During two days some 250 experts from education, business, research and innovation gathered to discuss the future of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), its planned expansion and explore and exemplify how the EIT can assist in tackling the societal challenges identified in the Horizon 2020. The event provided a platform for sharing the setting-up experience from the first wave of KICs.
The Cyprus Presidency conference was opened by Giorgos Demosthenous, Cyprus Minister of Education and Culture, together with Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education and Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Alexander von Gabain, Chairman of the EIT Governing Board and Maria da Graça Carvalho, Member of the European Parliament, Industry, Research and Energy.
Willem Jonker, CEO EIT ICT Labs and Carl-Gustaf Jansson, Master School Director EIT ICT Labs shared experiences and lessons learnt during the establishment phase of EIT ICT Labs with focus on governance, partnership, co-location, operations, monitoring, and the EIT education label.
EIT ICT Labs was accompanied by three students from the EIT ICT Labs ICT Master School. The participation of Brinda Hampiholi studying at the University of Trento, Nicholas Tenhue studying at KTH and Berkay Taskin studying at Eindhoven University of Technology was very much appreciated - giving the participants a chance to discuss directly with students and listen to the reasons why they choose the EIT ICT Labs Master School Programme.
One EIT ICT Labs’ start-up was represented by the entrepreneur Marc Habbema from SOWISO. SOWISO is a spin-off from the University of Eindhoven developing state-of-the-art e-learning solutions on exact disciplines for educational institutions. EIT ICT Labs supported them in the start-up phase the last two years and is now helping in accelerating growth.
“Our high-tech spin-off is part of the ICT Labs ecosystem of which we are proud. We wanted to share this with the EIT-stakeholders. People want to know where their money is spent. Furthermore we are a company, going through the internationalisation phase. The conference was a great place for meeting new contacts and even potential clients, as we are active in the field of e-learning for higher education institutions, of which a lot are part of the EIT-network. With help of the EU-commissioner, we were also able to meet with the Cyprus Technical University”, stated Marc Habbema.