2006 started with the launch of the "Belgian Polar Platform" website, strengthening the polar community through "virtual" networking. The website regularly has new information.
The 3-days workshop organised at the Royal Institute of Natural Sciences in March was a great success! Polar researchers seemed very much in favor of this "physical" networking and this is very positive, as the forthcoming International Polar Year will need their support. Satisfaction was also clear from the public point of view: 120 non-scientists registered to the event. There were plenty of questions at the end of each presentation, and interesting discussions during coffee breaks.
Several other activities took place within BE-POLES, including participation in Printemps-des-Sciences, teachers trainings, short term visits of young polar researchers to major international laboratories or field facilities via the BE-POLES grant, and organization of the Class at poles contest for secondary schools.
The International Polar Foundation received positive feedback from the Belgian National Committee on Antarctic Research regarding this programme.