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 seven regions are:
- Bavaria (Germany)
- Georgia (USA)
- Québec (Canada)
- São Paulo (Brazil)
- Shandong (China)
- Upper Austria (Austria)
- Western Cape (South Africa)
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:
- Small Satellites
- Renewable Energy
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.
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.
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.
Review the presentations here: