Kaunas and Lisbon December 2017 EIT Health

EIT Innovation Communities meet innovators in Lisbon and Kaunas

Talking with local innovation ecosystems

Representatives of the EIT's Innovation Communities met in December with members of the Lithuanian and Portuguese innovation ecosystems, to help start-ups make essential connections that will allow them to run their research and keep their business active.

Session in Kaunas, Lithuania

On 12 December 2017, the University of Technology hosted an event in Kaunas to allow the Lithuanian innovation ecosystem meet the EIT Communities. The program started with an introduction to the EIT, followed by the presentations of each Innovation Community. Laura Supjeva, the EIT's Strategy, Impact and Monitoring Officer, spoke about the European Innovation Paradox, which refers to the phenomenon that many significant scientific researches often remain in the laboratories. She noted that the main purpose of the EIT innovation programmes is to help change this unprofitable situation. The question itself was raised again in the afternoon panel discussion where the representatives from the authorities and research institution analysed the Lithuanian ecosystem, its weaknesses and strengths, and the cooperation possible between R&D and industry.

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In the end, the panelists all agreed that, beside the EIT funding and training programmes, the extensive network of the institution can help R&D startups to find the proper contacts and essential connections to run their research and keep their business active and alive. In the afternoon the working groups (1. Financing innovation, 2. Entrepreneurial education and innovation partnerships among research, education and business) were moderated by EIT representatives, and the programme participants had the opportunity to discuss in detail or ask the EIT experts questions related to the issued topics. The programme itself was a dynamic event with active conversation between the participants and the EIT representatives. 

Session in Lisbon, Portugal

In Lisbon, the event hosted by the BGI (Building Global Innovators – the Portuguese accelerator) started with a networking dinner on 13 December 2017 and continued with the information day on 14 December 2017. In the morning the keynote speakers – Prof. Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education; Prof. Eduardo Maldonado, Coordinator of NCP H2020; and Prof. Antonio Cunha, Rector of Universidade do Minho – put the program in context by describing the Portuguese ecosystem, and pointing at the cooperation possibilities between the R&D, industries, authorities and the EIT.

After the keynote speeches the event followed the Kaunas scenario, starting with the EIT introduction presented here by Katerina Sereti and followed by the short presentations of the Innovation Communities. The afternoon breakout session was the right platform for the participants to meet representatives of the Innovation Communities to go through their plans and to get more information about the possibilities of entering EIT training and funding programs.

For more information contact: Zsuzsa Kovács zsuzsa.kovacs@eithealth.eu

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Main Photo: Kaunas and Lisbon December 2017 EIT Health