Dr. Christian Koch participated and spoke at the Tiergarten Conference 2015 of the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation in Berlin, Germany. The conference was held under the theme of “Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in a Period of Global Upheaval.” Dr. Koch spoke in the working session on “The Iranian nuclear deal and its regional and global implications” focusing on the perspectives of the Arab Gulf states, their concerns and the overall consequences for the way forward.
Dr. Mohamed Abdel Raouf, Research Fellow – GRC Environmental Research Program, participated in the Global Environment Facility - Expanded Constituency Workshop (GEF-ECW) for the MENA region and in the Global Environment Facility – Civil Society Organizations (GEF-CSO) Consultation Meeting. The two meetings took place on 8-10 September 2015 in Dead Sea, Jordan. Dr. Raouf was responsible for organizing, moderating and speaking at the CSO Consultation Meeting on September 8th. The ECW workshop focused on discussions of GEF projects in the region, the GEF 2020 Strategy and the GEF Replenishment-6. The Gulf Research Center participated in the workshop in its current capacity as the Regional Focal Point of the GEF-CSO Network for West Asia.
Dr. Christian Koch met with Adnan Tabatabei, CEO of CARPO, the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient. They discussed the current situation in the Gulf region and explored mechanisms of cooperation between the two institutions.
Dr. Oskar Ziemelis, GRC Director of Cooperation and Sanya Kapasi, Administration Manager represented the GRC Foundation at the Smart Cities Innovation Summer School, which took place as part of the INCONET-GCC2 project in Volos, Greece on 7-10 September 2015. The summer school, entitled: “Collective Awareness Platforms for Smart Cities Development” was hosted by the University of Thessaly and brought together 25 researchers and experts interested in Smart Cities from the GCC and the EU. The overall goal of the INCONET-GCC2 project is to support the GCC-EU policy dialogue in Science, Technology and Innovation, and to strengthen GCC-EU cooperation among research and innovation actors, especially in the context of the Horizon 2020 program.
As part of the researcher mobility task in the INCONET-GCC2 project, the GRC Foundation organized a call for joint GCC-EU projects in the area of Smart Cities to stimulate researcher mobility between the GCC and the EU. Eight researchers from the GCC countries proposed joint projects and received researcher mobility grants from the project to participate in the Smart Cities Innovation Summer School. Following the summer school, joint research proposals will be tracked and supported through researcher–mobility-specific advice with the goal of extending and enhancing GCC-EU researcher mobility.
Dr. Christian Koch participated in a two-day track II coordination meeting on Syria focused on regional interests in Brussels, Belgium. The event was sponsored by the European Institute of Peace, Search for Common Ground and the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center (NOREF).
Dr. Christian Koch, Director of the GRC Foundation, held the following meeting in Brussels:
• Amb. Amal Al-Hamad, Ambassador of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Brussels
• Dario Christiani of the Institute for European Studies, Vrije University, Brussels
• Merete Bilde and Benoit Chapas, European External Action Service (EEAS)
• Amb. Martin Fleischer, Vice-President for Regional Security, Kawa Hassan, Director, Middle East and North Africa Program, and Wael Abdul-Shafi, Program Coordinator, East-West Institute, Brussels.