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EPB’s Spring 2024 Plenary Meeting in Katowice

The Members of the EPB Plenary (representatives and alternative representatives of research institutes, logistics operators, funding agencies, scientific academies and government ministries from across Europe) gathered in Katowice for this year’s EPB Spring Plenary meeting. The meeting was held on 23-24 April at the Library of the University of Silesia in Katowice (CINiBA), generously hosted by one of the EPB Members, the Committee on Polar Research (Polish Academy of Sciences) with support from the Centre for Polar Studies (University of Silesia in Katowice) & the Polish Polar Consortium.

The EPB members were welcomed to Katowice by the local hosts, who gave a tour of the historic Guido Coal Mine, followed by a reception inside of the mine on the evening of 22 April 2024. Thanks to Dr. M Chmielewska for her expertise and guidance! 

At the Spring 2024 Plenary meeting on 23 April, many fruitful discussions were conducted and important decisions were made. The EPB welcomed a new Member: Czech Antarctic Research Programme (CARP), Masaryk University - the EPB thus reached 31 members from 22 different countries. We are happy to have CARP as a new EPB Member and we are looking forward to future collaboration.

On another note, the EPB also said goodbye to Prof. Rein Vaikmäe, who serves as the Representative of the Estonian Academy of Sciences to the EPB. We wish him all the best in his retirement and we are looking forward to welcoming Prof. Maarja Kruusmaa as a new Representative of the Estonian Academy of Sciences.

During the meeting a new EU-funded project was introduced by its coordinator, Dr. N Biebow. The EU-funded POLARIN project (Polar Research Infrastructure Network) will deliver fully financed, cross-border, virtual and remote access to 64 polar research infrastructures and promote interdisciplinary research that addresses the scientific challenges in both polar regions. The EPB participates in the project mainly as a lead of the Outreach, Engagement and Impact work package. Learn more about the project here.

After the EPB Spring 2024 Plenary meeting, a scientific session "High North and Far South from European and Regional Perspectives", co-organised by the local hosts and the EPB, took place as part of the European City of Science Katowice 2024 celebrations. The EPB's Executive Secretary, Dr. R Badhe, gave a talk on EPB's Profile and Role in European Science”, and the EPB's Chair, Dr. N Biebow, gave an overview of the EU-PolarNet 2 project and talked about its crucial results. The important role of Polish polar research was also highlighted. Find a video recording from the meeting here:

In conclusion, we would like to give our heartfelt thanks to the Committee on Polar Research (Polish Academy of Sciences), the Centre for Polar Studies (University of Silesia in Katowice) & the Polish Polar Consortium for hosting us! Special mention goes to the organising committee: Prof. Dr. J A Jania, Dr. E Łepkowska, Dr. M Chmielewska & N Latacz for their support.

We are looking forward to the upcoming EPB Autumn 2024 Plenary meeting, which will take place on 12-13 November 2024 in Den Haag, hosted by the EPB Secretariat and the Netherlands Polar Programme (NPP) at the Dutch Research Council (NWO).


Learn more about the past EPB Plenary meetings here:
EPB’s Autumn 2023 Plenary Meeting in Tromsø
EPB's Spring 2023 Plenary Meeting in Sofia
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