Prof. Arthur Mol is elected as the 10th President of ICA, and the 3rd ICA president from Wageningen. ICA, the Association for European Life Science Universities, is a network of 54 European universities. The network covers almost all European Union (EU) members states and some non-member states. ‘ICA is in good shape’ says Mol, ‘and I see major opportunities and a bright future for ICA’.
Cooperation between agricultural faculties
ICA was established in 1988 as the Interfaculty Committee Agraria, aimed at facilitating cooperation between faculties of Agriculture in Europe. It went through a number of name changes before it adopted its current name in 2006: Association for European Life Science Universities. This latest change reflects ICA’s ambitions as a modern European association addressing all disciplines and challenges related to agriculture, forestry, food, natural resources, the bio-based sector, rural development and the environment.
Activate and invite
The European landscape has changed considerably since ICA was established. There are now multiple university and research associations working in or closely related to the domain of ICA, so ICA has to identify clearly its niche and strength to bring value to its members. ‘More strength could be added by activating current members in ICA’s flagship activities (like the annual ICA Rector and Dean Forum) as well as inviting new members’, says Mol.
With the increasing importance of the institutions of the European Union and the wider European area, especially for academic research and education in the domain of life sciences, Arthur Mol sees opportunities for ICA to have a stronger engagement and presence in Brussels. An ICA task force was established earlier this year to provide advice how to achieve this greater engagement with the EU institutions and with relevant European partners from civil society and industry.
The presidency lasts for three years, from October 2020 till October 2023.