Capacity building for EU-Africa Cooperation
What funding is available under Horizon 2020? How can EU and African businesses, innovators and organisations partner together? What about the financial, legal and outreach requirements? In West Africa, we supported the European Commission and built capacities to advance the Science, Technology and Innovation cooperation. We trained more than 100 international participants, fostered the awareness of technology for humanitarian aid, brought the voice of the African innovators to the policy-makers.Together with the Minister of higher education, research and innovation of Senegal, the EU Delegation and the representatives of the public and private sector, we advocated for a stronger innovation partnership between the two continents.
Responsible Research & Innovation
Do you know that responsible research and innovation (RRI) brings economic and social advantages to businesses, research organizations and citizens? Being aligned to RRI criteria increases your funding opportunities, social promotion and reduces customers’ aversion to non-responsible behaviors. The European Commission pushes forward RRI in ICT to enable new quality standards, certifications and compliancy for the public and private sector. We support RRI and provide expertise and advisory to: develop the EU Framework Model for Responsible ICT Innovation; help connect social scientists with ICT developers; provide evidence for policy-making. We train and help organizations to: understand, integrate and benefit from RRI in ICT in their digital transitions; move away from the limits of CSR; embrace the more effective RRI approach; avoid economic and reputational losses like Cambridge Analytica or the Diesel Gate.
FinTech Summit 2018
What’s the future of financial services in the Fintech Era? Is the regulator able to deal with disruptive innovations? What’s next after robo-advisory investment platforms, financial chatbots and blockchainisation of processing? We partnered with the Fintech Summit 2018 and provided strategic advisory to strengthen Slovakia’s role as a leading hub for startups and fintechs in the CEE region. We built new partnerships’ scenarios, mobilized and engaged top players to challenge the status quo, to reshape the relations between legislators, banks, fintechs, clients. We coordinated the knowledge sharing and promoted the innovative solutions of Tatra Banka, PwC, Oracle, the Slovak Ministry of Finance, Members of the European Parliament , fintechs, law firms and others. We had the honor to open and close the Summit and we celebrated youth talent winning the hackathon competition.
Giving access to alternative finance
Innovative companies, start-ups and SMEs struggle to access credit. This is particularly true in southern, central and eastern Europe. We have provided our advisory and expertise capacities to a major EU-funded project aimed at facilitating access to alternative finance. We have contributed to the development of the EU alternative finance strategy and its validation processes at national and international level. We have targeted financial intermediaries (banks, financial institutions, business angels and investors) and business multipliers (public or private associations, incubators and agencies) and have strengthened their knowledge and capacities. At the Budapest Stock Exchange, we inspired the banking and financial sector to look at the role of alternative finance in innovation processes as an opportunity for partnerships, engagement in integrated services and development of cooperation schemes.
Strategies for Smart Cities in Ukraine
We have been asked by the City Council of Lviv to address the issues of effective and sustainable strategies for the expansion of the smart city concept. We have analysed contemporary challenges and risks faced by cities and citizens, in the transition, implementation and management of smart cities processes. At the 451 E Forum we have presented integrated strategies focusing on connecting innovation, international cooperation, policy-making and capacity-building in an organic fashion. We stressed the importance of the integrating public-private partnerships and the SDGs as powerful tools for local economic development and the creation of new smart professions. We have inspired people to look at new smart governance models and develop smart citizens cultures to take advantage of global opportunities and be shock-resistant to sudden changes and evolving scenarios.
Fostering the Research – Industry links with EaP Countries
We supported the European Commission in its Science, Technology and Innovation cooperation with Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. In a major event we facilitated the knowledge exchange between the public and private sector, addressed the issues blocking the research – industry cooperation, facilitated the multi stakeholders debate on smart specialisation strategies, tech-transfer, framework conditions and reforms. In another event, we delivered a dedicated training-module to support representatives of Universities, Ministries and Foundations in Georgia to design projects with effective sustainability, to engage international stakeholders and industries, to influence the policy dialogue and legislations towards their priorities.
