Workshop on “Universities as motors of innovation in Central and Eastern Europe

Organised by EUA within the framework of the EUA Expert Group on Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3)

Thursday, 13-14 October 2016

The Workshop on “Universities as motors of innovation in Central and Eastern Europe” is the second in a series of workshops jointly organised by National Rectors’ Conferences and the European University Association (EUA) on the thematic area of Research and Innovation Smart Specialisation Strategies. This workshop aims to bring together experts, case studies and good practice examples of universities’ role in regional policy and in smart specialisation strategies, from different European regions. The workshop will also serve as a platform for sharing experiences, challenges and opportunities related to the strategic role of universities in the implementation of Smart Specialisation across Europe. This workshop is addressed to university leaders (e.g. rectors, vice-rectors, heads of administration), regional and national policy-makers and other stakeholders interested in regional innovation.

Preliminary Programme [PDF]

Thursday 13 October

9.00-9.30 Welcome addressees

Prof Marcin Pałys, Rector of the University of Warsaw, Poland; member of the EUA Expert Group on RIS3

Prof Marek Tukiendorf, Chair of KRASP International Cooperation Committee; Rector of the  Opole University of Technology, Poland

Prof Peter Haring-Bolívar, Chair EUA Expert Group on RIS3; Vice-Rector for Research, University of Siegen, Germany



Mr. Jan Staniłko, Deputy Director of Innovation Department in Ministry of Economics Development

“What kind of academia smart specialization needs?”

Ciaran Dearle, Senior Expert: Team Leader for Cohesion Policy interactions with Research and Innovation Policy, Unit B.5 ‘Spreading of excellence and widening participation’, DG RTD, European Commission

Andrea Conte, Team Leader: Stairway to Excellence, Unit B.3 ‘Knowledge for Growth’, JRC IPTS, European Commission

Chair: Prof Marcin Pałys

10.30-11.00 Coffee break












Topic 1: Specific challenges for innovation in Central and Eastern Europe

Prof Volli Kalm, Rector of the University of Tartu, Estonia; EUA Expert Group on RIS3

Building an entrepreneurial university: A case study from the University of Tartu”

Prof. Maciej Chorowski, Director of The National Centre for Research and Development, Poland (title of presentation tbc)

Prof. Maciej Żylicz, President of the Foundation for Polish Science

“Specific challenges for innovation in Central and Eastern Europe. The Foundation for Polish Science perspective.”


Discussions on this topic will focus on how different countries in Central and Eastern Europe are using Smart Specialisation to promote regional innovation; on specific barriers and drivers of RIS3 in Central and Eastern Europe; and on the role of universities in the design and implementation of Smart Specialisations in these European regions.

Chair: Dr Lidia Borrell-Damian

13.00-14.00 Lunch












Topic 2: Strategic participation of universities in implementing innovation strategies

Prof Stanislav Kmet, Rector of the Technical University of Košice; Slovakia

Strategic roles of the Technical University of Košice in the implementation of regional innovation ecosystem
Prof Anton Anton, Technical University of Civil Engineering of Bucharest; Romania; Member of the EUA Expert Group on RIS3

“Romanian R&D and Innovation strategy through the eyes of a Technical University”


Prof Martin Bareš, Vice-rector for academic affairs, Masaryk University


Petr Chladek, South Moravian Innovation Center, Czech Republic

Masaryk University and South Moravian region: mutual cooperation as the key for innovations”


Discussions on this topic will focus on how universities engage with local, regional and national stakeholders to implement Smart Specialisation; and on the challenges and opportunities universities face when adapting their educational, research and innovation activities to RIS3 priorities.

Chair: Prof Ray O’Neill

16.00-16.15 Coffee break












Topic 3: Cooperation across Europe – myth or reality?


Peter Riedler, Vice-Rector for Financial Affairs, Resources and Location Development, University of Graz; Austria

“Cross border cooperation in Southeast Europe and the Role of the University of Graz”

Olivier Kuttel, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

“Get talents back – A tenure track programme for Croatia”

 Marcin Postawka, Deputy Director, Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer Management, Warsaw University of Technology

“Path to innovation – linkages between academia and industry  – European knowledge”



Discussions on this topic will focus on the topic of collaboration between universities and other stakeholders across different European regions; on the synergetic use of different EU funding programmes and on how universities can better leverage these resources.


Chair: Prof Peter Haring-Bolivar

18.15-18.30 Conclusions and final remarks

Concluding speech (local authority/university representative)

18.30-19.30 Networking drinks

Friday 14 October

Aula Starej Biblioteki Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego (The University of Warsaw Old Library)

9.00-10.15 Keynote presentation by Mr Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions

EU Policies: Regional Innovation Ecosystems in Implementing Smart Specialisation (RIS3)

Welcome by Professor Marcin Pałys, Rector of the University of Warsaw