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The Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia, Mikheil Chkhenkeli participated in the panel session of the European Commission Virtual Conference "European Research and Innovation Days", where participants discussed the future prospects for the development of science.
European Research and Innovation Days are held annually, where science policy makers, scientists and entrepreneurs discuss the future of research and innovation in Europe and beyond. This year this event was held on September 22-24, remotely.
Mikheil Chkhenkeli addressed the public and spoke about the results already achieved in terms of internationalization of science in Georgia and future plans.
Mikheil Chkhenkeli: “I am pleased and grateful to be a part of this panel session that really defines the future of research and innovation not only in Europe but also beyond its borders”.
By joining the EU Research and Innovation Framework Program, Georgia has become part of a larger strategy to strengthen the Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) system. Horizon 2020 program, with a wide range of funding opportunities, has enabled Georgian scientists and scientific institutes to improve the quality of research, develop scientific potential, and create a collaborative environment. I would like to emphasize that all these features will have an impact on Georgia's path to the West, which leads to Euro-Atlantic integration."
In his speech, Mikheil Chkhenkeli also spoke about the decision of the Georgian government to declare education and science as a top priority and to ensure an annual growing budget for the field.
The Minister stressed that science has no borders and the exchange of scientific ideas is crucial to overcome the challenges facing the world. Consequently, the modernization and internationalization of science, technology, and innovation (STI) is vital to the creation of new knowledge to promote sustainable development and economic prosperity. Collaboration with the world scientific community is a prerequisite and integral component of success to achieve high quality results. According to the Minister, Georgia had an excellent opportunity in this regard.
Furthermore, Mikheil Chkhenkeli emphasized, that the Georgian government is creating favorable conditions for Georgia to become a major place for famous scientists. The establishment of Kutaisi International University serves exactly this purpose, which is a significant step forward in the internationalization of higher education and science. The particularly noteworthy is the establishment of Hadron Therapy Center, which will soon start functioning at Kutaisi International University and will serve research and treatment of oncological diseases. The Hadron Therapy Center will house two state-of-the-art cyclotrons, one for tumor treatment and the other one designated for oncology research. In parallel with the treatment of tumors, the center will carry out scientific-research process in medicine, nuclear physics, and medical physics.
Additionally, the Minister noted that the following framework of research and innovation program "Horizon Europe" will be more fruitful, as it aims to strengthen science and economics, investments in research and innovation to build the better future for Europe. This ambitious program will become an important tool for solving social challenges, improving the lives of many individuals, and ensuring the sustainable development of the country.
Mikheil Chkhenkeli thanked the European Commission for Georgia's support, long-term fruitful cooperation, and new opportunities.