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2nd Education and Innovation Summit

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

27 June 2023
Brussels (Hybrid format)

About

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

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The summit is finished, but if you missed it you can watch recordings from the sessions listed in the programme below.

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Programme

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Biography

Biography

Margaritis Schinas took office as Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life in the Von der Leyen Commission in December 2019. In this capacity, he oversees the EU’s policies for migration, security union, social rights, skills, education, culture, youth, health and dialogue with churches, religious associations and non-confessional organisations.

Mr Schinas started his career in the European Commission in 1990. He also served as a Member of the European Parliament, from 2007 until 2009. Upon the completion of his parliamentary term of office, he returned to the European Commission and held various senior positions. In 2010, President Barroso appointed Mr Schinas as Deputy Head of the Bureau of European Policy Advisers. Later he served as Resident Director and Head of the Athens Office of the European Commission's Directorate‑General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN). In 2014, President Juncker appointed Mr Schinas as the European Commission’s Chief Spokesperson.

Margaritis Schinas holds an MSc on Public Administration and Public Policy from the London School of Economics, a Diploma of Advanced European Studies on European Administrative Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges and a Degree in Law from the Aristotelean University of Thessaloniki.

Biography

Professor Tiziana Lippiello is the first woman to be elected Rector of Ca' Foscari University of Venice – a position she has held since 2020. She is Professor of Classical Chinese, Philosophy and Religions of China at the Department of Asian and North African Studies and was Vice-Rector for International Relations before becoming Rector.

She is the Chair of EUTOPIA European University – an alliance of 10 universities creating a new model of Higher Education in Europe.

Biography

With an academic background in philosophy, politics and economics, as well as entrepreneurship and innovation, Joris Koch is driven to leverage his diverse skillset and knowledge to create a positive impact. Joris’ passion lies in driving societal change through entrepreneurship, which led him to venture capital. As the President of ASIF Ventures, his focus is on fostering student entrepreneurship across diverse fields by providing access to knowledge, funding and a supportive community.

ASIF Ventures is dedicated to empowering young entrepreneurs, particularly students and recent graduates, by equipping them with the necessary resources and opportunities to bring their ideas to life. ASIF Ventures aims to create an inclusive and vibrant national startup hub, collaborating with industry experts, investors and fellow entrepreneurs to ultimately achieve meaningful societal impact.

Biography

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 (www.munevo.de) 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.

Biography

Dr Igor Papič was born on 24 May 1966 in Ljubljana. He is a Professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana. From 2011 to 2013, he was the Vice Dean for the field of pedagogical work, from 2013 to 2017 the Dean of the Faculty, and from 2017 to 2021 the Rector of the University of Ljubljana.

He holds bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana. In the 1990s, he was a trainee at the Siemens Power Transmission and Distribution Department in Erlangen, Germany. In 2001 he was a visiting professor at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada.

He has led numerous national and international research and development projects. In 2009, together with his partners, he founded one of the first spin-off companies of the University of Ljubljana. He has been invited to lecture at the University of Manitoba, the University of Manchester, the University of Alberta, Sichuan University and elsewhere.

From 2006 to 2017, he was Chair of the Programme Council of the Smart Grid Technology Platform. He is President of the Electrotechnical Association of Slovenia. He was one of the initiators and the first President of the Rectors' Forum of the Universities of South-Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans, and in 2020 he was the first President of the EUTOPIA European University Alliance.

He is committed to a knowledge-based society and to accelerating the transfer of knowledge from academia to everyday life, which is a prerequisite for the successful development of Slovenia in the coming decades.

Biography

Mikkel Sørensen is the founding director of DTU Skylab – the innovation hub of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). He holds an Executive MBA from DTU, a master's degree in Modern Culture from the University of Copenhagen and a master’s degree from the Rhythmic Music Conservatory (RMC) in Copenhagen.

Throughout the last 10 years, Mikkel has been heading the development of DTU Skylab from a small pilot initiative to its current state as a leading deep tech innovation hub with 50 full time staff and 60 000 ft2 of innovation infrastructure.

