2021 ICA Rectors and Deans Forum - Programme

The Role of Life Science Universities in Transitioning to
Climate Neutrality and Open Science

was held on Thursday 21 and Friday 22 October 2021
at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, KU Leuven, Belgium

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Wednesday 20 October

 Location: Irish College Leuven, Janseniusstraat 1, Leuven


Tea and Coffee - Registration


ICA General Assembly


Forum Welcome Reception – walking dinner following the ICA General Assembly

Thursday 21 October

Location: Faculty Club, KU Leuven, Groot Begijnhof 14, 3000 Leuven

Session 1 & 2: Scoping the challenge and opportunities for change in European food systems

The higlighted Keynotes were delivered online by ZOOM to registered delegates


Welcome to the Forum


Introduction to Session 1

Chair: Jos Van Orshoven, Dean Bioscience Engineering, KU Leuven


Keynote 1 Characterisation of the GHG emissions in food systems - agriculture, the food value and logistics chain, and in food consumption.
Pete Smith, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, UK


Keynote 2 The potential for carbon sequestration in the soil and by re-afforestation of land released from animal production.
Powerpoint presentation and voice-over powerpoint presentation
Jean-Francois Soussana, National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, FR



Keynote 3 Resourceful with food contributing to climate neutrality: reduction of food waste and energy saving in the food value chain.
Toine Timmermans, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, Wageningen University and Research, NL



 11.15 Keynote 4 Stimulating consumers to make dietary choices to eat sustainably in the diverse landscape of European culinary cultures.
Liesbet Vranken, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, BE
 11.45  Discusssion
 12.30  Lunch

Introduction to Session 2

Chair: Alex Evans, Former Dean of Agricultural Science & Head of UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin.

13.45 Keynote 5 EU vision and policies toward climate neutrality for the land sector and the role of the CAP policy in ensuring the viability of farmer’s income and food security
Nicola Di Virgilo, Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, EU Commission, Brussels, BE
14.15 Keynote 6 Helping farmers mitigate climate change - the multiple roles of agricultural inputs in managing the carbon footprint from production to application
Petra Laux, Head of Business Sustainability, Syngenta Crop Protection, Basel, Switzerland
14.45  Coffee

Panel:Four short interventiona from ICA Members

How my university will engage with society through education, research and outreach to encourage the desired transition to climate neutrality.

Michal Lostak, Czech University of Life Sciences, CZ
Marta Mendel, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, PL
Julian Park, University of Reading, UK
Janna Pietikäinen, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki, Finland

16.00 Breakout Discussion Groups
17.00 Pleanary Report Back
17.30 Closure
19.00 Reception offered by the City of Leuven and Welcome by Alderman David Dessers (Alderman for Agriculture, Climate and Sustainability) at Leuven Town Hall
20.00 Forum dinner at Restaurant Tafelrond, Grote Markt 5, Leuven


Friday 22 October

Location: Faculty Club, KU Leuven, Groot Begijnhof 14, 3000 Leuven

Session 3. Open Science and implications for Life Science Universities

Theme: Open Science is the overarching title, under which is Open Access, Open data, Open Education and sometimes also Citizen Science

 9.00 Introduction to Session 3
Chair: Arthur Mol, Rector Magnificus Wageningen University and Research (WUR)
 9.10 Keynote 11 The grand challenge to deliver the European Open Science Cloud
Karel Luyben, Rector Magnificus Emeritus at the Delft University of Technology
 9.50 Keynote 12 Open Science to deliver on the grand challenges
Kostas Glinos, Head of Unit for Open Science at European Commission
10.30 Coffee
11.00 Keynote 13 The experience of my university in addressing the introduction of an Open Science strategy and its implementation.
Anna Lundhagen, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Collaboration and Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)
11.40 Breakout discussions
12.30 Plenary Report Back
13.00 Closure and Lunch
  Download the flyer