This was the point of departure for Transatlantic Science Week 2012, which recently brought more than 500 researchers from Norway and the US together in Houston, Texas.
Houston is known for its strong research community in the fields of energy, medicine and health, which comprise the main themes of this year’s Science Week.
Fruitful collaboration between mouse and elephant
Arvid Hallén, Director General of the Research Council of Norway, used the metaphor of size in his remarks during the opening of Transatlantic Science Week:
“Norway is the mouse while the US is the elephant, but there are still a number of areas in which Norway is a highly relevant partner,” he said. “In particular, these comprise energy, fisheries, maritime activities, medicine and health, and conditions in the Arctic.”
“Science Week is a way of marking our interest in maintaining very strong ties with the most prominent research country in the world. We may be a mouse compared with the US in some ways, but not in all areas. Norway is ambitious, and has both the expertise and a great desire to contribute to international research and development,” Dr Hallén emphasised, pointing to Science Week as a unique opportunity to forge new ties across the Atlantic.”
Kristin Halvorsen, Norwegian Minister of Education and Research, focused on the fundamental role that this year’s conference themes of energy, medicine and health will play in solving the challenges shared in the international community. “Innovation and higher education are important keywords in this context. It is essential that research, innovation and higher education are linked together more closely, both internationally and locally,” she stated.
Kick-off for student programme
For the first time in the 11-year history of the Science Week, a separate programme was organised for students. Eighty future energy and petroleum researchers from the US and Norway convened for a week-long programme. The objective was to promote networking and recruitment and to increase research collaboration in a field of enormous significance in both a national and a global context.
Minister Halvorsen was very pleased about the launch of a separate student programme during Science Week and and expressed the hope that similar initiatives would be employed in the future as well.
|Transatlantic Science Week
Transatlantic Science Week is a forum that promotes cooperation between Norway and North America in the areas of research, innovation and higher education.
Science Week was held for the 11th time this year and was organised by the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in Houston and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington DC in close collaboration with four Norwegian ministries, Rice University and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.