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More than 50 scientists from 16 project partners convened from the 20th to the 22nd of January 2020 at the Martin’s Agora Hotel in Louvain-la-Neuve. Three intense days were awaiting our researchers. The keyword for this year’s General Assembly: results. With the project entering its final year, work packages discussed the status of APPLICATE research, success stories and the best way forward to capitalize on these results and translate them into policy recommendations.

Another very important element resonating in the discussions and presentations of the Assembly was the project’s second Periodic Review, which took place directly after the Assembly, on the 22nd and 23rd of January 2020, and where the project Executive Board presented each work package’s work in detail to our European Commission’s project adviser and two external reviewers.

The first day of the General Assemby started off with the welcome talks from our Project Coordinator Thomas Jung (AWI) and our host François Massonnet (UCLouvain) Hugues Goosse (UCLouvain) gave an opening presentation on the interannual to decadal predictability in the Southern Ocean, with interesting insights from his research at the University of Louvain. Our colleagues from UCLouvain welcomed us in their Belgian homeplace, illustrating the peculiar story of the town during a pleasant walk around the centre in one of the meeting breaks.

The meeting continued with the first science updates from partners and work packages, from climate services case studies in APPLICATE, to updates from the Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project and model developments. Monday evening’s session was filled with poster presentations and discussions around the poster boards… and a glass of wine. Furtermore this year, the APPLICATE management team organized the first APPLICATE poster competition: 20 scientists presented their research in posters, and competed for the “Best Poster Award”, assigned through a severe evaluation by the Executive Board. Tuesday 21 January began with three presentations from our guest participants: Steffen Tietsche (ECMWF) illustrated purposes and advancements in the project SPICES and KEPLER, Jørn Kristiansen (MET Norway) shared some updates from the ALERTNESS project, and Ian Laing, from the Institute of the North in Alaska, representative of the APPLICATE User Group, talked about the Institute’s mission, recent work and climate information for decision-making. After the science plenary and more science talks, it was the moment of in-depth conversation concerning the individual work-packages: three sessions of breakout groups filled the afternoon with insightful discussions around progress and plans until the end of the project. As a reward for the busy day, the participants gathered at the hotel’s restaurant for the well-deserved conference dinner: not only delicious food but also networking and relax accompanied the evening of the second assembly day.

Wednesday 22 January was the time for science communication: Gerlis Fugmann (APECS) presented APECS activities and the events organized in the framework of APPLICATE, which followed a lively discussion on science communication, its value and possible tips to carry out a successful dissemination endeavour. Afterwards, as a conclusive moment of the last General Assembly, it was prize-time: the project coordinator awarded Tido Semmler (AWI) with the Best Poster Award for his poster on the impact of regionally increased CO2 concentrations in coupled climate models, and for the Zenodo raffle drew three lucky scientists among those who uploaded presentation materials on our repository: Morten Køltzow (MET Norway), Marta Terrado (BSC) and Tido Semmler (AWI). Congratulations!

From the management office, we thank all the participants for the very successful Assembly and the amazing work done so far for APPLICATE. We are excited to see the final results and wish all of you a productive year to come! Warm thanks also to our hosts UCLouvain for their amazing local support.

Lecture at the General Assembly 2020