On June 27th, our CTO & co-founder Antonella was invited to speak at the European Union’s 2nd Education and Innovation Summit in Brussels. The session “Researchers’ careers: empowering researchers for innovation” brought together professionals from the public and private sector who benefited from different Horizon2020 and HorizonEurope programs. In Antonella’s case the EIT Food Innovator Fellowship was instrumental to kick-start CinSOIL. Indeed, CinSOIL co-founders met during the Fellowship in 2021, working together on the “SoilMate” idea as a team named “NatureCulture”.
During the discussion Antonella engaged with the other panelists and the moderator (Antoaneta Angelova-Krasteva, the Director for Innovation, Digital Education and International Cooperation at DG EAC of the European Commission) on topics such as developing fundamental skills to tackle today’s grand societal challenges and the need of more family-friendly education schemes.
As a researcher, I felt it was difficult to fit all my interests into an academic career. The Innovator Fellowship from the EIT Food put me on the researchpreneurship track and still today grants us access to an invaluable professional network.Antonella Succurro, 2023
Overall, the unique mix of participants (educators, innovators, researchers, policy makers) created a energetic, dynamic vibe in the whole summit. In the opening speech, European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas made a strong point about the need of innovation, fostered by a collaborative approach between education and business entities, to find sustainable solutions for the most pressing concerns of our times. This theme was revisited during the second panel, “Higher education and Innovation actors join forces,” where the Coalition of the Willing consortium, established in 2022, announced the Joint roadmap of European Universities Alliances and Innovators, aimed at realizing the goals of the New European Innovation Agenda. Finally, a key message from the last panel “Deep Tech skills for Europe” was that, in parallel to developing and fostering deep-tech skills, innovators must be equipped with empathy, creativity, and ethical discernment.