Celebrating a Decade of Innovation: CERFA Symposium 2023 Kicks Off in Berlin
Berlin, Germany: September 22-24, 2023
The bustling streets of Berlin have become even more vibrant this weekend, not due to the city’s famous marathon, but rather because of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of CERFA, the Society of Spanish Scientists in the Federal Republic of Germany. With a jam-packed program, the symposium promises two days of insightful discussions and networking, made possible by the generous support of sponsors and distinguished speakers.
The symposium commenced with a grand opening ceremony featuring prominent figures, including the Spanish Ambassador in Germany, CERFA’s president, and representatives from Fundación Ramón Areces and FECYT – Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología.
The Spanish Embassy in Berlin witnessed a thought-provoking discussion led by the CEO of Merck Group, Belén Garijo, on topics ranging from innovation and leadership to transformation and organisational culture. Prof. Dr. Beatriz Roldán Cuenya, the first female director of the interface science department at the Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, also explained her professional career development and scientific achievements. The conversations extended to areas like female empowerment and the delicate balance of work-life for women, showcasing the symposium’s commitment to fostering inclusivity in the scientific community.
Mrs. Mireia Paulo, CEAC’s Head of Management, moderated the round table dedicated to Social Sciences, which took the spotlight, delving into the intersection of digitalization, energy transition, economics, politics, and gender gaps in various study fields. The speakers engaged the audience with profound insights and perspectives on these critical subjects. Among the panellist, there were:
- Begoña Gonzalez, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich
- Miguel Roan, Director of Balcanismos, Balkan studies consultor, researcher, writer, and translator
- Vicent Plana, Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Duisburg- Essen
- Miquel Salvadó, Alliance for Research on East Asia (AREA) Ruhr, University of Duisburg-Essen
- Dr Izaskun Zuazu-Bermejo, Institute for Socio-Economics, University of Duisburg- Essen
The symposium hosted discussions from various disciplines such as natural sciences, life sciences, engineering, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as industry and management.
In the field of Natural Sciences, speakers shared their experiences in academia and industry, emphasizing teamwork, environmental impact, resilience, and flexibility as key factors for success. Life Sciences were explored through engaging discussions on topics like cancer, neuroscience, metabolic diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Renowned experts presented their research findings, shedding light on the latest advancements in these critical fields. The intersection of Engineering and AI was explored in-depth, with speakers discussing the applications and challenges of AI in various domains, including space exploration, industrial robotics, and rehabilitation robotics. Finally, Industry and Management took centre stage as speakers shared their experiences in academia and industry, highlighting the skills and knowledge that make scientific researchers invaluable in organisational settings. Speakers also emphasised the importance of bridging the gap between academia and industry.
Reflecting on a decade of remarkable accomplishments, CERFA celebrated its achievements. The symposium concluded on a nostalgic note, as all past presidents of CERFA gathered alongside the president of RAICEX and Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK/CERU), highlighting the enduring legacy of this dynamic association. Finally, the future of CERFA was envisioned, emphasizing key concepts: “sustainability, commitment, independence, meaningful, influence, communication, collaboration, and people” as the driving forces behind its future success.