Prior to this, Mikkel was National Manager of Venture Cup Denmark. Mikkel is also the co-founder of Stormglas, an active investor and sits on several boards.

Biography

Antoaneta Angelova-Krasteva has been Director at the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC) since 2016. She is currently Director for Innovation, Digital Education and International Cooperation. She is responsible for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, which are key components of the Horizon Programme. She also coordinates the EU Digital Education Action Plan.

Antoaneta joined the European Commission in 2008. She has occupied various management and expert positions across the Commission and dealt with a wide range of topics such as external relations and enlargement, internal security and police cooperation, cyber security, stakeholder relations and international affairs. Antoaneta has also worked as a diplomat to the Permanent Representation of Bulgaria to the EU in Brussels for five years. She is a graduate in political science at Sofia University, with training and qualifications in European studies from Germany (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung) and the UK (Sussex University).

Biography

Dr Evelyn Reinmuth is the head of the Bioeconomy Office at the University of Hohenheim. She promotes the sustainable, innovative implementation of a circular bioeconomy through various projects and a multi-stakeholder approach. She is currently coordinating the Startup Villages Hub of the European University Alliances.

As a researcher, Dr Reinmuth focuses on integrated system modelling of bioeconomy approaches to gain a better understanding of how to approach the transition towards a sustainable circular bioeconomy systemically. Her latest work focuses on agricultural by-products and side streams of the food industry, and their potential for various valorisation options for food and non-food products by means of sustainable processing technologies.

Biography

Simon Roy leads the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) work on higher education policy within the Organisation's Directorate for Education and Skills. The current work programme for the higher education programme contains strands of activity on resourcing higher education, policy to support digitalisation in the sector and policy to promote advanced upskilling and reskilling.

It is within this last area that the OECD Higher Education Policy Team has been developing the Education and Innovation Practice Community (EIPC) in collaboration with the European Commission. This project explores – and critically assesses – how higher education can equip learners at different levels and stages of life with competencies that trigger and shape innovation in our economies and societies.

Biography

Buster Franken is developing FruitPunch AI – a platform for AI engineers to train their skills by solving ‘AI for Good Challenge’ programmes from partners like Stanford, the European Space Agency (ESA) and WWF, and find meaningful work. Before FruitPunch AI, Buster built up the AI research institute at the Eindhoven Artificial Intelligence Systems Institute, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). He researched brain computer interfacing and worked as a teacher, actor, security guard and developer.

Biography

Professor Hannes Raffaseder is Chief Executive Officer and President of the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences. He is also the co-initiator and lead coordinator of the Engaged and Entrepreneurial European University as Driver for European Smart and Sustainable Regions (E³UDRES²).

He was the founding director of the Institute for Creative Media Technologies, and academic director of a master’s course in digital media technology. As a professor of media technology and audio design, Professor Raffaseder has many years of teaching experience and led several research and innovation projects. He promotes a multidirectional knowledge exchange with industries and society as the third and fourth missions of higher education institutions and co-implements concepts for engaged and entrepreneurial universities that strengthen their role as platforms for collaborative innovation.

In addition to his academic work, Professor Raffaseder is an internationally active, award-winning composer and media artist, whose music has been performed in renowned concert halls and arts festivals.

Biography

Dr Sofia Costa D' Aguiar is a civil engineer and holds a PhD in Geotech and Environmental Engineering. She was nominated for the Women of the Industry, Research and Development award by the prestigious business and technology magazine ‘L'Usine nouvelle’ in September 2020.

Before joining EELISA as Executive Director she was Head Innovation and Digital Transformation at SNCF (France’s national railway company) where she worked for over 10 years as an applied researcher. She later managed teams in innovative transversal projects and led the digital transformation process of the company.

Dr D' Aguiar is a Portuguese native speaker and fluent in Spanish, English and French. She is a professional with multicultural experience and is deeply committed to making an impact through the opportunities offered by global scientific and technological contexts.

