• Past 6 April 7 April
  • Brussels, Belgium

  • higher_education

Organised by the European Commission, the seventh edition of the University Business Forum will bring together around 400 representatives from higher education institutions, large companies, SMEs, relevant European organisations and associations, as well as national, regional and local authorities from Europe and beyond. It will be a unique opportunity to share and discuss your experiences, compare examples of good practice, to network and to learn from each other. This year's Forum will address topics related to:

  • modernisation
  • relevance and skills
  • evolution and innovation
  • smart specialisation & regional development
  • state of university business cooperation in Europe
  • changing face of higher education institutions
  • new trends in entrepreneurship.






Opening session

Moderated by Ms Jacki Davis, Meade Davis Communications


Mr Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture

Mr Evarist Bartolo, Minister of Education and Employment, Malta, EU Presidency January-June 2017

Ms Petra Kammerevert, Member of the European Parliament, Chair of CULT Committee (via video)


Keynote address

Professor Wolfgang Herrmann, President, Technical University Munich

Mr Luis Reis, Chief Corporate Center Officer of Sonae & CEO of Sonae Financial Services


Coffee break


Dr Todd Davey, Science-to-Business Marketing Research Centre Münster

"The state of University Business Cooperation in Europe" – main findings and recommendations from the major study undertaken for the European Commission


Round table: Partnerships for Innovation and Modernisation – Challenges and opportunities

Moderated by Ms Jacki Davis, Meade Davis Communications

  • Professor Anne de Paepe, Rector, Ghent University
  • Mr Péter Lakatos, Co-CEO, Videoton; Member of the EIT Governing Board
  • Professor Tim Bedford, Associate Principal, University of Strathclyde
  • Mr José Ramón García Jiménez, Director, BSH-Group
  • Ms Mona Herter, Director for Communication, Enlargement, International Relations, JADE – European Confederation of Junior Enterprises


Lunch and exhibition



  1. Modernisation, relevance &, skills
  2. Driving regional development
  3. Evolution & innovation
  4. Spotlight on the state of university-business cooperation in Europe

1st session

Four sessions running parallel

Block 1. Workshop 1.1 Overcoming the skills mismatch

Block 2. Workshop 2.1 Regions & Higher Education Institutions – strategic partners

Block 3. Workshop 3.1 Shifting Roles in a Changing Society: what path for HEIs?

Block 4. Workshop 4.1 The Current State of UBC in Europe


2nd session

Four sessions running parallel

Block 1. Workshop 1.2 Innovation Competencies

Block 2. Workshop 2.2 Higher Education & Smart Specialisation

Block 3. Workshop 3.2 Cultural & Social Engagement

Block 4. Workshop 4.2 Good Practice in European UBC; case studies

19:30 – 22:30

Networking Dinner


Presentation and discussion of conclusions of parallel sessions

Moderated by Ms Jackie Davis, Meade Davis Communications

Presentation and discussion of conclusions of parallel sessions


Knowledge Alliances – Pitches and moderated discussion

  • ECOSTAR - European Research and Enterprise Alliance on Marketing and Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity
  • KAAU - Knowledge Alliance for Advanced Urbanism
  • SHIP - SME and Higher Education Institutes in Innovation Partnerships
  • TACIT - Teaching and Coaching Innovation & Entrepreneurship InnovaTively
  • WAVES - Widening Access to Virtual Educational Scenarios


Keynote address: Looking Ahead

  • Professor Tuula Teeri, President, Aalto University
  • Charles Fadel, Founder and Chairman of the Centre for Curriculum Redesign

11:00 – 11:30

Coffee break and exhibition


Round table: University-Business cooperation for innovation and impact

Moderated by Ms Jackie Davis, Meade Davis Communications


  • Ms Sandra Rey, Founder and CEO, Glowee
  • Professor Sauro Longhi, Rector of the Università Politecnica delle Marche
  • Mr Piotr Pluta, Director Corporate Affairs - Europe, Middle East, Africa & Russia, Cisco Corporate Affairs
  • Ms Liva Vikmane, Vice-President of the European Students’ Union
  • Professor Mikael Östling, Vice-President, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Policy outlook

Mr Indrek Reimand, Deputy Secretary General for Higher Education and Research, Estonia, (incoming EU presidency, Jul-Dec 2017)


Ms Antoaneta Angelova-Krasteva, Director, European Commission Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture


Lunch and conference end