‘Researchers meet Innovators’ conference in Kyiv, Ukraine. A dialogue between science and business


The ‘Researchers meet Innovators’ conference was held at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Kyiv, Ukraine on 19–20 April. The event was organised together with the Bridging Science and Business working group of the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA). The conference was attended by more than 40 participants from Kyiv, other regions of Ukraine, as well as Serbia and Nigeria. The attendees actively participated in two panel discussions and listened to presentations of about 20 speakers from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, other universities of Kyiv, the Ministry of Culture, the Ukrainian National Startup Fund, a start-up from Odessa, a student incubator in Kharkiv, and academics from the Netherlands, Austria and Turkey.

In line with Cluster 4 ‘Capacity building’ of Erasmus+ Student and Alumni Association (ESAA)-led projects, both days of the event were packed with presentations on a variety of topics. Visitors had the opportunity to hear about the experience of start-ups from France and Ukraine, learn how to promote their ideas, listen to the experience of German companies and much more. During the panel discussion on the first day of the event, the speakers discussed what awaits projects on the brink of science and industry in Ukraine. The Chair of the session, the Vice-Chair of the MCAA, Mostafa Monir, as well as three speakers of the panel discussion were very pleased with the outcome of the discussion; in fact they plan to publish a scientific article on the results of the discussion.

The main organiser of the event, Pavlo Bazilinskyy, gave a presentation with an overview of activities of both ESAA and MCAA. The students in the audience had an opportunity to ask questions about applying for the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) programmes. We hope that one of the outcomes of the conference will be the increase in the amount of successful applications for the EMJMD programmes from Ukraine, which aligns with Cluster 1 ‘Strengthening higher education quality’ and Cluster 3 ‘Increasing Social Inclusion, Empowerment, and Participation’ of ESAA-led projects.

Upon completion of the first day, both speakers and participants were invited to join the networking dinner. During both the dinner and coffee breaks, important connections were made, and plans for future collaboration were discussed.

On the Saturday, participants had a chance to hear about the well-established system of cooperation between science and industry in the Netherlands and Austria. Murat Gunes, the Secretary of the MCAA, shared his experience on how to network in academia. Then, the project manager and ultramarathon runner Oleg Lebedev introduced his project ‘Esoteric Project Management’, which focuses on the importance of mindfulness and meditation in managing people and tasks. The conference ended with the second panel discussion, where representatives from four Ukrainian start-ups discussed how to grow a company and not get stuck at the start-up level forever.

The talks were recorded and selected videos will be made available on the MCAA YouTube channel. Both speakers and participants were pleased with the conference. The organisers hope that this meeting will serve as the basis for further discussion on how to establish the collaboration between science and business in Ukraine.

On July 11–12, the 2nd ‘Researchers meet Innovators’ conference will take place at TU Berlin. You are invited to join us there!

About the authors

Pavlo Bazilinskyy: Pavlo Bazilinskyy is head of data research at the start-up SD-Insights and postdoctoral researcher at TU Delft. He finished his PhD at TU Delft in automated driving as a Marie Curie Fellow. He received his Erasmus Mundus MSc in Dependable Software Systems from University of St Andrews and Maynooth University. Pavlo is involved with start-ups and is a chair of the Bridging Science and Business working group of the MCAA.


Uliana Furiv is working as a research consultant for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) of UNESCO in Paris. She received her Erasmus Mundus MSc in Research and Innovation in Higher Education (MaRIHE) from University of Tampere and Danube University Krems. Uliana is involved with the Erasmus Mundus Association since 2017 as a Qualitative Data Analyst and recently took on the role of Project Manager of the Degree Recognition Survey.


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