Biography

Biography

Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot is Director for Youth, Education and Erasmus+ at the European Commission's Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture.

She is in charge of European cooperation on higher education, schools and youth policy, managing Europe's flagship programme for education, training, youth and sport Erasmus+ with a budget over €26 billion 2021-2027.

She launched and manages the European Solidarity Corps,an EU youth volunteering programme, and coordinated the 2022 European Year of Youth. She launched flagship actions under the European Education Area and the EU Youth Strategy, such as European Universities, Teacher Academies and DiscoverEU.

She has previously held various positions within the European Commission in the field of strategy and investment in education, employment policy, European Semester, European cohesion funds, cultural policy and business statistics.

She studied economics, business, political science and EU affairs in Sweden, France and Belgium, including an Erasmus student exchange.

She is an Eisenhower Fellow. Twitter: @sophiabrussels

Go to the video recording of the first session

During this session, panellists will discuss how to foster links between academia and the private sector. The main discussion points are

  • how higher education institutions have developed a portfolio that includes common and new initiatives to match skills offer and demand of the labour market
  • how to retain talent in the regions
  • how to link education, business creation and innovation

The session will also introduce the revised HEInnovate self-reflection tool (action under the European Strategy for Universities) and the Education and Innovation Practice Community (under the New European Innovation Agenda).

Biography

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).

Biography

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.

Biography

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.

Biography

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.

Biography

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.

Biography

Luis Medina Rivas is Co-founder and CEO of Tether, a startup that coordinates the charging patterns of electrical vehicles to reinforce the power grid, substitute fossil fuel power plants, and allow more renewable energy adoption.

Biography

Helle Hallik is Chief Expert of Mathematics and Digital Skills in the General Education Policy Department at the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research since February 2023. Helle has eight years of prior experience at Tallinn University of Technology as a senior lecturer – of which four and a half years were served as the programme director for the Telecommunications and Smart Systems curriculum. Helle holds a PhD in Mathematics from Tartu University.

Biography

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.

Go to the video recording of the second session

Women remain underrepresented in the digital economy. Today, only 19% of ICT specialists are women and they earn almost 20% less than men do in the sector. In addition, women are also the largest untapped entrepreneurial and leadership potential in Europe: more than 90% of capital invested in European companies goes to all-male founding teams and women make up just 34.4% of self-employed persons and 14.8% of start-up founders. (See Eurostat: ICT specialists in employment)

Faced by a rapid digital transition dictated by fast-evolving technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics, Europe cannot afford to half of its population. Without fair representation, diverse voices and perspectives, it risks biased decision-making and losing out on an inclusive digital transition for all.

In this session, we will explore the reasons why girls and women are steering away from ICT studies and careers and zoom in on concrete best practices set on empowering women to reach their full potential. The discussion will focus on policy measures/projects from all sectors tackling the cultural and institutional barriers behind the digital gender gap and the importance of empowering girls and women to cultivate digital skills and aspire to digital studies and careers.

Biography

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.

Biography

Eirini Rouchota is an energetic and self-motivated undergraduate student passionate about computer science and engineering. Her focus lies in project management and empowering women to bridge the gender gap in the IT field. With a natural inclination towards leadership and coordination, Eirini thrives in guiding teams to deliver high-quality results.

Driven by a curiosity for new technologies and a passion for exploring productivity and stress management techniques and tools, she is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and diverse environment within the industry. Eirini is eager to stay updated on the latest advancements in these areas and apply them to enhance project efficiency and well-being in professional settings.

Biography

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.

Taavi is the founder of HK Unicorn Squad, an NGO which provides summer camps and toolkits for girls 8-14 years old to cultivate their interests in engineering, robotics and natural science. 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.

Biography

Dr Didier Zimmermann is Director of the Education and Innovation unit at EIT RawMaterials since 2021. He previously managed the Central CLC Innovation Hub based in Metz. Before joining the Institute of Innovation and Technology in 2015, he built up and managed the Technology Transfer Office of the Université de Lorraine in France.

