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2nd Education and Innovation Summit

27 June 2023
Brussels (Hybrid format)

Nurturing Europe’s talents, shaping the future



The summit brings together the main players in education and innovation. It will strengthen cooperation and inspire the wider education, research and innovation community to promote an entrepreneurial and innovation-driven culture in Europe.

© European Union, 2023


  • share best practices, build bridges and strengthen cooperation amongst the education and innovation communities
  • discuss challenges and progress towards the objectives outlined in the European Strategy for Universities and the new European Innovation Agenda
  • inspire further action by education and innovation stakeholders

In line with the priorities of the European Year of Skills, the Summit’s topics will focus on the development of talent and future-proof skills. Pupils, students, researchers and life-long learners need to be equipped with the skills matching the present and future needs of their ecosystems - particularly green, digital and entrepreneurial skills.

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  • European and national policy makers
  • Representatives of Higher Education institutions in Europe, including
    • European University Alliances
    • the European Network of Innovative Higher Education Institutions
  • Knowledge and Innovation Communities of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology
  • entrepreneurs, start-ups, industry representatives
  • students, learners and researchers
  • educators and teachers civil society


Innovation is central to the European Strategy for Universities. Its underlying key message is that supporting deeper transnational cooperation in higher education will help equip learners with the new forward-looking skills needed to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe.

Developing, attracting and retaining talents is one of the priorities of the European Innovation Agenda, which will help Europe become the leader of the new wave of deep tech innovation.

Following the inaugural 2022 Education and Innovation Summit, this is the second instalment of the annual event. It contributes to implementing the European Innovation Agenda and the European Strategy for Universities.


The Education and Innovation Summit is a hybrid event.

Anyone can register to join the Summit in person or online.

Online guests will have access to active participation opportunities in targeted breakout sessions (ask questions, share your ideas, join debates).

Take the first step in making a positive impact for future generations!

The attendance on-site is subject to availability of places and acceptance by the European Commission.

If you have any questions about the event, please email the event team.





Together with co-founder Bernhard Kreyman, Catherine built up ADVITOS from a research start-up to a fully certified medtech scaleup with now 75 employees. ADVITOS has developed from scratch and now commercializes the EU market approved deeptech multi organ support device ADVOS that combines liver, kidney and lung support in one device and reduces acute care patient mortality by 30%. ADVITOS was granted an EIC SME instrument phase 2 grant in 2019 and an EIC Accelerator Pilot blended finance support in 2020 as corona solution. ADVITOS has also won the 3rd Place in the EIT health catapult 2019 and is an Alumni of the EIB Social Innovation Tournament 2021. After 17 years and the sudden death of her co-founder in 2022, Catherine stopped her operational role at ADVITOS in 2023 and is currently on a sabbatical - nevertheless, she continues to support the European startup eco system by mentoring early stage startup founders, joined a medtech startup advisory board ( and volunteered to support the EIT Alumni board in establishing their first EIT alumni business node.

Catherine has a degree in business as well as in mechanical engineering (TU Munich). In 2021, she won the Munich Business Women Award “La Monachia” and in 2022 the EIT Women Leadership Award (nominated by EIT digital, who provided fundraising support for ADVITOS in its €20 million financing round closed in 2021). In 2022, Catherine launched the “Mental strength for founders” online training and coaching program to raise awareness about mental and emotional resilience for founders as well as to provide practical tools how to handle better the stressful entrepreneurial journey of founding and scaling a startup.


Dr Andrea-Rosalinde Hofer joined the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2004, first as a founding team member of the OECD Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED) Trento Centre for Local Development, and since 2018 as an analyst in the Directorate of Education and Skills.

She led and contributed to more than twenty country reviews on: circular migration schemes for the high skilled; local entrepreneurship ecosystems; innovation and entrepreneurship support in universities; and labour market relevance and outcomes of higher education. She holds an MA in Political Science (University of Munich, 2000), MS in Agricultural Engineering (Technical University of Munich, 2001) and a PhD for research into innovation behaviour of venture capital-backed firms (University of Trento, 2015).

Prior to OECD, she was a researcher at the University of Federal Armed Forces in Munich (1998–2002), regional coordinator in the United Nations Development Programme in Albania (2001–2002) and a visiting researcher in the Alternative Development Unit at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2003).


