As some of you may know, we are currently under a new project proposal period and with Horizon 2020 having just started, the EC is organizing a number of information days to inform the community regarding the specific calls. Last week I had the chance to visit Brussels and among others, follow the very interesting information day for the e-infrastructure work programme.
It was my first time in Brussels and there were a lot of little things that got my attention, starting even before reaching Brussels. You first realize that you are flying to Brussels when you are still in the airport. After passing the first gates with all the normal mix of people, you end up in a gate where most, if not all, are dressed formal, business oriented, all carrying small suitcases and laptops. Most of the passengers are gold members in whichever miles card they have and very few check-in their baggages. Brussels is a very nice city, with a lot of things to see and as the hart of EU, a city with so many people from different countries and cultures. It is a pity I didn’t have more time to spend around the city since I was there for business not pleasure, but at least did have the chance to pass by the Belgian Comic Strip Center and stay there for a little (for around 15 minutes).
The information day itself was very interesting. The event was hosted in the Albert Borschette Conference Centre, one of the EC buildings in the European quarter of Brussels and was attended by around 250 people. The first day of the event was mainly spent with presentations from the PO, presenting and explaining aspects for each one of the call. During the second day, the presentations focused in more bureaucratic issues and general scope of the call as well a very interesting session where participants had the chance to present their ideas and institutions searching for future collaboration. The event ended with a networking session, but I think the networking really happened in all the coffee and lunch breaks.
For me, the meeting was an excellent opportunity to meet a lot of people and finally put some faces behind emails. I spent a lot of time discussing with many around ideas for collaboration and I believe I made good progress towards the next calls.