The ​​​​​NTNU European Conference​​ 2023

Thursday, 9 February 2023 |  Residence Palace | In-person event with streaming

Important note: Please note that you will not be able to enter the venue via Rue de la Loi on the day. You must enter the venue via Chaussée d'Etterbeek.
Important note: Due to the European Summit, traffic (including busses) might be redirected. Please note the secondary entrance above. 


Opening Evening Reception

Wednesday, 8 February 2023, 19:00 - 22:00 hrs | Le Louise | In-person event

Live Stream

Conference stream

Starting at 09:15, 9th February

About the Conference

Europe is facing a set of challenges to its open strategic autonomy, which have been exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Among the areas under pressure are energy and food supply, access to raw materials, and democratic values. This increased urgency has prompted a reevaluation and acceleration of existing European policies, such as the launch of REPowerEU or the revision of the EU’s raw materials strategy. 

We are experiencing a wide mobilization of the European community at all levels. The research, innovation and education community is essential in navigating the current and future challenges through developing the knowledge and technologies we need. 

The NTNU European conference will explore present-day challenges for our continent and, in dialogue with top Brussels policy-makers, attempt to chart a way into the future, looking at particular at four thematic areas: 

  • Energy 
  • Food 
  • Raw materials 
  • Fair and inclusive society 

In the opening plenary we will take the present-day view, assessing the challenges as they appear now; four subsequent parallel sessions will look into the future of select policy areas; and the closing plenary will tie the four threads together, allowing us to peek into the future. 



Tor Grande, Pro-Rector for research and dissemination, NTNU

Tor Grande

Pro-Rector for Research and Dissemination


Elisabeth Werner

Deputy Secretary-General, Policy Coordination

European Commission

Ena Voûte

Professor and Pro Vice Rector of International Affairs 

TU Delft



Irène Tolleret



Rolf Einar Fife

Ambassador of Norway to the European Union


Per Strand Sjaastad

Ambassador of Norway to Belgium


Deputy Head of Mission to the EU


Dimitri Lorenzani

Member of Cabinet of Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission​​​​​Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight





Frank Siebern-Thomas

Head of Unit, Fair Green and Digital Transitions, DG EMPL

 European Commission


Peter Handley

Head of unit, Energy Intensive Industries - Raw Materials, DG GROW

 European Commission

Annika Kroon

Head of Unit, Maritime Transport and Logistics

European Commission


Katja Iversen

Sentral Policy Advisor to the WEF, WHO and World Leaders



Sophie Howe

Future Generations Commissioner for Wales​​​​​​​


Matteo Vespa


 European Students' Union


Hélène-Diane Dage 

Deputy Head of Unit DG GROW Food, Retail, Health 

European Commission


Muriel Attané

Secretary General




​​​​​​​Caroline Costongs




Tom Gilbert

Professor, University of Copenhagen, Director of the Danish National Research Foundation Center for Evolutionary Hologenomics

Terje Andreas Eikemo

​​​​​​​Professor and leader of CHAIN 



Knut Marthinsen





​​​​​​​Markus A. Reuter

Professor & Chief Expert at SMS group in Düsseldorf


Anders Strømman

Professor and Member of IPCC WG3



Marleen Onwezen

Scientific Expertise Leader, Consumer Behaviour

 Wageningen University & Research


Sverre Steen

Head of Department  of Marine Technology 




Paolo Patruno

Deputy Secretary General

CLITRAVI European Meat Processing Association


Laurent Bontoux

Senior Foresight for Policy Expert

European Commission Joint Research Centre 

Thomas Garabetian

R&I Manager

SolarPower Europe


Olav Bolland

Dean for Faculty of Engineering & Professor




Jaap Gebraad

Secretary General

Waterborne Technology Platform


​​​​​​​Chris Waddington

Technical Director

International Chamber of Shipping


Eva Falch

Associate Professor and Head of NTNU Food Forum



Kurt Aasly

Associate Professor and Head of Mineral Production & HSE Research Group




Jesper Aa. Petersen

Vice-Dean Research SU Faculty 








Conference Programme

programme 2023


Opening Evening Reception 8th of February


19:00 - 22:00 Welcoming Drinks and Light Snacks




Rolf Einar Fife, Ambassador of Norway to the European Union

Tor Grande, Pro-Rector Research and Dissemination NTNU 


Main Conference Programme 9th of February


08:30 Registration desk opens

Welcoming Coffee and pasteries available 


09:15 – 09:50 Opening Plenary


The present - where does Europe stand, and what is being done? 

