Regional Leaders Summit

9th Regional Leaders Summit

From 16 to 18 May, 2018, the 9th Regional Leaders Summit was held in Québec. This marked the ninth meeting of the Regional Leaders Summit, and the theme was ''Energy Transition: Towards a Low-Carbon Economy''. Surrounding and embedded within the conference were RLS-Sciences events from all four research themes: Digitalisation, Aerospace, Small Satellites, and Energy.

(Photo courtesy of Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie)

Surrounding and embedded within the 9th Regional Leaders Summit were a number of scientific activities, including

  • the inaugural RLS-Energy Network Summer School,
  • a Digitization Day hosted by FRQNT,
  • the second Global Aerospace Campus Summer Summit,
  • a Small Satellites project meeting,
  • and a multilateral research project presentation to the RLS heads of government.

Visit the RLS-Sciences website here or learn more about the last RLS conference in Munich here.

About RLS-Sciences

The Regional Leaders Summit (RLS) is a forum comprising seven regional governments (state, federal state, or provincial), which together represent approximately 177 million people across five continents, and a collective GDP of 3 trillion USD. The regions are: Bavaria (Germany), Georgia (USA), Québec (Canada), São Paulo (Brazil), Shandong (China), Upper Austria (Austria), and Western Cape (South Africa). Since 2002, the heads of government for these regions have met every two years for a political summit. These summits offer the RLS regions an opportunity for political dialogue.

During the sixth summit in São Paulo in 2012, the RLS member states adopted a Final Declaration, which included a commitment to joint research and innovation initiatives in the field of renewable energy.


''In order to increase the proportion of renewable energy in the total energy consumption, as well as contribute to the security of energy supply and to promote renewable energy on a global scale, we invite our universities, research institutes, and industrial clusters to join forces in the formation of a network, centered on renewable energy and energy efficiency, so that innovations and new products will be developed to achieve these goals. This initiative will be led by the Government of the State of São Paulo until 2014. The intensification of the cooperation in research is necessary to implement these technologies in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency broadly and at a reduced cost.''


Within the framework of RLS, RLS-Sciences seeks to leverage the unique composition and strengths of the RLS network to support scientific research within and between the RLS regions. It works to generate and support academic, scientific, and technological exchanges, as well as the initiation of multilateral research projects. The existing resources of RLS-Sciences include its scientific network, the existing bilateral relationships between the RLS members, and its pilot project, the Energy Network (2013-ongoing). Further multilateral research projects are in the fields of digitalization, aerospace, and small satellites.

Review the structure of RLS-Sciences here
Learn more on the RLS-Sciences website.

RLS-Sciences R&D Themes

There are areas where the seven members share existing competencies and excellence in science and innovation. In order to leverage the RLS network, RLS-Sciences designated four thematic areas where there is the most potential for cooperation.

Digitalisation is a global trend and has a strong impact on society, politics, and business. The main objective is to jointly generate knowledge to better understand the unprecedented societal challenges induced by the new digital technologies. At a later stage, the expert group will consider the elaboration of new ethical, regulatory, and security guidelines to govern the digital changes. Read more here (Süddeutsche Zeitung) or here (RLS-Sciences Digitalisation).

Campus Aerospace
In order to strengthen the specialized training of aerospace engineers, researchers and experts from industry are coming together to build a new training platform with virtual and in-person components. The objective is to create a leading teaching platform in aerospace, and to improve the visibility of aerospace research activities within the RLS Network and internationally, helping release research results faster and reducing the distance between teaching and research. Read more here (Munich Aerospace) or here (RLS-Sciences Campus Aerospace).

Small Satellites
The main objective is to promote technology leadership through multilateral cooperation in the field of very small satellites. The RLS regions have the necessary expertise: they can either contribute a full satellite or key components. Their cooperation will maintain research and training excellence in their RLS network, and provide a regional advantage in the increasing international science and innovation competition around small satellites. Read more here (Die Welt) or here (RLS-Small Satellites website).

Due to their unique geographical composition spanning five continents, and in accordance with their research profiles, the RLS regions represent strong potential in this field. Together, the RLS regions can cover all aspects of energy, from production to usage, monitoring to efficiency. The RLS network brings together complementary strengths in energy research to be shared and further developed in a joint effort. Read more here (FAU) or here (RLS-Energy Network website).

Read news from the RLS-Energy Network here

Read RLS-Sciences news here.


Dr. Florence Gauzy
Senior Scientific Officer

Elisabeth Becker M.A.
RLS-Sciences Project Assistant

Fiona Rumohr
RLS-Sciences Project Manager

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