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The role of the EIT in the education landscape

K.U.Leuven and EIT organise European Conference on Education and Innovation

On 2 and 3 December, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is organising its first education conference on ‘The role of the EIT in the education landscape’ in Leuven.

Europe aims to tackle the significant social challenges of the knowledge-based society. To this end, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has been founded. Its objective is to bring together Europe’s innovative powers, which are currently still too fragmented. The EIT is geared towards the three pillars of the knowledge triangle: higher education, research and industry, bound together by entrepreneurship.

To fulfil its mission, the EIT has established Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). For the first time, all the stakeholders in the innovation chain – industry, higher education, research and technology institutions and entrepreneurs – have been brought together with a common purpose: to bring about a positive social and economic effect for Europe.

Through this conference, the EIT aims to position higher education as an important cornerstone in the Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA), the long-term strategy for education, innovation and research in Europe drawn up by the EIT.

Professor Karen Maex, Vice Rector for Science, Engineering and Technology at K.U.Leuven, is a member of the Governing Board of the EIT and is co-organising the conference. K.U.Leuven endorses these objectives and prominently stimulates a profound exchange of knowledge between scientists, (bioscience-) engineers and industrial engineers in order to ensure the increase and spread of knowledge and the development of innovative products. Indeed, the fundamental research, applied research and practice-based research conducted at the university and colleges of higher education are perfectly complementary. K.U.Leuven aims to capitalise on this ambition to the greatest possible extent through the integration of the industrial engineering programmes into an independent Faculty of Industrial Engineering besides the existing faculties of Science, Engineering and Bioscience-Engineering.

In addition to innovation, K.U.Leuven also stimulates entrepreneurship and leadership among students and researchers. They are given the opportunity to participate in a unique programme of courses on leadership and in a training session on knowledge and technology transfer and the valorisation of research, in co-operation with K.U.Leuven Research & Development (LRD).

The conference will take place in the Oude Valk College, Tiensestraat 41, 3000 Leuven. Rector Mark Waer will open the conference. Minister Pascal Smet, Flemish Minister of Education, will address the conference on behalf of the Belgian EU Presidency.

Professors Vinit Nijhawan, Boston University and Larry Leifer, Stanford University, will deliver introductory speeches about entrepreneurship and risk capital and about creativity, respectively. Participants of the conference will also be surprised with a number of creative intermezzos.

You may consult the complete programme of the conference on the EIT website:

Contact information:

Alain Smolders, European Policy Adviser for the Science, Engineering and Technology Group K.U.Leuven

Mobile: +32 479 98 38 32, e-mail:

Alain Smolders | K.U.Leuven
Further information:

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