Climate change, an energy system under pressure, as well as difficulties in accessing raw materials and food at affordable prices, constituted a potent cocktail even prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

This has urged the EU to launch several revisions (such as the REPowerEU plan) to accelerate already existing EU policies. 

-    What is the state of play for the implementation of the new policies? Are they sufficient?
-    Which additional measures are required, and which are already being designed?
-    How have different stakeholders been impacted, and how are they coping?


Welcome statement by NTNU Pro-Rector Tor Grande.




Elisabeth Werner, Deputy Secretary-General for Policy Coordination European Commission

"The twin transition in challenging times"

Christian Ehler, MEP

"Green, but no Deal"

Per Strand Sjaastad, Ambassador of Norway to Belgium and Deputy Head of Mission to the EU

“How to boost the green transition and resilience - Norway as a key partner”

Ena Voûte, Professor and Pro Vice Rector of International Affairs TU Delft

"One size does not fit all"


Room: Polak room (main room)


09:50 – 10:30 Panel Debate  

Session Moderator: Massimo Busuoli, Director of NTNU Brussels Office



Christian Ehler, MEP

Elisabeth Werner, Deputy Secretary-General for Policy Coordination European Commission

Per Strand Sjaastad, Ambassador of Norway to Belgium and Deputy Head of Mission to the EU

Ena Voûte, Professor and Pro Vice Rector of International Affairs TU Delft


Room: Polak room (main room)

10:30 – 10:45 Coffee Break & Network Opportunities  

Parallel Sessions: 10:45 – 12.15

10:45 – 12:15 Parallel Sessions

Parallel Session 1 - Fueling the green shipping transition: Can we reduce emissions while ensuring a secure energy supply? 

Chair: Olav Bolland, NTNU

Nearly 3% of global final energy demand is consumed by ships – mainly in international cargo shipping – and the fuel consumption similarly accounts for roughly 3% of global CO2 emissions, in addition to a significant share of global SOX and NOX emissions. 

Presently the potential for electrification remains limited, and a massive fuel switch to energy carriers such as ammonia, bioenergy and natural gas is needed in the short to medium term to reduce harmful emissions. Both for this switch, and for the future switch to fully sustainable fuel systems, Europe needs strong political leadership, increased investments in new infrastructure, and rapid development of new technologies. 

This parallel session will address questions such as
•    What is the current status of sustainable shipping?
•    How quickly can we move?
•    How will future fuel systems affect energy security?
•    What does the R&I and education community need from Europe’s political leaders, and vice versa?

Speakers and Keynote Titles:  

Annika Kroon, Head of Unit Maritime Transport and Logistics, European Commission

"EU ambitions in decarbonizing shipping and recent policy developments"

Anders Strømman, Professor & Member of IPCC WG3, NTNU

"Mitigation of Climate Change: Shipping"

Chris Waddington, Technical Director International Chamber of Shipping

Decarbonisation of shipping, key challenges, opportunities and actions

Jaap Gebraad, Secretary General of Waterborne Technology Platform

Sverre Steen, Head of Departement Marine Technology, NTNU


10:45 - 11:30 : Keynote Presentations


11:30 - 12:15 : Panel Debate

Room: Passage

Parallel Session 2 - Meeting the increasing demand for raw materials needed in the Green Transition: Is Europe up to the task?

Chair: Knut Marthinsen - NTNU

Wind turbines, solar panels, batteries for electric cars, technologies for digitalisation, drones for defence – all require critical raw materials (CRM). The demand for raw materials increases drastically in Europe and it has a high importance for the EU economy.

The war in Ukraine has intensified the raw material market around the globe and a possible supply shortage in Europe is likely.

In addition, there is an increasing need of skilled people in areas related to the energy transition and digitalization in Europe. How should we address these challenges to achieve a climate neutral Europe by 2050?


