EIT Digital bestows first doctorates addressing Europe’s need for entrepreneurial digital technology leaders

Three of the six degree recipients. FLTR: Radu Tudoran, Wilfried Dron, Roman Chirikov

Three of the six degree recipients. FLTR: Radu Tudoran, Wilfried Dron, Roman Chirikov

Brussels, April 18 - EIT Digital has granted its first doctorates to six students who have successfully completed a new PhD programme that trains world-class digital technology leaders with deep technical experience combined with a strong background in innovation, entrepreneurship and business transformation.

More than two thirds of all European PhD graduates in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields eventually end up working outside of academia, primarily in industry. Most current doctoral programmes remain theoretical and do not address the realities of digital industry. EIT Digital provides a new educational model to increase industrial disruptive innovation and also create a new generation of industrial leaders equipped with a vision of business transformation based on an understanding of frontline technology. All of these recent graduates are currently either employed as researchers at major corporations or have started their own companies.

The EIT Digital Doctoral school was established in 2012. There are currently 130 students studying at seven EIT Digital Doctoral Training Centres (Budapest, Helsinki, Madrid, Paris, Rennes, Sophia-Antipolis and Trento) which are run in cooperation with 18 partner universities in Europe.

The degree recipients were:

  • Roman CHIRIKOV (Trento), employed as a researcher at Ericsson Research in Stockholm (pictured right)
  • Wilfried DRON (Paris) launched a startup MENTEIA (pictured centre)
  • Antonino FAMULARI (Paris) has started two business ventures. In 2015, he was described as one of the most promising innovators in the Italian scene by Wired
  • Stefano IELLAMO (Paris), employed at ORTH-ICS (Greece) on the Marie Skłodowska Curie project called “Sorbet” focusing on Internet of Things and cognitive learning
  • Radu TUDORAN (Rennes), employed at Huawei Technologies (pictured left)
  • Anna VILJAKAINEN (Helsinki) working at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Dr. Walter Weigel, VP European Research Institute, Huawei Technologies, commented: "The EIT Digital Doctoral School is a great institution that connects us to highly qualified IT talents. We were very impressed with the student who worked on our cloud data management project as part of his studies. After he had completed his doctorate, we offered him a full-time position in the Huawei Europe team.”

Prof. Dr. Willem Jonker, CEO of EIT Digital, commented: “Our graduates are true digital leaders already actively working as innovators. Some work in industry, and others have launched their own startups. It proves the added value of our graduates as European leaders in new digital technologies.”

The graduation ceremony was held in Brussels on April 13.

More about EIT Digital’s Doctoral School

Doctoral student who are already enrolled at an EIT Digital’s Higher Education Institutional partner, a university or educational institute with doctorate granting right can apply to our Programme. Further information on the next application period will be available at the end of April 2016.

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