By leading many R&D and innovation programmes for 15 years, he actively participated in the development of startups, SMEs and large companies in different industrial sectors.

Dr Zimmermann studied at the Université de Strasbourg in France where he was awarded his PhD in Biochemistry, as well as a master’s degree in Business Administration.

Biography

Monika is the founder of Teachers Lead Tech, a learning platform for primary school teachers that helps bring fundamental IT skills to every girl and boy in a classroom. Teachers Lead Tech is also a support bubble that aims to teach creative computer science in K8 and advocate for building inclusive computer science ecosystem.

Biography

Marina Andrieu is the founder of WIDE – a social enterprise based in Luxembourg that focuses on gender equality, digital skills and inclusive entrepreneurship.
Marina has extensive experience in national and EU projects. She was an EU Code Week Ambassador for Luxembourg and is currently coordinating DSJC.

Biography

Carla Licciardello is Senior Digital Inclusion Coordinator at the International Telecommunication Union, based in Geneva. She is responsible for supporting digital inclusion activities including online protection for children and women’s empowerment.

Biography

Letizia Jaccheri (PhD from Politecnico di Torino, Italy) is a Professor at the Department of Computer Science of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway.

Letizia has been teaching courses in software engineering at various levels and acted as one of the independent directors of Reply S.p.A., the largest Italian IT company with 9059 employees. She has supervised several master and PhD students. From 2013 to 2017 she was department head for the Computer Science department at NTNU. She is ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Distinguished speaker.

She is involved in several research projects, and she leads the COST Action CA19122 Gender Balance in Informatics EUGAIN with 155 members from 39 European countries.

Biography

Marta Markowska is Team Leader for Digital Education Empowerment and Outreach in the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC) at the European Commission in Brussels. Her previous policy work at the European Commission focused on social inclusion and equality, implementation of the European Strategic Framework for Education and Training as well as working as a press officer.

Biography

Sanda Anca is the Senior Consultant and Trainer for Business Development, Executive Manager and sole owner of a Romanian SME. She supports entrepreneurship through training programmes, coaching and consulting.

She is involved in Erasmus+ strategic partnership projects that develop entrepreneurial and digital competences.

Sanda is also Ambassador of the Women ESTEAM Community.

Go to the video recording of the third session

During this session, panellists will discuss

  • how to develop and stimulate a forward-looking skillset on climate-related topics in schools
  • how to better inform teachers on the latest trends, technological developments and innovations to support talent development and pupils’ interest in climate and sustainability related topics

The Council Recommendation on Learning for Sustainability, adopted in June 2022, stresses that education and training in a lifelong learning perspective is key to empowering learners of all ages, including youth, to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to live more sustainably and to contribute to a greener, more sustainable Europe. In delivering on this Recommendation, the Commission has developed a competence framework (“GreenComp”) on sustainability for the development and assessment of knowledge, skills and attitudes on climate change and sustainable development, setting out a shared understanding of sustainability competences for learners at all phases and stages of education.

Biography

Fergal McCarthy is Principal of Kinsale Community School in Ireland. Kinsale Community School is the sole provider of second level education in Kinsale, it has an open enrolment policy catering for children of all abilities.

Fergal serves the National Executive of The Teaching Council of Ireland and also serves the National Executive of the Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools.

Fergal is also Vice President of the European Federation of Education Employers.

Biography

Egoitz Etxeandia is a distinguished educator and innovator, honored with the National Entrepreneurial Teacher of the Year Award in 2021. He is a prominent leader in the Teach For All STEAM community and the founder of AIEDUtech, a non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating the adoption of AI tools in the education sector.

With a degree in International Business, Egoitz possesses extensive experience in project management and mechanical development. He is known for creating numerous entrepreneurial projects based on the principles of the Circular Economy.

Egoitz also serves as the Educational Leader for Global Shapers Bilbao, an initiative founded by the World Economic Forum. He is the mind behind Ekonomia Ikasiz, an innovative Visual Thinking-based methodology for teaching economics.

