2023 Europe Day Celebration, Melbourne

2023 Europe Day Celebration, Melbourne

On Friday 12 May 2023, RMIT was proud to host Europe Day in Melbourne, and celebrate EU-Australian research collaboration.

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The RMIT EU Centre of Excellence was proud to host a celebration of Europe Day in Melbourne on the 12th of May, alongside our partners at the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA), the European Union Delegation to Australia, and the European Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand (ESAANZ).

The co-hosts were honoured to welcome His Excellency, Mr. Gabrielle Visentin, on his first official mission to Melbourne as EU Ambassador to Australia. Speaking to the theme of the event, EU and Australian research collaboration, His Excellency highlighted the strong and dynamic relationship between the EU & Australia, along with the shared values and evolving commitments both parties have agreed to within our bilateral ties. He reiterated that research, innovation and education continue to be key areas for growth and cooperation, as well as the importance of enhancing engagement between our universities, research centres and think tanks to facilitate shared knowledge and economic growth, regional and urban development, foreign and security policy, and diversifying our environmental and energy resources.

Following the Ambassador, our second speaker Nishant Shandilya, Regional Coordinator for EURAXESS (AUS & NZ), provided a thorough overview of the Horizon Europe program (the EU's framework program for research & innovation) which seeks to deliver greater access, funding, and flexibility for researchers to enhance scientific collaboration between Europe and the world. Mr Shandilya elaborated on the various funding and research pathways that Horizon can provide, both for individual and collaborative research, and highlighted Australia’s status as one of the top five international partners participating in the program. 

The program aims to reach researchers across multiple fields including:

  • Health
  • Culture, Creativity & Inclusive Societies
  • Civil Security for Society
  • Digital, Industry & Space
  • Climate, Energy & Mobility
  • Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture & Environment

For more information on these research and development funding opportunities, please visit European Commission - Funding programmes and open calls.  

Our final speaker of the event was Dr Chetan Arora, Senior Lecturer in software engineering at Monash University, who delivered an engaging and salient talk on the topic of generative artificial intelligence and the implications of its implementation across different areas of our lives. In showcasing the latest developments in AI technologies and contextualising the significant consequences they pose for developers and policy makers alike, Dr Arora effectively demonstrated the potential advantages and ongoing concerns over the human-centred approach to AI softwares. Additionally, in drawing attention to the ongoing efforts by government and industry to interdict the application and development of AI in certain sectors, Dr Arora underscored the need for greater research efforts devoted to software enhancement and trustworthiness to develop responsible AI, and help fill the knowledge gaps throughout society surrounding these technologies.

Moderating throughout the event was the EU Centre’s own Dr Emma Shortis, while Centre Director Prof Bruce Wilson delivered closing remarks, thanking everyone for their participation in another successful Europe Day at RMIT, and providing a summation of the EU center’s ongoing projects in support of research development and collaboration.

RMIT’s EU Centre of Excellence looks forward to continuing our work in association with the EU to build partnerships and support innovative strategies in order to facilitate growth across both developed and emerging research sectors.

Speaker details

HE Mr Gabriele Visentin has been the European Union Ambassador to Australia since September 2022, and was appointed EU Special Envoy for the Indo-Pacific in September 2021. Prior to his arrival in Australia, Mr. Visentin served as Head of the Parliamentary Affairs Division in the European External Action Service for several years. Earlier in his career, Mr. Visentin was an official of the European Commission and served in the Directorate General for External Relations. Mr. Visentin was also Head of Cabinet to the last President of the ECSC (European Community for Steel and Coal) and Advisor on European affairs to the Italian Minister of Industry, Energy and International Trade. He holds a degree in law and is specialised in International and Community law.

Nishant Shandilya is the Regional Coordinator of EURAXESS Australia and New Zealand, an initiative of the European Commission that addresses barriers to the mobility of researchers and seeks to enhance scientific collaboration between Europe and the rest of the world. He has prominently led strategy, innovation, and international research projects – including European Commission funded grants (FP7 & Horizon 2020) and tenders, specifically in the fields of ICT, Internationalisation and Social Innovation. He has also led and written evaluation studies and impact assessment reports for several EC DGs. In addition to helping run several ‘Centres of Excellence’ in different parts of the world, he has advised private and public sector clients in different areas, including innovation, R&D support mechanisms and economic development.

Dr Chetan Arora is a Senior Lecturer in Software Engineering at Monash University. His research focuses on developing human-centred solutions at the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and software engineering (SE), with a specific focus on enhancing software trustworthiness and responsible AI. In addition to his academic work, Dr Arora has extensive industry and collaboration experience and has worked with organisations such as the Australian DSTG and European Space Agency. Prior to his academic career, he worked in innovation management at SES Satellites in Luxembourg. He received his PhD from the University of Luxembourg and his Masters in Computer Science from Technisché Universität Kaiserslautern in Germany. His research in SE4AI and AI4SE has been published in high-impact journals and conference proceedings.

Dr Chetan Arora delivering his presentation on AI Dr Chetan Arora delivering his presentation on AI
Keynote speaker HE Mr Gabriele Visentin Keynote speaker HE Mr Gabriele Visentin
Attendees at Europe Day, Melbourne Attendees at Europe Day, Melbourne
AIIA Executive Director Mr Alastair Roff,  His Excellency Mr Gabriele Visentin, RMIT EU Centre Director Professor Bruce Wilson AIIA Executive Director Mr Alastair Roff, His Excellency Mr Gabriele Visentin, RMIT EU Centre Director Professor Bruce Wilson

30 May 2023


30 May 2023


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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.