Climate change via Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU)
CCU technologies can extract carbon dioxide and then use it as a raw material for carbon-containing products (e.g. chemical products, fuels, building materials) and open new opportunities for our economies. But are industries and citizens aware? Do we have enough scientific evidence? Do we need financial incentives and policy support to help industry and research developing CCU full potential? We helped the EC, its Scientific Advisory Mechanism and the Science Advice for Policy by European Academies to raise awareness about it throughout their communication and outreach efforts on CCU. We led the facilitation of the high-level discussion at the European Open Science Forum, fostered the interaction between eminent panelists and the public, addressed the economic incentives and policies’ measures needed to promote CCU technology.
Unlocking EU – GULF countries business & opportunities
We accompanied the European Commission in a dedicated mission reinforcing its Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) cooperation with the Gulf States. In high-level meetings between EU representatives, Ministries and leading management of top industries we promoted effective matching of EU global excellence in STI with Gulf countries ambition and needs to diversify economy and innovate. We developed a state of the art analysis of the current cooperation and assessed the needs at the policy, organizational and operational level. At the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) we presented to policy-makers, business representatives and researchers the way forward for a sustainable, systemic and strategic STI cooperation. We built momentum fostering joint priorities and mechanisms to unlock opportunities.
Expanding university market capacities
A leading university in the agro-industry sector wanted to increase its capacities towards international cooperation and market outreach. We developed a strategic roadmap to empower staff with needed skills, connect them to leading platforms and networks and promote their expertise and excellence at international level. We organised conferences with international organisations, governments and the private sector. We followed up with technical assistance and trainings linking university capacities to agro-industry SME needs and fostered participation in international cooperation projects.
Strengthening Africa’s international R&I capacities
An African research and innovation network wanted to promote its own country and industries capacities, stimulate foreign investments, promote internal reforms and better connect researchers, markets and policy-makers. We organised an international conference showcasing country’s excellences, market’s opportunities and R&I capacities towards the EU, international organisations, the donors’ community and private investors. We delivered an integrated capacity-building training on leadership, innovation, internationalization, aimed at the whole R&I eco-system. We empowered public administrators, academia, entrepreneurs, policy-makers and international investors with leadership, managerial skills and innovative thinking to break the silos, generate confidence and benefit from cooperation opportunities.
Advancing evidence-based policy-making
Eurostat wanted to set the new benchmark on the role of statistics and show how they can respond to contemporary challenges. We facilitated the multi-disciplinary brainstorming and meaningful knowledge co-creation among leading representatives of industry, academia, think-tank, policymakers and statistical offices via restricted round-tables. In a final conference we sparked debate among eminent speakers leading to state of the art input and strategic recommendations on future information needs for evidence-based policy-making.
Championing Football Club values for peace
A renowned football club wanted to promote its international engagement to better peoples’ lives via its programmes and social values. We analysed the cost-effectiveness, sustainability and impact of its existing programmes through a fresh multidisciplinary perspective. We identified key synergies and complementarities among sport programmes, local communities and sustainable development to support peace, respect and social dialogue. We designed an integrated path for global visibility and recognition by positioning the club as a game-changing actor in responding to the most pressing societal challenges via new transformative initiatives. We developed actions to maximise the use of internal resources, to empower staff and to develop new operational capabilities.
Educational solutions and creative content for SDGs
A UN agency wanted to raise awareness and engage youth and adults about the Sustainable Development Goals. The support provided included a comparative analysis of the most engaging educational and learning tools available along with the suitable methodologies. While developing the creative content, special attention was dedicated to key parameters such as: intuitiveness, meaningfulness, identification and likeability in order to maximise viewers/users experience. The educational aspects were developed in line with appealing informative content; the innovative and creativity solutions were designed to also acquire constant feedback for their further development.