EIT Digital to host eleven online summer schools in summer 2021

The EIT Digital Entrepreneurial Academy announces that the eleven planned EIT Digital summer schools will be held online in 2021. "The situation around the pandemic COVID-19 encourages us to make again unique online summer schools," says Sergio Balassone, head of the EIT Digital Summer School.

Even though EIT Digital had been hopeful that this year the nineth edition of the  EIT Digital summer schools could be held on site in eleven cities, "the development of the pandemic gives us no hope that in the summertime the pandemic is enough under control and travelling would be possible again," says Balassone.

Despite this, the head of the EIT Digital Summer School is confident that the summer schools in 2021, organized by renowned partners, will be even better than the ones held in 2020. "Last year we held the Summer Schools online for the first time. That was tensive at first, but the summer school organisers did everything possible to have seamless summer schools and participants stated they were better than expected. Based on these good experiences, I trust our partners to again make outstanding summer schools."

Each summer school is themed around one of the five focus areas in which EIT Digital sees major societal and industrial challenges as well as opportunities for Europe to take a leadership position in the global digital economy. These areas are: Digital Industry, Digital Cities, Digital Wellbeing, Digital Tech, and Digital Finance.

Summer School attendees learn to master the language of both business and technology. "Understanding how to turn technology into business is a skill that Europe needs to be competitive. The summer schools are one of the ways in which EIT Digital is working to make Europe a leading player in the digital economy, said Roberto Prieto, Chief Education Officer earlier.

Master the skill to turn technology into business is done via high-level quality lectures, virtual company visits, and a business challenge. In the latter the attendees will be working in teams on real business case studies originating from EIT Digital's pan-European ecosystem of scaleups, startups, industrial and academic partners and research companies. The teams need to pitch their final solutions. Professional coaches will be guiding the attendees preparing their final pitches.

To business case providers, the outcomes of the challenges are often valuable for the company.  "The students collected very useful data for us. They examined the market, the players, and the economic impact of using sweat analysis in sepsis detection. On top of that, they had a business case", says Maarten Gijssel, founder and managing director of Kinetic Analysis who is also managing partner of IDRO.

The summer schools are open to Master students, PhD students and young professionals across Europe and are mandatory to EIT Digital Master School students. The mixture of attendees is enriching, says Nelly Hernandez, who participated in last year's summer school. "These people were super qualified. I was amazed of the level of everyone here. It was also fruitful. They are young, fresh, spontaneous, and open to express their opinions. They do not hold back. I might be more biased already because of working in the same field for a long time, which makes you narrow minded. These students opened up my mind."

Anyone interested in committing him or herself for a two-week deep dive on how to make business out of emerging technologies can apply. Balassone emphasises that a technical background is no requirement to participate. "Any business person can attend the summer school. After all, people learn how to use technology for business. In that sense, these are business summer schools."

Prior to the actual start of the summer school, all summer school attendees receive as usual an online starter kit. In here there are lectures for the attendees to prepare themselves. This also ensures that all attendees have on some topics the same entry levels.

Read more about the upcoming online Summer Schools and apply: https://summerschool.eitdigital.eu/

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