Currently, he is collaborating with Harvard University and Teach For All on a research project focused on integrating STEAM methodologies and projects on a global scale.

Biography

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 supporting the development of teachers’ sustainability competences (2022–2025).

Biography

Eleni Kaloudi is an activist for Fridays For Future Climate Education and a young researcher. While being born and raised in Athens, Greece, the past five years she has been studying in France (Sciences Po Paris) with a focus on climate adaptation policies and political parties of Southern Europe. As a member of FFF Climate Education she is actively pursuing the adaptation of educational curricula to the demands of the climate crisis while ensuring that youth participation is, and will be, central in every step of that process.

Biography

Teacher by training and heart in different countries and schooling systems for almost 20 years, turned into a policy officer for the last 10 years. Tremeur is currently working in Italy as an education expert at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in the Education for Climate Coalition team, to help bring sustainability into teaching and learning and adapt education systems to the green transition.

Biography

François Jourde works in the office of the Secretary General of the European Schools, in the Pedagogical Development Unit. He is specialised in digital education and also contributes to education for sustainable development and professional development of teachers. He was a secondary school philosophy teacher (in France and Belgium).

Biography

Ekaterina Efimenko is Coordinator for Working Conditions, Human Rights, Equality and Environment at European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE). She has a teaching master’s degree in literature and linguistics, as well as a master’s in human rights.

Ekaterina has extensive experience working in environmental sustainability in the education sector, representing the perspective of education trade unions. She has coordinated several European-funded projects on education for environmental sustainability, including the joint project between education employers and education trade unions on the European level.

Go to the video recording of the fourth session

Higher education institutions (HEIs) are more and more engaged in adapting curricula that cater more for innovation and entrepreneurship, fostering learning pathways that drive innovation and support the green and digital transitions. This implies an important mobilisation of resources: funding resources, and human resources, and support and coordination with the local ecosystem.

Panellists will discuss

  • possible ways to reinforce the education and innovation nexus by mobilising available opportunities for transnational cooperation (Erasmus+, Horizon Europe, EIT funding, etc.) to build a European innovation trajectory for the HEIs, according to their strengths and needs
  • concrete examples of best practices developed by European universities alliances to make the most of funding opportunities from different funding streams
  • the question of human resources and careers policy developments needed to support and recognise better the work of academics involved in developing innovation and entrepreneurship activities
  • the key role of cities and regions in mobilising resources and support innovation activities in interaction with the business and the higher education sectors

Biography

Dr Timothée Toury is Secretary General of the European University of Technology, EUt+ where he initiated the original idea and vision. He has been Associate Professor (physics, non-linear and quantum optics, and nanotechnologies) at Université de technologie de Troyes (UTT), Director of Academic Affairs at UTT and First Vice-President of the Université de Champagne.

Biography

As Head of the HEI Initiative, Dr Dolores Volkert leads on strategic and operational activities, focusing on establishing an ecosystem of cross-institutional alliances and synergies. Prior to the HEI Initiative, Dr Volkert served in senior strategy roles, managing cross-functional initiatives within higher education and research institutions in North America (e.g. Silicon Valley) and Germany. With a legal background, her experience ranges from establishing strategic innovation and entrepreneurship programmes to technology transfer.

Biography

Professor Daniela Popescu is currently serving as Vice Rector of the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca in Romania since 2016. In her role, she holds responsibilities in university management, establishing relationships with enterprises and managing European Structural funds. With a distinguished academic career, Professor Popescu has previously served as Head of the Department of Design Engineering and Robotics and as Dean of the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Robotics.

As a professor specialising in computer aided design and digital production, Professor Popescu has made significant contributions to her field. She has led numerous research and institutional projects, demonstrating her expertise and commitment to advancing knowledge in this domain. Additionally, Professor Popescu holds the position of Deputy General Secretary at the International Foundation for Production Research, further showcasing her dedication to promoting research and collaboration on a global scale.

