INOWASIA’s Europe encounter – 3rd Biannual Meeting, May 2022
3 INOWASIA planned trips were combined in a single circular 2 weeks trip, with meetings and activities from May 2nd to May 13rd. Most Asian partners arrived 1 day before and some left a few days later. There were COVID incidences for Magalí Gerino (positive) and for Laos partners (vaccination and confinement). 27 project members attended partially or fully the encounter:
- VNU: TRAN Dinh Trinh and DANG Nhat Minh
- CTU: NGUYEN Vo Chau Ngan and NGUYEN Hieu Trung
- NUOL: Santi KONGMANY and Vanseng CHOUNLAMANY
- SU: Bounmy KEOHAVONG and Anousith VANNAPHON
- ITC: Kong CHHUON (first week), Khy Eam EANG and Vannak ANN
- NUBB: Ratha CHEA and Socheat CHREA
- WUSMED: Estel Guillaumes (1 day), Denisa Gibovic (1 day) and Bogdana Marchis (6 days)
- UdG: Ignasi Rodriguez-Roda, Coco Gonzalez (3 days), Joaquim Comas (1 day), Sebastià Puig (1 day) and Gaetan Blandin (1 day)
- FSUB: Antonina Torrens and Xavier Lopez (1 day)
- UT3 Paul Sabatier: Magalí Gerino (2 days late for COVID) and Lou Ackermann
- IRD : Didier Orange (second week), Alain Baunman (1 day)
The trip consisted of internal meetings (including the third biannual Steering Committee), institutional receptions, seminars with stakeholders, formation activities, and visits to facilities. It was organized in two working days in Barcelona (organized by FSUB), three in Girona (organized by UdG), two in Montpellier (organized by IRD), and three in Toulouse (organized by UT3). The weekend was free and included the bus trip from Spain to France.
There were five scheduled meetings in the agenda. The first internal meeting was held at the UB (May 2nd). It was the first personal contact between the project partners, who had been working virtually from the kick off (January 2021). We introduced ourselves, commented the project and meeting goals, and reviewed the agenda for the following two weeks. The second and the third internal meetings were held at UdG (May 4th and 5th in the afternoon) to discuss about budget and economic issues and about technical aspects of the water-oriented living labs respectively. Finally, the biannual SC was divided into two sessions, the first in Girona (May 6th) and the second in Toulouse (May 13th, coinciding with the last day of the work).
There are meeting notes of the SC meeting that explain in detail the discussions and agreements, but all the aspects of the project were fully covered: WP1 outputs (the deliverables were reviewed, with water resources necessities and labour requirement in Southeast Asia, and existing postgraduate programmes and accreditation processes in the universities of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam), formation activities (previously done and planned for the future, including problem-based learning methodology training for partners, teachers and students, basic knowledge online courses development, advanced knowledge for PBL courses/modules definition and implementation, a virtual conference with master classes given by experts, and other interested topics identified related to the water-oriented living labs), water-oriented living labs definition, paying special attention to their complementarity and the equipment purchase procedures, platform definition (that includes online formation, a virtual work space to share data, knowledge and comments among the six living labs, and the multilevel international network that will be linked to the INOWASIA group created in LinkedIn), quality control aspects and the corresponding questionnaires, and finally dissemination aspects, where a new “official” procedure was approved to publish news in the INOWASIA web page (with potential replicates in the web pages of the partners institutions), in social media (facebook, twitter), and the systematized collection of the news and activities in a portfolio to be used as WP5 deliverable.
The four hosting European institutions organized welcome receptions. The first was FSUB and UB (May 2nd), with the introduction to the university with UB vice-rector for International Policy (Dr. Raúl Ramos) and UB coordinator for Southeast Asia relationships (Àngels Pelegrin), and the introduction to FSUB with the head of the Foundation (Sr. Xavier López) and the coordinator of WASH and nature-based solutions for sustainable development programs (Dra. Antonina Torrens). The reception included a visit to the UB historical building. UdG also welcomed INOWASIA consortium and introduced the institution (May 6th) with the vice-rectors for strategic projects and internationalisation (Dr. Josep Calbó) and for research and knowledge transfer (Dra. Maria Pla). It also included a guided visit to the old town on May 4th. IRD received officially INOWASIA consortium (May 9th) with the head of Eco&Sols research unit (Dr. Laurent Cournac), and finally UT3 Paul Sabatier welcomed the INOWASIA entourage (May 11th) with the deputy vice-president for international relations and mobility (Fabrice Gamboa).
These official meetings were complemented with a short presentation and meetings with the corresponding international offices (Carolina Mansilla for UB, Laura Ripoll and Elisabet Moyà for UdG, Angela Moca for UT3 Paul Sabatier) to identify the opportunities and potential bilateral or consortium agreements in the Erasmus+ K107 framework.
SEMINARS WITH STAKEHOLDERS
Several seminars and meetings were held with the research groups of the European partners, with associated partners, and with former and potential members of the Academic and Professional Committee.
