Research and Innovation Smart Specialization Strategy in the Field of Biotechnologies in Europe: A Challenge for Central and East European Region (September 4th - 6th 2017)

The JRC-EC - CEI - ICGEB European Workshop on "Smart Specialization Strategy in the Field of Biotechnologies in Europe: A Challenge for CEE Region" was organized on 4th - 6th September 2017 by Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of SS. Cyril and Methodius, Trnava in cooperation with Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava and ICARST, Bratislava as well as with expertise, organizational and funding support Joint Research Centre of European Commission (JRC-EC), in Brussels, Belgium, Central European Initiative (CEI)andInternational Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) both in Trieste, Italy. The Workshop is held under auspices of Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of Slovak Republic.

The Workshop was focused on evaluation of current state and prospects of development of R&I in the field of Biotechnology ranging from industrial biotechnology, through environmental, agro-food biotechnology up to medicinal and pharma biotechnologies. The attention was also paid to the transfer from research to innovation and setting-up of high-tech companies with the goal to promote biobased industries and bio-economy. The Workshop was also briefly surveying current state and prospects of biotechnology in CEE countries with the focus to point out the opportunities for better cooperation in biotechnology within the Research and Innovation Smart Specialization Strategy (RIS3).

The Workshop aims at providing recommendations towards better research cooperation on regional and European level in the framework of smart specialization in biotechnology with the goal to increase competitiveness and impact on related biotech industries. A need of strengthening of the cooperation as well as deeper involvement of CEE countries including also the pre-accession countries of CEE region within various European research programs (such as Danube initiative, INTERREG, EBTNA, etc.), is underlined. This also include the improvement of cooperation with international organizations such as JRC-EC, ICGEB, CEI and others.

At the Workshop more than 104 experts from 22 European countries participated, including 13 CEE countries and several international organizations (EC, CEI, JRC- EC and ICGEB). More than 46 lectures were presented together with 19 posters. The present Book of Abstracts provides a brief overview of the presented contributions.

The National Meeting within Interreg Danube - Energy Barge: Building a Green Energy and Logistics Belt (August 18th 2017)

The National Meeting was taking place at the Slovak Chemical Library, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava on 18th August 2017. At the National Meeting 22 participants from 7 institutions and 3 Universities were participating. The meeting was opened by Prof. Miertuš, Director General of ICARST, who thanked to all participants for their participation and especially to the main organizer Prof. Bakoš (ICARST), who is responsible for the implementation of the ENERGY BARGE project on behalf of ICARST. Prof. Bakoš presented the topic "Mapping of bioenergetic sector in Danube belt", followed by "Building the green energetic and logistic belt along Danube". A third lecture was presented by Prof. Ondrejovič about the Work Package "Implementation and Policy". Afterwards a round table discussion was organized where a rich discussion developed. Several experts contributed to the round table discussion, namely Prof. Katuščák, Prof. Chodák, Sr., Dr. Šurina, Mr. Ceben, Prof. Bakoš, Prof. Ondrejovič and Prof. Miertuš. The National Meeting provided a good platform for the coordination of the further implementation of the project, especially for the Work Packages "Mapping bioenergy sector" and "Implementation and Policy". A very interesting discussion implied several contributions from the audience:

• It was commented that it would be useful to assess in more detail the value of different types of wood which will influence a sustainability of various options for the use of wood (including waste wood). This will affect also sustainability of logistics.

• Centralized option (which include the longer distance transport) vs decentralized option of the transformation of should be critically compared with decentralized options of transformation of biomass to energy.

• It was commented that the LCA method could be considered in some particular cases to assess viability of various options.

• Possibilities of a country pilot study have been discussed as well.

• It was also proposed that along with the implementation of the project which is focused mainly on logistic issues, it might be interesting to prepare a follow-up vision (future project proposal) in which the topics of integrated value chains could be considered including also biowaste availability, transformation technology (including biorefinery concept), technology transfer, knowledge transfer, harmonization of methodologies, e learning, etc.

Advanced Biofuels, Biorefinery and Bio-Economy: A Challenge for Central and East European Countries (March 25th - 27th 2015)

Within the overall objective of promoting the sustainable production and use of advanced biofuels, biorefineries and bio-economy, the Workshop aims at providing a forum for discussion between multi-sectoral stakeholders to share knowledge and experience and to formulate recommendations as to possible national and regional way forward towards increasing competitiveness, environmental and social sustainability of the advanced biofuels value chains and strengthening the regional integration.