The global COVID-19 pandemic has posed and continues to bring dramatic challenges for regions all over the world. Therefore, all seven RLS partner regions met online to address socio-political developments based on the global pandemic.
As the 10th Regional Leaders’ Summit that should have taken place in Upper Austria in September 2020 had to be postponed to 2021, the RLS-Sciences network and the Upper Austrian Government invited the regional leaders as well as the lead scientist of the RLS-Sciences network groups to exchange virtually on major questions of today´s world.
A joint round table on September 15th brought politics and sciences together and enabled a science- and practice-oriented exchange between all seven regions. Thomas Stelzer, Governor of Upper Austria was pleased to welcome his colleagues, Alan Winde, Premier of the Western Cape, REN Airong, Vice Governor of Shandong, Ambassador Affonso Massot, Executive Secretary of International Affairs, São Paulo, Èric Marquis, Deputy-Minister – Bilateral Relations, Québec, Commissioner Pat Wilson, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia, and Dr. Florian Herrmann, Head of State Chancellery and Minister of Federal and European Affairs and Media, Bavaria, live and via video message to discuss regional challenges in the global pandemic.
In the Keynote René Mayrhofer, Head of Christian Doppler Laboratory for Private Digital Authentication in the Physical World and Head of Institute of Networks and Security at Johannes Kepler University Linz, addressed the topic of managing digital identities and draw a bow from contact tracing in the crisis to future virtual passports.
During the RLS-Sciences Round Table, Lead Scientists out of the four RLS-Sciences Projects- the Energy Network (Dr. Sebastian Goers), Global Aerospace Campus (Prof. Klaus Drechsler), Small Satellites (Prof. Klaus Schilling) and the Expert Dialogue on Digitalization (Prof. Thierry Karsenti)- provided expertise from their respective fields concerning regional crisis management, challenges, best-practices and exit strategies for the COVID-19 pandemic.