On 9 April, an agreement was signed between Meet in Reykjavík and the University of Iceland (HÍ), Reykjavík University (HR) and the Iceland University of the Arts (LHÍ). The object of the agreement is to increase the number of international academic meetings and conferences held by universities in Iceland.
The rectors of the three universities, Jón Atli Benediktsson from HÍ, Ari Kristinn Jónsson from HR and Fríða Björk Ingvarsdóttir from LHÍ, signed the agreement together with Þorsteinn Örn Gunnarsson, the Managing Director of Meet in Reykjavík and Dagur B Eggertsson, the Mayor of Reykjavík.
Meet in Reykjavík will assist the staff of the universities and their collaborators in preparations, information collection and contract preparations for international meetings and conferences, involving the universities in some respect. In addition, Meet in Reykjavík will provide information and hold presentations on the meeting and conference facilities of the universities for international associations and organisers of meetings and conferences.
Þorsteinn Örn Guðmundsson, the Managing Director of Meet in Reykjavík says that the agreement is an important step in strengthening Reykjavík as an international conference destination. "We have had good relations with the universities in recent years and are interested in expanding on our collaboration and making greater efforts to seek suitable projects for the destination and the university community here in Iceland."
Dagur B Eggertsson, the Mayor of Reykjavík, says that a dynamic meeting and conference service supports the goals of the city to provide a diverse and vibrant trade sector. "We wish to develop the city as a higher education city and as a knowledge based community. An environment where enterprises are given excellent opportunities to grow and prosper. One can say, therefore, that many objectives coalesce in the agreement that has now been signed."
Discussions following the signing of the agreement revealed that Iceland has been focusing on formulating policies on issues pertaining to equal rights, geothermal energy and the Arctic region. This, for example, has resulted in increased interest in holding meetings and conferences on these matters here in Iceland. Iceland is fully able to play an important part in a range of other issues and the agreement is a step toward such a role. Academic conferences are a significant way to attract attention to the research work carried out by the universities, strengthen their reputation and form relationships with overseas academics. In addition, academic conferences play an important part in determining the order in which universities are placed in international comparison lists.