Speakers and Keynote Titles:  

Peter Handley, Head of Unit, Energy Intensive Industries - Raw Materials, European Commission

"Raw Materials – time for the EU to Act"

Kurt Aasly, Associate Professor NTNU

“NTNU and European Universities role in Critical Raw Materials”

Thomas Garabetian, Research and Innovation Manager, SolarPower Europe

“Solar PV innovation to solve the materials challenge of the energy transition”

Markus A. Reuter, Chief Expert and Professor at SMS groups in Düsseldorf

“The criticality of a robust metallurgical infrastructure in the EU to enable the circular economy” 


10:45 - 11:30 : Keynote Presentations


11:30 - 12:15 : Panel Debate

Room: Maelbeek



Parallel Session 3 - Wellbeing Economy: Co-creating a Fair and Inclusive Europe

Chair: Jesper Aa. Petersen - NTNU  

We are living in turbulent times. Widening inequalities in wealth, health and wellbeing, a cost-of-living crisis, despair and loneliness; pandemics, war, political polarization, reduced trust in politicians and a heated planet with prospects of breakdown are just some of the problems we are facing.

There is a need for radical socio-economic transformation and making a shift towards pursuing missions where economies and societies serve the wellbeing of people and planet rather than causing social fractures and ecological breakdown. Champion cities and countries are currently paving the way forward for building a wellbeing economy.

Such a rearranging of the economy is an approach where public and private investment and resources contributes to co-creation and joint action to improve human, societal, environmental, and economic wellbeing that can be enjoyed by all, for current and future generations.

A panel of distinguished policymakers, practitioners and researchers will meet to discuss promising practices, policy responses and research initiatives across Europe: The road towards co-creating fair and inclusive well-being economies in Europe where no one is left behind. 


Speakers and Keynote Titles:  

Katja Iversen, Sentral Policy Advisor to the WEF, WHO and World Leaders

Thriving, not just surviving – why the wellbeing economy needs to take center stage.

Caroline Costongs, Director, EuroHealthNet

"A wellbeing economy for healthy people and a healthy planet"

Terje Andreas Eikemo, NTNU

“Why reduced inequalities will create more sustainable societies” 

Frank Siebern-Thomas, Head of Unit, Fair Green and Digital Transitions, DG EMPL, European Commission

"EU policies and R&I actions for fair transitions

Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales

“Protecting the interests of Future Generations - The Welsh approach”


10:45 - 11:30 : Keynote Presentations 


11:30 - 12:15 : Panel Debate

Room: Polak (main room)

Parallel Session 4 - Changing Habits for Sustainable Food Systems

Chair: Eva Falch, NTNU  

The whole food system needs changes in order to secure food for the future. The willingness to change among actors in society is increasing, but does this entail a real change of habits? What are the roles of the different actors in this transformation? 

In the meantime, world population has reached 8 billion in 2022. We continue to waste, overconsume, eat food from scarce resources and food that gives a negative climate budget. 

The Farm to Fork Strategy and its action plan deal with these issues. It sets out 27 different policy initiatives affecting the whole system and its actors. More than two years after the implementation of the strategy, some action points are implemented, while others are in the pipeline. 

Some are more challenging than others. In this session we will approach: 

  • Are we in line with the goals for sustainable food?
  • Can resources from the Ocean alleviate the food crisis?
  • What are the complicated tasks?
  • Can we expect an agreement on sustainability labelling? 
  • What is the approach for succeeding in consumer acceptance of reformulated and processed food?
  • Will we accept resources from side streams or original resources in our future food? 
  • How can the R&I and Education communities take part in this necessary change of habits? How are the food actors involved? 
  • What is the speed of change concerning consumers and other actors in the food system, and what is the needed speed? 

And finally: Will we succeed in changing our habits? 


Speakers and Keynote Titles:  

Irène Tolleret, MEP

Marleen Onwezen, Scientific Expertise Leader, Consumer Behaviour at Wageningen University & Research

“Consumers' willingness to change?”

Tom Gilbert, Professor of Palaeogenomics, Director, Center for Evolutionary Hologenomics

“The holofood project – science as a driver for change in the animal production industry” 

Laurent Bontoux, Senior Foresight for Policy Expert at European Commission Joint Research Centre

“Key challenges for the transition towards a sustainable food system”

Paolo Patruno, Deputy Secretary General CLITRAVI - European Meat Processing Association

“Perspective of the EU meat processors on food system transformation”

Hélène-Diane Dage, Deputy Head of Unit DG GROW Food, Retail, Health, European Commission

"THE EU CODE OF CONDUCT ON RESPONSIBLE FOOD BUSINESS AND MARKETING PRACTICES: A common aspirational path towards sustainable food systems"


10:45 - 11:55 : Keynote Presentations


11:55 - 12:15 : Panel Debate

Room: Salon



12:15 – 13:45 Lunch Break


13:45 – 15:15 Closing Plenary 

Session Moderator: Massimo Busuoli, Director of NTNU Brussels Office


The closing plenary will allow us to peek into the future: Where do we go from here?

A plethora of European policies is being released this spring: The critical raw materials act, the electricity market rules revision, the social economy package and the defense of democracy package, to name a few. Further, the Commission’s strategic planning is being developed as we speak.

None of these represent an end point; rather, the iterative policy process requires continuous input from the R&I and education community. What does Europe need, and how can we provide it? 

13:45 - 14:05: Inspiration from the chairs of the parallel sessions

14:05 - 14:20: Dimitri Lorenzani, Member of Cabinet of Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight

Strategic foresight as a policymaking compass amidst the transitions and the new geopolitics

14:20 - 14:30: Tor Grande, Pro-Rector for Research and Dissemination NTNU

"Prepearing for the future in times of transition & transformation"


14:30 - 15:10: Panel discussion


Panel Participants:

Tor Grande, Pro-Rector for Research and Dissemination, NTNU

Dimitri Lorenzani, Member of Cabinet of Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight

Matteo Vespa, President, European Students' Union

Muriel Attané, Secretary General, EARTO


15:10 - 15:15: Closing remarks


Room: Polak room (main room)

Practical Information


Residence Palace

Venue contact: Maïcky Mohr,

! Important infromation on entering the venue: Due to extra security measures in connection to the European Summit taking place on the 9th and 10th of February, participants must enter the venue via the 'back entrance' from Chaussée d'Etterbeek.


To enter the venue: 

From Chaussée d'Etterbeek you will find the access to the venue entrance by walking up the stairs found to the left of the eatery Cherry Delicateseen (66 Chaussée d'Etterbeek).

Once you have walked up the stairs, keep an eye open for the NTNU roll-up indicating the point of entrance for the conference. 


Further details

  • Phone: +32 2 235 21 11 (reception)
  • Map


Le Louise

  • Address: Av. de la Toison d'Or 40, 1050 Brussels
  • Phone: +32 2 514 22 00 (reception)
  • Room Reservations
  • Map


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via or call us:

  • +47 995 00 769

Practical information NTNU Brussels office

COVID information

For the updated information about the covid situation in Brussels:

About the conference

The NTNU European Conference is an event introduced in the Brussels Arena in 2016. It aims to facilitate discussions on R&I and Education policies and strategies between stakeholders. 

The conference has grown in siginificance and popularity with increasing registrations and attendance over the years, becoming an arena of interaction between policymakers and representatives of higher education, industry, research, innovation as well as the civil society. 

European conference 2023

Organizing Committee

Massimo Busuoli. Photo.


Massimo Busuoli
Head of Office, NTNU Brussels

Twitter: @MassimoBusuoli


Kaja Istad
 Senior Adviser, NTNU

Twitter: @KajaBWI


Astrid Vigtil
Senior Adviser, IV faculty administration, NTNU



Eva Falch
 Associate professor, Head of NTNU Food Forum


Maria Wallin
EU advisor and EIT RawMaterials coordinator, NTNU


Ottar Ness
Professor, leader of WellFare research center, NTNU



Bård Li
 Senior adviser, SU faculty administration, NTNU


Hilde Røysland
Senior adviser, pro-rector for resarch, NTNU 


Joakim P. Berg
EU adviser, NTNU Brussels Office