia and Europe.”

Dr Andreja Kutnar at the European Research and Innovation Days 2020. Foto: Lea Primožič

She went on to highlight that state-of-the-art equipment and personnel acquired with Horizon 2020 and cohesion funds have been the foundation of the institute’s success. InnoRenew project partners have played a big role, too.

 “InnoRenew project partners are combining experiences, working together and streaming toward excellence in the field of renewable materials,” she added.

One of the Teaming project’s true strengths is the lasting relationship between partners.

 “We can see how synergies and working together go beyond the project,” said Dr Kutnar. “Let me mention just two examples: a new PhD program at InnoRenew project coordinator, University of Primorska, that starts this October with students coming from countries outside of the EU and the ERA Chair project at the Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute, an InnoRenew project partner, which is linked to a new fire laboratory, co-financed by the InnoRenew project.”

Dr Kutnar concluded with her expressed hopes that the European Commission continues supporting Widening and Teaming programs as they are great opportunities for enhancing research and innovation development.