More than 30 people from relevant substantive departments of the Bielsko-Biala City Hall, as well as the local university and educational environment, took part in meetings of the Regional Advisory Board established within the international S3UNICA project. The aim of the Team in Poland is to develop cooperation between the City of Bielsko-Biala and the research and science sector in the creation and implementation of local climate and energy policy, including the development, implementation and monitoring of the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP).
During the organized meetings, representatives of higher education institutions (the University of Economics and Humanities in Bielsko-Biała, Technical School of Bielsko-Biała, Bielsko Education Center and others) had the opportunity to share information on already undertaken and planned activities aimed at modernizing their infrastructure in the field of reducing energy consumption, as well as existing and planned activities in the field of raising energy awareness among students and educating them in accordance with the idea of sustainable development. There was also a joint discussion about possible directions for cooperation between Bielsko-Biała and the invited educational institutions. These discussions and lessons learned helped to prepare the concept of an Action Plan which specified the framework for cooperation between the city and the educational community (universities and secondary schools) in the planning, implementation and monitoring of the SECAP until 2030 and potentially other strategic and planning documents of the city in the area of energy efficiency.
Invited guests also had the chance to learn about European best practices and current funding opportunities for energy efficiency and environmental education activities in secondary school and universities. The idea of capacity building in the calculation and use of the Smart Readiness Indicator (SRI) for university/educational buildings was also presented, which was very interesting for the audience. They also discussed about proposed activities to enhance cooperation between the City of Bielsko Biala and the scientific, research and educational communities. These include pro-environmental topics for students' bachelor's and master's theses, students' participation in projects and events carried out by the city and the city's participation in events and projects carried out by universities and industry schools.
Representatives of the Advisory Board also had the opportunity to present their good practices during an international exchange of experiences, and then took part in a study visit, which familiarized them with energy efficiency solutions implemented in universities in Krakow - AGH University of Science and Technology – Center of Energy and the Malopolska Laboratory of Energy Efficient Buildings of Krakow University of Technology.
One more meeting of the Regional Advisory Board is planned, during which the final results of the project will be discussed, as well as the final actions to be included in the SECAP, which will focus on increased participation of universities in the city's energy transition efforts.