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Unimed - Unione delle università del Mediterraneo

11/09/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/09/2020 09:18

Opening the conversation on Critical Infrastructures in the Med, first webinar of the SubNetwork

The recently launched SubNetwork on Safety and Security of Critical Infrastructureshas organized its first webinar on October 28, 2020, titled Opening the conversation on Critical Infrastructures in the Med. Riding on the wave of the enthusiasm of our Associated Universities towards the topic, UNIMED in collaboration with the SubNetwork Coordinator the University of Salento, invited all members to take part in the online event to know each other, learn more on what Universities do in the field of Critical Infrastructures in the Med and jointly discuss the SubNetwork action plan for the upcoming months.

The issue of Safety and Security of Critical Infrastructures is increasingly taking a crucial importance for local developments, including its relation to social and environmental issues. The sector is also gaining importance in research and cooperation in international and community programming, and there is a need for a growth of international exchanges in the field and the circulation of good practices. That is why we firmly believed it was time for the SubNetwork to come alive!

The participation in the webinar was indeed very wide, with more than 30 attendees from Italy, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Libya, Cyprus and Tunisia.

The SubNetwork itself counts up-to-date on 22 Universities from 12 countries, with a wide range of disciplines involved.

It proves that the issue of Critical Infrastructures is a common priority, which goes beyond North and South, and beyond a single department.

The scope of the SubNetwork is indeed to allow knowledge exchange and generate a fruitful debate among the members in the region.

During the webinar, the University of Salento shared a proposed set of activities for the SubNetwork, from developing a catalogue of resources to drafting a joint publication, from cooperation projects to virtual mobility, from the organization of thematic webinars to social media animation. But all members agreed that, to start, we need to agree on a common understandingand definition of what we mean for Critical Infrastructures, and that will be the first shared task in place.

Once we agree on a definition, we will move forward, from defining Critical Infrastructures in the Med to defining what we want to do, setting common goals and initiatives to undertake. This will allow the SubNetwork to identify actual lines of cooperation, and consent look for funds to support cooperation projects.

In 2021, we will also focus on the following activities:

- Mapping the competences of the SubNetwork members.

- Sharing of resources and publications, to define the state-of-the-art of research on CRI in the Euro-Mediterranean region, to activate knowledge exchange and create a common background.

- Organization of two thematic workshops, open to the public and to other partners (i.e. other universities, private actors, other UNIMED SNs, etc). The idea is to organize two webinars per year, facilitated by one SN member upon its main topic of interest.

During the conversation, many interesting inputs came up, from the possibility of multi-institutional multi-disciplinary blended courses, to the importance of focusing on the analysis of failures and not only on damage control; from the importance of readiness (as it was nowadays with the spread of the pandemic and the rapid shift to the digital) to the relevance of sharing strategic approaches.

As a side activity, UNIMED is also working on the SubNetwork visual identity and on the setting of a virtual collaborative space for advancing in the collaboration.

Shall you be interested in joining the SubNetwork, you can register your institutionhere.