Biography

Silvia Gómez Recio is the Secretary General of YERUN. She was the first person appointed when the network opened a Brussels Office in October 2016. She is responsible for the strategic leadership, networking actions and the implementation of the network’s strategy and objectives. Various are the groups that the network has established among its members to support and exchange best practice sharing, namely on EU Policy, Careers, Open Science, Sustainable Development, and Knowledge Valorisation among others. 

The Young European Research University Network (YERUN) is a group of like-minded young research universities in Europe that strengthens and facilitates cooperation in the areas of research, education and services which benefit society. In 2023, a total of 23 young research universities are part of YERUN. 

Before YERUN, Silvia worked as the representative of Coventry University in Brussels and as EU Policy Adviser at the European Federation of Nurses. Spanish of origin, she has lived in Brussels since 2010.

Biography

As Deputy Director, Enora Bennetot Pruvot is responsible for implementing European University Association (EUA) policy on university funding and governance. Her work focuses on financial sustainability and funding models for higher education and research, institutional autonomy, mergers as well as EU funding programmes. She is responsible for the organisation of the EUA Funding Forum and for the Public Funding Observatory, which monitors the evolution of public funding to higher education institutions throughout Europe.

Before joining EUA in 2008, Enora gained experience in the European research and development policy field. Enora holds master’s degrees in Political Science and European Public Affairs, and in European Political and Administrative Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.

Biography

Professor Klavdija Kutnar has been Rector of the University of Primorska in Slovenia since 2019. She has been actively involved in various editorial boards of esteemed mathematical journals.

Professor Kutnar played a key role as Deputy Chair of the Organising Committee for the 8th European Congress of Mathematics in 2021. She served as a member of the International Advisory Committee for the prestigious International Congress of Mathematicians in 2022.

Professor Kutnar was President of the Council of the Republic of Slovenia for Higher Education from 2019 to 2023. In 2021 she was appointed by the Minister to the Expert Groups responsible for the preparation of the National Higher Education Programme 2030 and the Research and Innovation Strategy of Slovenia 2021–2030.

Professor Kutnar is currently leading the ‘Green, Digital and Inclusive University of Primorska’ pilot project, which focuses on the curricular renewal of professional higher education study programmes at the University of Primorska.

Go to the video recording of the fifth session

The session will focus on the support available at different stages of researchers’ careers to better leverage their capacity for innovation in their research activities and provide them with opportunities for career development across academia and industry.

Building on best practice examples from H2020 and Horizon Europe, the session will explore different types of support that can be provided for researchers, including in the form of dedicated training, access to funding, intersectoral mobility and experiences within collaborative projects.

The panel will discuss the benefits they have seen in their project, both in terms of knowledge valorisation and impact as well as for the researchers involved and their careers. Speakers will also share the challenges and lessons learnt from their experience that could inform structuring changes in higher education and research institutions to better prepare and empower researchers for innovation.

Biography

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.

Biography

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.

Biography

Dr Antonella Succurro started her scientific training in big data at CERN, pursuing a PhD in particle physics. She continued her academic career as postdoctoral researcher in computational biology, with a focus on plant-associated microbial communities. Her motivation to address big societal challenges (her top priorities being climate change and food security) led her to transition towards entrepreneurship.

During the 2021 EIT Food Innovator Fellowship, Antonella met her co-founders, and they are now working together on an innovative solution to support the decarbonisation of the food supply chain at the farm level.

Biography

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).

Biography

Professor Cesare Sangiorgi has been a civil engineer in transportation since 2000. Today he is Associate Professor at the Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering at the University of Bologna. He works in the Transportation Infrastructures section of the Department and addresses research themes related to the pavement materials and innovative construction technologies. The use of recycled materials and low impact solutions are of primary importance in Professor Sangiorgi’s research.

Professor Sangiorgi is a Marie Curie Fellow since 2015 and is the coordinator of two Marie Curie Projects: SAFERUP! on Sustainable, Accessible, Safe, Resilient and Smart Urban Pavements; and GreeNexUS on Green-health-safety Nexus for new Urban Spaces.

He is and has been the chief investigator of a number of research projects in the private and public sectors, dealing mainly with paving recycling materials and innovative construction solutions.