Pieter de Jong is the EU Representative for Wetsus and WaterCampus Leeuwarden since 2011. Wetsus industry-driven research agenda involves over 110 national and global companies, which invest in breakthrough research – executed by 65 PhDs in Wetsus research labs. These PhDs are supervised and supported by 50 professors from 25 European universities.

WaterCampus also connects business with education in primary and secondary education and at VET, BSc and MSc level. WaterCampus is a central actor in the European Partnership, Water4All.


Karel Haegeman has been working as Scientific Officer at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) for 15 years in research and innovation (R&I), with particular interest in R&I governance and funding models, transformative place-based innovation, transnational R&I cooperation, less favoured regions and anticipatory intelligence. He is currently coordinating the smart specialisation platform at JRC.  

He holds degrees in economics and marketing, has published widely on innovation, has been reviewer in several international peer-reviewed journals and is a speaker at high-level events and conferences. Before joining the European Commission, he worked in local economic development and innovation, market research and advertising.


Dr Murat Güneş earned his PhD in Micro and Nanotechnology at the Middle East Technical University in Türkiye. He completed the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Paris-Sud, France, and the MSCA COFUND Fellowship at the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (IMB-CNM-CSIC) in Spain. Thermoelectrics and magnetism, microfluidics, and materials and measurement sciences are among his research interests.

During his career, Dr Güneş founded the start-ups Enerins and He3 Llc. He volunteers as Chair of the Bridging Business and Science Working Group at the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA), where he was formerly secretary. He is a founding member of the Turkish Chapter and the founding coordinator of the Science Diplomacy Task Force of MCAA. He is also the STSM coordinator of the Researchers Mental Health Observatory COST Action project. He was involved in several actions such as Net4Sugar, ResearchAbility, Phygital and Food.

Dr Güneş regularly organises conferences and workshops and mentors young researchers. He was invited to the Science Diplomacy Workshop as an expert and gave a talk at the World Science Forum in Budapest, the 2022 MSCA Satellite Event at the EuroScience Open Forum and the MSCA European Industrial Doctorates Cluster Event organised by the European Research Executive Agency.

Dr Güneş is a supporter of gender equality and inclusion, science diplomacy and science policy. He is currently a researcher at IMB-CNM-CSIC in Spain.


Dr Eveliina Asikainen is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Pedagogical Innovations and Culture in Tampere University of Applied Sciences. Her background is in ecology, environmental policy and environmental education. She has a career spanning over 30 years in promoting sustainability in educational institutions. Dr Eveliina combines education, active citizenship and ecological transition for sustainable society in her research and development projects. Presently, she leads the Academy for Sustainable Future Educators (EduSTA) – an Erasmus+ Teacher Academies project (2022–2025).


Taavi Kotka is an entrepreneur, technology visionary and former Chief Information Officer of Estonia. He has made significant contributions to the development of Estonia's digital society and is widely recognised for his innovative thinking and leadership in the field of technology.

One of Taavi’s notable achievements is founding Estonia's first girls-only technology school, which has experienced remarkable growth over the past five years. The organisation has successfully attracted 3 000 girls, aiming to foster their interest in technology, robotics and science from an early age. By encouraging girls' participation in these fields, the initiative seeks to increase the number of women working in the ICT industry.


Professor Marja Tiirola is a university innovator specialising in molecular technologies and environmental microbiology. She is also the Co-Founder and CSO of the start-up company BiopSense, which develops technology for liquid biopsy sample processing for cancer diagnostics. She has published over 100 scientific articles and has been the principal investigator in ERC CoG and PoC 2014–2020 (Micro-RIP, BiopSense), EIC Transition Challenge (FADEQ, 2022–2025) and 11 other projects from 2004–2022.

She has been recognised as JYU Researcher of the year (2015), JYU Innovator of the year (2018), JYU Foundation Innovator of the year (2022) and EIC Ambassador (2022).


Bárbara Gabriel is a researcher in nanoengineering, engineering education, entrepreneurial mindset and education. She is the Deputy-Dean for internationalisation at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in the University of Aveiro. Bárbara is a member of the Centre for Mechanical Technology and Automation, and a member of the Board of the PhD School at the University of Aveiro.

She is also a member of the Board of the Portuguese Society for Engineering Education and an expert of HEInnovate.


Kalina Chakarova is an 11th grade student enrolled on the Software and Hardware Sciences secondary school programme in ‘Prof. Ivan Apostolov’ private English Language School.

