2017 ICA Rectors and Deans Froum


Life Science Universities Deliver Impact
in Addressing the Sustainable Development Goals

Thursday 19 and Friday 20 October 2017
was held at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

See the detailed programme and presentations


Following the keynote presentations, panel comments and the roundtable discussions the Forum identified the most important challenges for life science universities in responding to the global drivers for change exemplified by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

This Summary of the discussions was prepared by Alex Evans, Dean and Head of School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin on behalf of the ICA Board.


We will discuss how life science universities should respond to the global drivers for change exemplified by the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in agriculture, and the food and non food value chains through the development of the education programmes, the application of science in a social context in support of governance in the region and globally.
The three Forum themes are:

  • How should Life Science Universities address the challenge of the SDGs to support the provision of a healthy diet with enough food for everyone – the social, economic and environmental imperatives?
  • What is the impact of the SDGs on the Life Science Universities' education programmes in a sustainable university – to meet the expectations of national, international students, and life long learners?
  • How can Life Science Universities provide leadership in the delivery of the SDGs through engagement in policy development and governance, at the national, regional and global levels?


Each Forum theme will be addressed by two keynote speakers followed by a panel of four ICA members giving their experience, and then round table discussions in the conference room (5 - 8 people around a table) with a report back from each table.


A White Paper will be developed listing important visions for life science universities acting locally, regionally and globally to deliver impact in addressing the challenge of the Sustainable Development Goals through education and the application of science – both the natural and the social sciences. Delegates will be asked to develop the list during the Forum's roundtable discussions with a final discussion in the closing session.


The Forum seeks to attract those who in are in charge of strategic decision making in Universities /Faculties of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The ICA Board invites Rectors, Vice Rectors and Deans, or persons of equivalent status in their university, college, school or faculty being responsible for education, research and innovation to participate in the Forum.