A first networking event was held on May 3rd at the Scientific Park of the UB. With 30 attendants in the room (and up to 23 virtual attendants), there were presentations of:
- INOWASIA Project, Dr. Ignasi Rodriguez-Roda
- INOWASIA identification of water resources necessities in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, Dr. Ratha Chea (NUBB) and Dra. Antonina Torrens (FSUB)
- ACCIO, agency for business competitiveness of Catalonia, Gemma Arcalís
- CWP, Catalan Water Partnership (INOWASIA associated partner), Dra. Clara Sierra
- LEITAT (technological center), Dra. Xialei You
- EURECAT (technological center), Dr. Miquel Rovira
- Amphos21 (consulting enterprise), Dra. Ester VIlanova
- Bluephage (UB start up), Enric Queralt
- Ecomemb (UdG start up), Dra. Raquel Garcia-Pacheco
- Ramboll Engineering (virtual, from Cambodia, APC member), Dr. Pau Prat
- Asian Institute of Technology (virtual, from Thailand, APC member), Dr. Simon Guerrero
- SEAMEO Regional Centre for Community Education Development. Ministry of Education and Sports (virtual, from Laos, associated partner), Dr. Niane Sivongxay
- B2G Engineering Co Ltd. (virtual, from Cambodia, associated partner), Dr. Bunrith Seng
- Global Water Partnership Southeast Asia (virtual, from Indonesia, associated partner), Fany Wedahuditama
- Epurtex (virtual, from France, associated partner), Dan-Tâm COSTA
There were two important networking events on May 4th. The first was a meeting at the Scientific Park of the University of Girona with a delegation of the Danish Technological Institute (DTI), Denmark's leading technology center. The DTI is a private entity founded in 1906 with 7 departments, 70 laboratories, 1000 specialists and 30 centers. Each center has several business areas. They serve 12,000 clients in 60 countries and develop approximately 40,000 projects a year. The delegation was headed by the CEO of DTI, Dr. Joan Farré, and came with the chief financial officer, the President, and the directors of Construction and building, Energy and Climate, the Danish Meat Research Institute, Environmental Technology, Material, Production and innovation, and Agrotechnology. In the meeting also participated the CWP, ICRA, UdG Sectorial Water Campus, and INOWASIA.
The second meeting was held at the Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA, associated partner of Inowasia), and consisted of a reception of the director of the research institute (Dr. Damià Barceló), an explanation of the research lines and main ICRA indicators (Dra. Maite Pijuan), a presentation of the Water Campus and the Girona Region of Knowledge Private Foundation of the University of Girona (Dr. Xavier Xirgu), a brief explanation of the INOWASIA project (Dr. Ignasi Rodriguez-Roda), the explanation of the research lines of the six partners universities of INOWASIA (VNU, Dr. Dinh Trinh Tran; CTU, Dr. Vo Chau Ngan Nguyen; NUBB, Dr. Ratha Chea; ITC, Dr. Konh Chhuong; NUOL, Dr. Santi Kongmany; SU, Dr. Bounmy Keohavong), and a visit to the labs and facilities.
The Eco&Sols research unit was presented May 9th at the SupAgro Campus, where Dr. Alain Brauman & Mrs. Nancy Rakontondrazafy explained their main research activities, focusing on soil quality and biofunctool. In the afternoon INRAE and IRD explained us their research about quality control of biofilm (Vincent Moulia), clogging sensors (Julien Petit) and agronomic irrigation (Dr. Claire Serra-Wittling) in the Agropolis Campus.
Finally, May 11th and 12th the research carried out at UT· Paul Sabatier related to INOWASIA was explained to INOWASIA. It included the LGC – INP in Labège 5 and LGC – UT3, with a presentation of the Laboratory (Claire Albasi) and a visit of manipulations in biology and advanced oxidation, membranes, filtrations, and electrochemical processes with several speakers as Marion Alliet, Christèle Causserand, etc. The visit included a presentation of the Functional ecology and environment laboratory, with a welcome by the dean Régis Cereghino, and the presentation of the GIS (Scientific Group) neOCampus objectives, with Marie-Pierre Gleizes, with demonstrative Internet of Things projects at the UT3 Campus (leaded by François Thiebolt, Jean-Louis Druilhe and Rahim Kacimi and Arnaud Elger).
FORMATION AND VISITS
Visit to the Barcelona Drinking Water facility (in Sant Joan D’Espí, operated by ABM) and formation about water resources management, advanced water treatment, groundwater recharge and indirect water reuse. May 3rd.
Visit to Empuriabrava Wastewater treatment Plant (operated by UTE Sanejament Consorci Costa Brava). Formation about municipal wastewater collection and treatment in touristic areas with Mediterranean climate, nutrient removal, natural treatment, and wastewater reuse. May 5th
Formation about problem-based learning methodology at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Girona, with a practical session conducted by Dr. Joaquim Comas. May 6th
Formation about soil quality (lesson provided by Dr. Alain Brauman) and practical demonstration about biofunctool procedure to analyze soil quality (provided by Dr. Alain Brauman, Dra. Nancy Rakotondrazafy, and three PhD students). May 9th
Visit to the experimental facility to treat municipal wastewater from Murviel les Montpellier (3000 he) with constructed wetlands developed by Rhizosph’air (provided by Vincent Moulia and Dr. Nassim Ait Mouheb). Formation about different configurations of natural treatment for wastewater treatment and experimental irrigation of vineyards with regenerated wastewater. May 10th
Visit to Neotera, a sustainable cellar. Formation about sustainable production, water footprint minimization, natural treatment of wastewater produced, and potential water reuse for agricultural irrigation. May 10th
Visit to the Ramier Island facilities, where an ambitious renaturalisation project is being carried out. The explanation was done by the Tolouse Métropole and the company (XXX). Formation about soil quality and regeneration, urban green and blue infrastructures, and planned change of use of bank river. May 11th
Visit and demonstration of IoT on the connected pond, hive, and bird feeders (UT3 Campus, E-connect project) with François Thiebolt, Jean-Louis Druilhe, Rahim Kacimi and Arnaud Elger. May 12th
Demonstration of the influence of warms and plants of the infiltration capacity under biodiversity effects in a planted vertical filter treating wastewater in the UT3 Campus Camille Gonthier, with Théo Chaibi and Sophie Canovas. May 12th
INOWASIA is an Erasmus + Capacity Building Higher Education project that promotes a joint action of 11 organisations across 5 countries (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, France and Spain) to train a new generation of water professionals in Southeast Asia. More info
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