| 5 minute read

Reliving the 2022 UIIN Conference

Elena Galán-Muros

Two weeks have passed since the 10th edition of the UIIN Conference took place in the vibrant city of Amsterdam! It was indeed a fantastic experience, and before we begin to plan for next year’s conference, it is only right to relive the event again!

The 2022 UIIN conference brought together 400+ university and business professionals from across the globe for an exciting three days of conversations on university-industry interaction, entrepreneurial & engaged universities, and the future of higher education. After two years, it was a delight to have the UIIN community back in person. The conference’s energy reflected the desire for in-person knowledge sharing. All three days were contagiously filled with laughter, fun, inspiration, engaging conversations, new insights and even some dancing.

The conference gave centre stage to professionals from industry and university to share insights on outstanding research projects and initiatives through case studies and research presentations, workshops and panel discussions. Networking was fully maximised by introducing the ‘networking wall’ and ‘imagine wall’ to encourage attendees to connect with others interested in similar topics and imagine the future of universities with no limits.



Day 1 highlights 

  • Arno Meerman, UIIN’s CEO, kicked off the conference with an inspiring opening remark that reminded the community of the role of universities and the impact that can be made by enabling university-industry collaboration.
  • The panels, workshops, and presentations presented insights into developing entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystems in engaged universities.
  • The conversation also centred around the approaches to engaging in a strategic partnership and collaboration with industry, society and government.
  • The first day of the conference was wrapped with lots of networking, from the organisational member’s dinner to the informal get-together with all conference delegates.

Day 2 highlights

  • The second day of the conference started with an engaging keynote panel with university leaders Andrew Petter (Simon Fraser University) and Pascale Quester (Swinburne University of Technology), who shared their regional perspectives on leading innovative and entrepreneurial universities.
  • Throughout the day, speakers shared institutional best practices and initiative case studies, which reflected the insights of thought leaders and change-makers on topics ranging from diversity in higher education to building strategic partnerships.
  • The final keynote panel of the day shed light on successful University-Industry Relationships and the Role of External Engagement Units from both the university and industry side through an engaging discussion with Arianne Bijma (ASML), Jo Townshend (UCL) and Marc Sedam (NYU).
  • The day ended with the grand conference dinner, where a variety of cuisines from across the globe, live music, games and the popular photo booth created the perfect scene for lots of fun, networking and some impressive dance moves.

Day 3 highlights

  • The keynote panel on Research Valorisation and Impact started the day with high energy as Susana Jurado Apruzzese (Telefonica) shared the company’s Open Innovation approach and Davide Iannuzzi (VU University) made us all think about his swimmer’s analogy when it comes to engaging and encouraging academics to create impact from their research.
  • Displayed in the foyer, a great number of posters presented new concepts around ethical, green, and sustainable engagement, partnering with SMEs and both rural and urban renewal initiatives.
  • Workshops created an avenue for interactivity and an opportunity for attendees to receive the transferable tools needed in the areas of work-based learning partnerships and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems.
  • The conference ended with a champagne reception and award closing ceremony, where we recognised the top performers and changer-makers in the university-industry interaction ecosystem. Again, Congratulations to the awardees in different categories:

Outstanding Research
Award winners:
“Will universities drive the future of innovation during COVID recovery?”
Tomas Coates Ulrichsen & Leonard Kelleher (University of Cambridge)
“The enablers and inhibitors of digital transformation within the microbusiness sector in Ireland”
John O’Shanahan (LeanBPI)

Outstanding Engagement Approach
Award winners:
“Strategic partnering supports a diverse ecosystem to thrive at The Australian National University”
Lorena (Lori) Sciusco & Sejul Malde (The Australian National University)
“KTH Royal Institute of Technology strategic partnerships, the next steps. #KTHTogetherForImpact”
Johan Blaus (KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

Outstanding Support Mechanism
Award winners:
“University-industry partnership: The case of ASELSAN Academy”
Ali Emre Güleç, PhD. & Elif Aydogdu Dogru (Aselsan)
“Establishing a holistic strategic and organisational approach to the university’s corporate relations”
Carlos Cardillo (University of Nevada, Reno)

Outstanding Entrepreneurial Education
Award winners:
“Invest for entrepreneurial education”
Liisa Timonen, Marjo Nenonen & Jaana Tolkki (Invest University European Alliance & Karelia University of Applied Sciences)
“The endgame for entrepreneurship: Leveraging capitalism for good”
Joe Steensma & II Luscri (Washington University in St. Louis)

Outstanding Entrepreneurial Education
Award winner:
“Taking the path less travelled: Swinburne’s next chapter”
Pascale Quester (Swinburne University of Technology)
“Just do it!”
Anita Nel, RTTP (Stellenbosch University)

Finally, we are grateful for the lively and enthusiastic UIIN community that has grown with us in the last ten years. As we look ahead to another ten years, we look forward to focusing on our research, professional development and consultancy, contributing to the future of universities and building more entrepreneurial and innovative universities. In that, we ask that you continue to engage with the community, stay connected, and share your work and ideas.

Did you, unfortunately, miss the conference or would you like to read more? Keep an eye on your inbox and social media as the conference proceedings will be made available in the following days.

We look forward to hearing how all initiatives progressed at next year’s conference; see you there!

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