Professor Sangiorgi is author or co-author of 100 indexed scientific international publications and has been invited to present the activities and research of his research group at more than 50 national and international. He was Chairman and Keynote Lecturer at international events in and out of Europe.

He is reviewer for more than 50 scientific journals and was a reviewer for many national and international conferences and congresses, among them the Transport Research Arena.

Biography

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.

Biography

Antoaneta Angelova-Krasteva has been Director at the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC) since 2016. She is currently Director for Innovation, Digital Education and International Cooperation. She is responsible for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, which are key components of the Horizon Programme. She also coordinates the EU Digital Education Action Plan.

Antoaneta joined the European Commission in 2008. She has occupied various management and expert positions across the Commission and dealt with a wide range of topics such as external relations and enlargement, internal security and police cooperation, cyber security, stakeholder relations and international affairs. Antoaneta has also worked as a diplomat to the Permanent Representation of Bulgaria to the EU in Brussels for five years. She is a graduate in political science at Sofia University, with training and qualifications in European studies from Germany (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung) and the UK (Sussex University).

Biography

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.

Biography

Sanda Anca is the Senior Consultant and Trainer for Business Development, Executive Manager and sole owner of a Romanian SME. She supports entrepreneurship through training programmes, coaching and consulting.

She is involved in Erasmus+ strategic partnership projects that develop entrepreneurial and digital competences.

Sanda is also Ambassador of the Women ESTEAM Community.

Biography

François Jourde works in the office of the Secretary General of the European Schools, in the Pedagogical Development Unit. He is specialised in digital education and also contributes to education for sustainable development and professional development of teachers. He was a secondary school philosophy teacher (in France and Belgium).

Biography

Professor Klavdija Kutnar has been Rector of the University of Primorska in Slovenia since 2019. She has been actively involved in various editorial boards of esteemed mathematical journals.

Professor Kutnar played a key role as Deputy Chair of the Organising Committee for the 8th European Congress of Mathematics in 2021. She served as a member of the International Advisory Committee for the prestigious International Congress of Mathematicians in 2022.

Professor Kutnar was President of the Council of the Republic of Slovenia for Higher Education from 2019 to 2023. In 2021 she was appointed by the Minister to the Expert Groups responsible for the preparation of the National Higher Education Programme 2030 and the Research and Innovation Strategy of Slovenia 2021–2030.

Professor Kutnar is currently leading the ‘Green, Digital and Inclusive University of Primorska’ pilot project, which focuses on the curricular renewal of professional higher education study programmes at the University of Primorska.

Biography

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.

Biography

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.

Biography

Silvia Lenaerts (1966) has always been a pioneer. She was the first Chemist to obtain a PhD at IMEC and KULeuven.

She then founded Heraeus Sensor-Nite where gas sensors were developed. This technology was successfully acquired by Bosch. Then at Seghers bettertechnology she initiated the air purification technology program. To improve her overall strategic skills and broaden her view she moved to Lloyd’s Register of Shipping where she acquired the Lead Assessor certificate and learned a lot about high tech companies. Since 2002 she has been working for the EC as expert, reviewer, innovation radar expert, advisor for the framework programs and as member of the EUA expert groups on innovation ecosystems and on the green deal task and finish group. She has joined the EIT as board member in 2022.

Back in the academic world, at the University of Antwerp, in 2008 she founded the research group DuEL “Sustainable Energy, Air and Water Technology” from scratch. She became full professor, guided 25 PhD’s at her group and the Antwerp Maritime Academy. The research team acquired 12 mio euro in the last 5 years and counts more than 50 members. She took the lead in the refurbishment of the Department of Bio-science Engineering with an innovative cooperation model for the Bachelor’s degree, resulting in the biggest bachelor’s degree at the faculty of Science. In 2022 a new master’s degree in Sustainable Urban Engineering, together with KULeuven and UGent was initiated. For seven years, she was the president of IMDO, the interdisciplinary institute on environment and sustainable development and the Belgian coordinator of SDSN.

