On Tuesday, September 21, we had the pleasure to bring you all on a journey for the European Cooperation Day 2021. On this day, we celebrate all the amazing outcomes we can achieve when we work together across borders. To commemorate this day in 2021, we went on a virtual trip and visited some of our projects in the area.
During our virtual journey, we explored what cooperation across borders looks like and how our cultural and regional differences can be enriching for the work together. Our projects LIVES (Litter free rivers and streams), EMR Digital Twin Academy, Wohnmonitor, Light Vehicle 25, and WearIT4COVID have opened their doors and have let us into their life and work reality.
During our virtual trip, we have met Julie Vranken from the University of Hasselt who is working on a wearable device for Corona patients that measures different vital signs continuously throughout the day. Eventually, this device she and her colleagues from the Netherlands and Belgium are testing in a clinical setting now may even be rolled out for at-home use, Julie explained.
From Aachen, Fabian Thimm from the Region Aachen Zweckverband joined the event to explain more about the Wohnmonitor project. This project is based on the fact that the housing market is very tense in many of the cities in our region. Their aim, therefore, is to set up a cross-border housing observatory that provides transparency in the housing market which eventually enables the coordinated development of housing in our border triangle.
Jan Stroobants is working for Flanders Make in the Flemish city of Lommel on the cross-border project Light Vehicle 2025. He and the project partners from the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium are driven by the ambition to significantly reduce fuel consumption and the emission of CO2 in cars. Within their Interreg project, they are currently developing four prototypes to do so, one of them being an anti-roll bar, which Jan brought to the studio to demonstrate the physical output of the work he and his colleagues are doing.
From Wallonia, we had Francois Strykers from Jobs@Skills join us and put into simple terms what the project EMR Digital Twin Academy is planning to achieve in the upcoming years. He made his way to Maastricht to explain what exactly a digital twin is and how the cross-border project is going to use this technology to create new professions and businesses in our programme area. Apart from this, Francois also shared some hands-on experience of what it is like to work across borders and with different cultural backgrounds.
The shortest travel time had Sylvia Spierts-Brouwer, who represented our LIVES (litter-free rivers and streams) project. She is working for the Province of Limburg, the lead partner of this project that brings together German, Belgian, and Dutch regional authorities and stakeholders. She explained just how important cross-border collaboration is in her work as plastic waste transcends borders and regions. The most recent event that has highlighted just how vital the work across borders is was the most recent flooding in our region which also has had a huge environmental impact.
We want to thank all projects for their participation in the European Cooperation Day and for sharing their fascinating stories! We also would like to thank our moderator, Simone van Trier, who led us through the different regions seamlessly, and last - but not least - we would like to thank all of our colleagues all over Europe who have prepared very interesting events, in particular also the colleagues from Interact who helped to inform the public about the event and supported us with the organisation.
The European Cooperation Day:
The European Union commemorates the European Cooperation Day (also known as EC Day) on 21 September every year. With the EC Day, we celebrate that many good things come out when we join forces.