In 2022 together with her team, STEMFEM, she participated in the European Conference on Women and Girls in STEM where Kalina and her team took second place for their project.

Kalina is passionate about women's empowerment and women's role in the modern technological environment.


Founder of Teachers Lead Tech, a support bubble to teach creative computer science in K8 and advocate for building inclusive computer science ecosystem.


Sol Villar is a HR professional with more than 20 years of experience in Atlantic Copper. She started in the core process as a metallurgist due to her B.S. degree in Chemistry.

After two years of experience as a metallurgist, Sol joined the HR area leading the Training Department – cooperating with each area to evaluate, train and develop talent, and worked together with leaders to develop high performance teams. After that, Sol assumed Talent Management, and in the last period, Benefits and Compensation to her responsibilities.

During her career, Sol has worked intensively with schools, universities and training organisations to participate in required skills and connect institutions and companies.


Dr Anastasia Moschovi is Head of the Research and Innovation Department of MONOLITHOS Catalysts and Recycling Ltd company. She holds a degree in Material Science and an MSc and PhD in Chemical Engineering, in the catalysis sector. In her undergraduate and postgraduate studies, she focused on the synthesis of electrolytes and their physicochemical characterisation for batteries and fuel cells development, as part of several national and international funded projects (ZEOCELL, ERC GRAND H2SMS CAT).

As a post-doctoral researcher, she has disseminated results in several national and international conferences related to sustainable energy. She has authored 17 scientific publications in international journals and three EU patents on technological systems for emerging applications on emission control systems and recycling platinum group metals.

Dr Moschovi has broad knowledge and experience in the sustainable energy sector. She is currently participating in several EIT and EU Horizon projects on developing and manufacturing nanocatalysts for emission control systems and the recycling of critical raw materials from batteries, fuel cells/electrolysers and automotive catalysts.


Paula Calabuig is a research manager at Ecorys, providing expertise and technical project management support to European institutions and bodies. She is currently the project manager of the University Business Cooperation initiative of the Directorate-General for Education and Culture, and manages the membership task of the Pact for Skills initiative of the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. At Ecorys, she also contributes to mixed methods research projects comprising of qualitative and quantitative techniques, often as a national expert for Spain.

Before joining Ecorys, Paula provided public affairs advice to corporate organisations, trade associations and foundations within European social and employment policy areas. She has also worked in higher education, assessing University Networks in support of the development of a higher education institution’s internationalisation strategy. Paula holds an MA in International Relations and Sociology, and an MSc in European Politics from the University of Aberdeen. She speaks Spanish, English and French.


Professor Renaud Jolivet is Full Professor at the Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology, and Chair of Neural Engineering and Computation at Maastricht University. He is the nominated representative for individual researchers and innovators at the European Commission’s ERA Forum, and an elected member of the Board of Directors at the Organization for Computational Neuroscience.

He is Chair of the EBRAINS Science and Technology Committee – the European research infrastructure for neurosciences, and is a 2023 Neurotech Fellow of the Foresight Institute. He also holds a courtesy appointment at CERN – the particle physics laboratory. He has previously served on the boards of the Initiative for Science in Europe and the Marie Curie Alumni Association.

He has worked in Switzerland, Japan, the Netherlands and the UK. His work focuses on the brain’s heterocellularity and on neurotechnologies to interface with brain tissue.


Professor Johan Stahre received his PhD in 1995 at Chalmers University of Technology in Manufacturing Automation and Human-Centred Manufacturing. Since 2005, he is Chair Professor and Head of the Division of Production System at Chalmers. Professor Stahre has had more than 170 international publications and many national/international research projects.

In 2009, Professor Stahre was a force behind the national Strategic Research Area for Manufacturing in Sweden. He has co-directed the 12-year national Swedish Research and Innovation Programme (Produktion2030) since 2013. He was a core partner in developing the EIT Manufacturing programme, was its Director of Innovation and was the start-up CEO of EIT Manufacturing Co-Location Centre North.

He has served as expert advisor to industry, the Swedish government, European Commission, World Economic Forum and World Manufacturing Forum, with a focus on future manufacturing, human-centred industry work and the digitalisation of jobs. Professor Stahre is Chair of the Advisory Board of the EU/EIT Deep Tech Talent Initiative.

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