As Vice-rector Valorisation & Development at UAntwerpen (2016), together with Antwerp’s strong stakeholders in industry, society and government she selected 3 priority multidisciplinary valorisation domains and realized for each of them a dedicated open innovation hub: The Beacon for digitalisation, BlueApp for sustainable chemistry and materials and Vaccinopolis for infectious diseases. She has put Uantwerpen on the map concerning valorisation, with 34 active spinoffs and a tripling in industrial cooperation. 

Since May 15th 2023, she has become the Rector Magnificus at the Technical University in Eindhoven. TU/e offers a unique cradle to educate and train the professionals of the future, to dive deep into ground-breaking research, to collaborate in research for solutions to new and unexpected challenges and to deliver socio-economic value by valorisation.

Silvia’s track record covers achievements in industry, academia and government/public sector. Discovery, invention and innovation are intertwined, though happen in different worlds. 
The culture of collaboration is key in everything she has achieved. She has always reached out towards other stakeholders in industry, government and public sector or philanthropic organisations. Only by creating long term strategic partnerships, connecting people over the borders of their own organisation and attracting more young people, long lasting socio-economic impact can be achieved.

Biography

Vanessa is founder of Abodoo, a global skills technology company from a European Village transforming future learning and lives. Abodoo provides governments and educational institutions, skills passports with integration learning, inclusive matching and geo skills mapping. The skills platform with actionable insights is bridging the digital divide, empowering individual lifelong learning paths and ensuring greater inclusivity for the future of work and learning. Abodoo’s 2030 Mission is to achieve 100 Skills Passports with integrated education by 2030 and ensuring the democratisation of access to learning for the under represented which include refugees, rural dwellers, youth, people with disabilities, people not ready to retire and so on.

Vanessa works with the European Commission, EIT Digital and Digital Europe and is an Ambassador for European Year of Skills 2023. She has over twenty years experience working with leading Fortune 1000 companies and high growth startups focused on skills, talent and remote working. Vanessa is co-author of Your Company with No Walls and Steering Committee member of Digital Future of Europe. Vanessa and her team are passionate about using seismic shifts in how we learn and map skills to support regional development, diversity and sustainability. A Top 100 All Ireland Female Entrepreneur and Top 30 Women in Tech, Vanessa has over twenty years  working with leading Fortune 1000 companies and high growth startups focused on skills, talent and remote working. She is now based with her family in the South East of Ireland.

Biography

Dr Cristiano De Nobili holds a PhD in Theoretical and Quantum Information Theory at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA). With more than seven years of experience in deep learning, he is currently the Lead AI Scientist at Pi School, mainly working on AI applied to environmental challenges.

He is a deep learning lecturer at the Master in High-performance Computing (ICTP/SISSA, Trieste) and for several other institutions, both in the private and public sectors. His focus has always been on emerging technologies, AI and quantum tech, applied to social and environmental issues. Dr De Nobili is also part of the DigitalEU Ambassadors programme of the European Commission.

Biography

Robin Wauters is a seasoned technology journalist, analyst, keynote speaker and event curator, as well as the founding editor of Tech.eu, the premier source of European tech news, data analysis and market intelligence.

He was formerly the European Editor of The Next Web, and before that a senior editor at TechCrunch. Robin is also one of the co-founders of BeCentral, the digital campus located in Brussels Central Station that has helped thousands of people learn technologies, grow a startup and have a positive impact on society, as well as a founding member of Belgian angel investment collective Syndicate One.

Biography

Themis Christophidou is the Director-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission, since March 2018. 

Born in Famagusta, Cyprus, she is a civil engineer with 38 years of experience in private and public sector management.

After having worked in the private sector for 15 years, she joined the European Commission in 2001. She has held various positions, including in the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, as Head of Cabinet of the Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and as Head of Cabinet of the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.

Themis Christophidou holds an MSc in Civil Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (Metsovio).

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChristophidouEU

Biography

Objectives

  • 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.

Attendees

  • 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

Purpose

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.

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