The Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Conor Lenihan TD met today with Prof Enric Banda, president of Euroscience, to mark the formal start of preparations to host the European City of Science in Dublin in 2012.
Both Lenihan and Banda addressed the inaugural meeting of the Local Organising Committee for the City of Science event, a committee that is chaired by the chief scientific adviser to the Government, Prof Patrick Cunningham.
Dublin European City of Science 2012 will take place from 12-16 July 2012. The event will bring together leading international scientists and high-ranking Government officials from across Europe to address the major global issues of our time, such as energy, climate change, food and health, to name but a few.
What City of Science event means to Ireland
Lenihan spoke of the particular significance of this event to Ireland as we seek to realise the vision of the smart economy.
“Hosting the European City of Science in 2012 will provide a platform to showcase the best of Irish science and research across all disciplines.
“The City of Science event is expected to attract 8,000 delegates (scientists, science administrators, policy officials, media) to Ireland for the event itself and will consequently have a considerable impact on the tourist industry.
“On the basis of research conducted by the Fáilte Ireland Business Tourism Forum, it is estimated that the total expenditure by delegates will be €14.3 million, which is expected to support over 270 jobs in the tourism sector.”
City of Science event a time for Ireland to shine
Cunningham added that the event will provide a marvellous opportunity for Ireland to showcase Europe-wide as well as beyond, the fruits of our intensive 10-year programme of investment into our research capacity.
While the core event will take place over five days in July, he commented, the ‘City of Science’ theme is set to run throughout the year. Planning is already under way for a large number of science-related conferences and activities over the course of the 12 months of 2012.
Banda outlined the experience of Barcelona in hosting the last City of Science event in 2008. In particular, he highlighted the positive legacy for science, technology and innovation that the event left behind to the city of Barcelona, the region of Catalonia, and indeed all of Spain.
By John Kennedy
Photo: Director general of Science Foundation Ireland Frank Gannon with Science and Technology Minister Conor Lenihan TD