For Developing Innovations Partnership Is More Important than Finances

2017-12-20 11:15

"In terms of innovations in Europe we face a so-called "European paradox" – our universities and research institutions produce an enormous amount of significant scientific research which often remains in the laboratories," said Laura Supjeva, Strategy, Impact and Monitoring Officer at the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT). According to her, communication and partnership are more important than financing, if we want transfer research into world-changing innovations.

The EIT was established in 2008. It unites the partners from the entire Europe representing the key stakeholders of innovation ecosystem: scientific research, business and educational system (higher education). This EU agency promoting the development of innovations has no partners in Lithuania yet; however it maintains contacts with several academic institutions, including Kaunas University of Technology (KTU).

"Our goal is not only to generate the maximum amount of start-ups, but also to make them successful. We develop the innovation ecosystems involving the players from various areas. We have noticed that the countries not involved in the EIT network have a low rating in the European Innovation Scoreboard," said Ms Supjeva at the EIT innovation ecosystem development conference organised at KTU Santaka Valley.

The EIT provides support to the innovative ideas in cooperation with national and regional innovation developers. However, the EIT representatives emphasised that even though the organisation provides financial support to the projects, a much more important goal is cooperation and partnership.

Our population increases by 8 million each year

"In a year the global population increases by the amount of the population of Germany – next year 8 million new people will need to be fed. In 2050 there will be 10 billion of us in the world," said Adam Strzelecki, Representative of the EIT Food community.

According to him, food industry is as harmful to the environment as energy industry, and a distribution of food is uneven in the global population – the amount of starving people is almost equal to the amount of the overweight. People do not trust food producers and distorted eating habits are persistent in our society.

According to Mr Strzelecki, individual organisations are not able to respond to these and other challenges because of the very strong competition and the lack of entrepreneurship culture in this industry.

"Cooperation and communication are very important. We have approximately 50 partners representing various sectors of this industry and different countries," said the EIT representative.

The EIT innovation development focuses on six expert areas; the representatives of materials, food, energy and health industries presented the challenges of these areas in Kaunas.

Universities "sit" on exclusive knowledge

"Networking creates opportunities for different partners. Currently we have 350 partners including universities and business organisations. From the Baltic States we have the University of Tartu as a member of EIT Health community," stated Judit Hegedus, Project Manager of the EIT Health, the division responsible for the innovation development in the health sector.

According to her, the universities "sit" on the very valuable knowledge that can be transformed into innovations by partnerships and sharing of experience.

The start-up "Fidens" that had been established in Kaunas and won the EIT business idea competition was presented as a success story. Using the experience gained during participation in the EIT organised events, the start-up's team plans to launch their product for reduction of hand tremors for people with the Parkinson's disease into the market in January 2018.

"Even though we do not have partners in Lithuania, we maintain live contact with KTU and Lithuanian University of Health Sciences. A success of the start-up from Kaunas in our competitions provides hope that we will be able to involve young talents from Lithuania in our next year's training programmes", said Zsuzsa Kovács, Project Coordinator at the EIT Health.

In former Eastern Bloc countries, the gap between industry and research is larger

The members of the Lithuanian innovation ecosystem from the public sector, business and academic community actively participated in the conference at KTU Santaka Valley. The representatives of business, innovation development agencies and researchers of various areas discussed the challenges. The limitations of the legal framework were identified as one of the main problems.

According to Ms Kovács, even though academic and business organisations from Western Europe are actively involved in the EIT activities, there are not many members of this innovation development organisation from Eastern and Central Europe.

"I think that because of various reasons, the gap between research and industry is larger in these countries. The EIT has identified this problem and focuses on the activities promoting cooperation between these sectors in Eastern and Central Europe," said Ms Kovács.

According to her, a discussion with the participants of the Lithuanian innovation ecosystem has revealed that it has many possibilities and a good infrastructure that is not yet fully utilized.

  • Making Innovation Happen, EIT Regional Innovation Scheme event at KTU Santaka Valley
  • Making Innovation Happen, EIT Regional Innovation Scheme event at KTU Santaka Valley
  • Making Innovation Happen, EIT Regional Innovation Scheme event at KTU Santaka Valley
  • Making Innovation Happen, EIT Regional Innovation Scheme event at KTU Santaka Valley
  • Making Innovation Happen, EIT Regional Innovation Scheme event at KTU Santaka Valley
  • Making Innovation Happen, EIT Regional Innovation Scheme event at KTU Santaka Valley
  • Making Innovation Happen, EIT Regional Innovation Scheme event at KTU Santaka Valley
  • Making Innovation Happen, EIT Regional Innovation Scheme event at KTU Santaka Valley
  • Making Innovation Happen, EIT Regional Innovation Scheme event at KTU Santaka Valley
     
  • Making Innovation Happen, EIT Regional Innovation Scheme event at KTU Santaka Valley
     
  • Making Innovation Happen, EIT Regional Innovation Scheme event at KTU Santaka Valley
     
  • Making Innovation Happen, EIT Regional Innovation Scheme event at KTU Santaka Valley
     
  • Making Innovation Happen, EIT Regional Innovation Scheme event at KTU Santaka Valley
     
  • Making Innovation Happen, EIT Regional Innovation Scheme event at KTU Santaka Valley
     
  • Making Innovation Happen, EIT Regional Innovation Scheme event at KTU Santaka Valley
     
  • Making Innovation Happen, EIT Regional Innovation Scheme event at KTU Santaka Valley
     

Related news

2015-09-11 14:15
If You need an answer to the question „Why focus on Career?“ there is one given below. Katie Jarvis in her presentation will share some simple tactics and techniques that can help to focus and build Your career. Traditionally ‘Career development’ meant upward promotion. However, organisations are flatter and leaner...
image
2018-01-16 11:30
ViLim Ball technology created at a Lithuanian startup company Fidens helps to reduce uncontrollable shaking of hands, which is one of the symptoms of essential tremor. The technology is effective in 7 out of 10 cases, and it can also be used to alleviate morning stiffness of joints for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers....
2018-01-15 15:15
Apply now for studying at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) in the academic year 2018/2019. Quality education is a continuous journey of learning and development, full of new knowledge, discoveries, opportunities and ideas. If your goal is international studies, interdisciplinary competences and...
image
video
2018-01-12 12:45
Our Kaunastic friends are writing about the greatest attraction at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) campus – the Mona Lisa mural. If you haven’t had a chance to look at it properly, the sunny approaching weekend might provide a perfect chance. Mind you, it is going to be cold, so dress properly for the weather....
2018-01-09 14:45
Students’ team from Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) is working on a development of dissolving contact eye lenses, which can be of great assistance for those suffering from glaucoma. According to statistics, glaucoma is the most common cause of preventable, irreversible blindness – it is responsible for 12.3% of...
2018-01-09 11:15
The first step into establishing of the double degree public administration study programme between Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) and the University of Central Florida (UCF) is already taken: the European Commission has granted funding for exchange between KTU and UFC scholars under Erasmus+ exchange programme...
image
2018-01-08 16:30
“I can choose any country for living, but I haven’t made my final decision yet. I think that everyone of us, working towards their future abroad, would like to live at home if they had the same conditions”, says Edgaras Šmigelskis, Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) alumni. At the moment young engineer is working...
2018-01-05 16:15
Several new exhibitions, Three Kings celebration and other cultural events are on the menu for this weekend in Kaunas, Kaunas Full of Culture informs. Although it is possible that the weather in the weekend will be suitable for the short walk outside, exhibitions are always good escape from the inevitable rain spells...