Driving Innovation and Growth

Warsaw, Poland – 27 November 2013 - The European Commission - DG Education and Culture with the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, organized a Thematic Forum on “University-Business Cooperation – Driving Innovation and Growth”.

The forum provided a comprehensive overview on how to bridge the gap between higher education and business and presented initiatives which will be available under the new EU programs Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020. One of the key actions within the new EU programs and features within EU funds for innovation and human capital development will be the University-Business Cooperation.

The forum had three sessions: Entrepreneurship and Higher Education, Institutional change in Higher Education towards University-Business Cooperation and University-Business Cooperation in practice: EU perspective and funding.

In his speech, the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania, Prof. Dainius Pavalkis, pointed out the lack of speed in the implementation of researches which are carried out in the universities. He noted that the research should focus on the importance of what we really learn from our research. The most important is the transfer of innovation and the research commercialization. The quality of the universities should be measured by the number of entrepreneurs produced by a university and not by the number of issued diplomas. He noted the importance of cooperation between the business world and academia, as well as the trend on the shift to competency based economy.

The Design Management Consultant at VOX Group, MS Anna Wroblewska emphasized the importance of knowledge alliances they are using in Poland and the connection between the universities and enterprises as an example of good business co-operation with higher education.

European Commission Director-General for Education and Culture, Mr. Jan Truszczynski emphasized the reality of high structural unemployment and presented the programs Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+. He also mentioned that the budget for Knowledge Alliance will be substantially increased.

One of the interesting points mentioned at the forum, among other things, was Prof. Paul Hannon’s presentation of “HEInnovate” which represents a self-assessment tool for all higher education institutions looking for advice, ideas and inspiration on how to manage entrepreneurial, institutional and cultural changes.  Prof. Hannon is a Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership on Swansea University (UK).

The forum was also attended by SEECEL representative, Ms Marija Iličković Seconded/National Expert from Montenegro and Mr Stjepan Srhoj SEECEL’s intern.