AGEMERA kicks off in Oulu, Finland
AGEMERA partners reunite in Finland to discuss the project's objectives and plan future steps
As it turned out, the end of the summer period was quite productive: AGEMERA (Agile Exploration and Geo-modelling for European Critical Raw Materials) had its official start and the first in-person meeting among its consortium!
Our 3-year project aims to unlock Europe's Critical Raw Material (CRM) potential by using a combination of extensive geophysical surveys, innovative and non-invasive methods and technologies of mineral exploration, and educational activities and courses. AGEMERA will identify new areas to be explored in search for raw materials, particularly in geographical areas that have been either neglected or not taken into account until the present moment, will assess the general public's opinion with regard to mining, and will increase public awareness of the crucial role raw materials play in our transition to a green and digital economy.
Reuniting 20 partners from 11 different countries, from academia and research institutions to mining companies and SMEs, AGEMERA has an ambitious mission: to reach more than 5 million people by 2030, people who would have an improved knowldge of the world we live in and how we are working on making it better.
And we are happy to share that our kick-off meeting on 4-7 October was a blast! The host and the coordinating institution of AGEMERA, University of Oulu, gave a warm welcome to the project partners, who, during these 3 days, ended up connecting, exchanging views and ideas, discussing the goals of the project and drafting strategies to make AGEMERA a success.
The kick-off event started with an opening speech from director of the Kerttu Saalasti Institute, Matti Muhos, and a short introduction to the project and its goals by the Project Leader, Jari Joutsenvaara.
We then listened to a brief presentation of AGEMERA's role in the "big picture": how do the project's goals align with the goals of the EU? How will the project's results contribute to the green and digital transition? These questions were answered by Emma Pirilä, (Director of the Research and project services at the University of Oulu), Tuija Mononen (the director of the Research Centre for Socially and Environmentally Responsible Mining, University of Eastern Finland) and Georgios Barakos (University lecturer at Curtin University, Australia). This compelling topic was followed by a short presentation of each of the AGEMERA partners, their expertise, and their specific tasks in the project. From general to specific, we then took a deep dive into the focus of each of the project's Work Package.
After lunch, we moved on to a presentation on the Dissemination, Communication and Collaboration work in the project with its leader, Geonardo. They talked about the strategy, the next milestones (for example, the Communication & Dissemination Plan, which provides an in-depth overview of the entire communication and dissemination work, from brand guidelines and visual identity, to target audiences, key contacts and platforms, and social media messages). Ömer Ceylan and Attila Némethy conducted this presentation and answered the questions from the consortium members.
On the second day of the Kick-Off, the team was grateful to receive expert advice from our Policy Officer, Konstantinos Amolochitis, who walked us through the new requirements of Horizon Europe and what is expected from the project in regards of its outcomes and impact. The participants also enjoyed a presentation of the Scientific Advisory Board (Violetta Sokoła-Szewioła, Rüdiger Giese, Marja Jokinen, Juho Risku, Steve Beresford) and were introduced to the Ethical Advisor, Riitta Keiski.
As co-creation and collaboration is at the core of European research objectives, there was also a dedicated time discussing potential partnerships and synergies with sister projects and related initiatives, such as GoldenEye, SEMACRET, EIS, and VECTOR.
The last day of the event, on October 7, the AGEMERA Studia Generalia took place, a session that was open to the public, in which partners of AGEMERA (Muon Solutions, OPT/NET, RADAI, and LITHICA) presented the novel technologies that will be deployed in the project and their benefits.
But as the saying goes, all work and no play makes one dull! Which is why, during the three days of the Kick-off meeting, partners took the opportunity to network over coffees, discuss their latest achievements, get acquainted with each other's work and interests, and simply build valuable connections that will help make the project a success. We are very thankful to Minna Kilpeläinen for capturing these moments on camera and we cannot wait to roll up our sleeves and start working for a resilient Europe!