Thematic University Business Forum

University Business Cooperation, an efficient blend for innovation and inclusive development

14 | 15 FEB’19
University of Lisbon

A New Agenda for University-BusinessCooperation

The new challenges regarding the deployment of the blue and the green economies, and of smart and sustainable cities and territories call for a constant update in the key drivers of the knowledge economy and claim for new high-level skills.

The EuropeanCommission | DG EAC and CRUP – Conselho de Reitores das Universidades Portuguesas – are organizing a University-Business Forum, to be held in Lisbon, on 14-15 February. The Forum, hosted by the University of Lisbon, should bring together academics and students, large European companies’ and small medium sized enterprises leaders, innovative entrepreneurs, collaborative laboratories, EC officials and government agencies.

Print Version (.pdf)

14 FEB


Opening/welcoming session

Ms Isabel Rocha, University of Lisbon
Mr Peter Baur, DG EAC, European Commission
Mr António Fontainhas Fernandes, CRUP President
Mr José Mendes, First Secretary of State for Environment and Mobility


Keynote speech

Mr Mário Figueiredo, IST, University of Lisbon

“Data Sciences and Artificial Intelligence: Applications and Challenges”


Coffee break


Plenary Panel discussion
Mr Manuel Laranja, University of Lisbon

Mr José Ferreira Gomes, former Secretary of State for Higher Education
Ms Fátima Aparicio Rubio, ECOEMBES
Mr Pedro Teixeira, CIPES, University of Porto
Mr Vasco Pinheiro, Presidente JADE, PT


Lunch break


Parallel Sessions
University Business Cooperation …



for urban development


for providing skills and competences for the blue economy


for better and closer trans-border cooperation


Coffee break


for rural development

and circular economy

for increasing international outreach and cooperation

 Session 1

Cooperation between higher education institutions and business can have significant impact at local and regional level. Higher education institutions can provide two critical factors that allow local firms to increase their competitiveness through innovation, namely knowledge and skilled human capital. Geographical proximity of universities and businesses allows innovation to flourish through formal and informal interaction. Local authorities can play a facilitating role in supporting this collaboration and help local actors to focus on the skills needed to face emerging challenges and to develop an entrepreneurial mind-set, in the framework of well-designed smart specialisation strategies. The scope of these two workshops is to explore best practices coming from Portugal and from other EU countries and provide concrete and inspiring examples of how university business collaboration is supporting urban and rural development.

Rapporteur: Lucía Sirera (Crue/CRUP office, Brussels)


University-Business Cooperation for urban development
Mr Filipe Teles, Vice-Rector, University of Aveiro

Ms Isabel Froes, Copenhagen Business School, DK
Mr Miguel Castro Neto, NOVA Cidade – Urban Analytics Lab Coordinator | NOVA Information Management School PT
Ms Desislava Koleva, Gabrovo city authority, BG
Ms Alina Margolina, Smart City Innovation Lab | Catholic University, PT


University-Business Cooperation for rural development
Mr Joaquim Sousa, Hiese

Mr Alessio Cavicchi, University of Macerata, IT
Mr Tim Hogg, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, PT
Mr Gary Campbell, University of the Highlands and Islands, UK-Scotland
Ms Teresa Pinto Correia, University of Evora, PT
Ms Margarida Oliveira, ITQB, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, PT

 Session 2

The objective of this session is to present and discuss how relevant cooperation between higher education institutions and companies can help in the development of “blue and circular economies”. Companies and higher education institutions have to work together to ensure that graduates get acquainted with what is meant by “blue economy” and by “circular economy” and design and implement study programmes that enable the graduates to acquire the right mix of knowledge, skills and competences so that they can seize the opportunities offered by these new areas of development. The cooperation will also help companies to develop new solutions and to upgrade the skillset of their employees. The examples and cases discussed in the two workshops will show how higher education institutions, companies and public authorities can work together to provide innovative solutions and approaches to address the challenges of the blue and circular economies.

Rapporteur: Victoria Galan-Muros (OECD)


University-Business Cooperation for providing skills and competences for the Blue economy
Ms Alexandra Teodósio, Vice-Rector, University of Algarve

Mr Robin van Ijperen, The Netherlands Ministry of Education and Mr Ruben Habraken, Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, NL
Ms Stéphanie Bordenave-Juchereau, University of La Rochelle, FR
Mr Luís Conceição, SPAROS, PT
Ms Itziar Alkorta, University of the Basque Country, ES 


University-Business cooperation and circular economy
Mr Jorge Costa, Vice-Rector, ISCTE-IUL

Mr Jorge Molina, Campus Iberus, ES
Ms Jenni Suominen, Turku University of Applied Sciences, FI
Mr João Nunes, BLC3 Campus de Tecnologia e Inovação, PT
Mr Jorge Corker, IPN, Coimbra
Mr Daniel Martins, EcoXperience, PT

 Session 3

This session will look at challenges and opportunities of University Business cooperation in a more international context. The first workshop will look at cross-border University Business cooperation and the specific challenges such cooperation involves, but also the value and benefits it can bring to the different actors. The borders between countries do not facilitate cooperation between higher education institutions and business, but the workshop will show that interesting and successful initiatives exist and discuss how possible barriers can be overcome. The second workshop will look at examples of University-Business Cooperation that help to connect local and global dimensions. Higher education institutions can support local companies, in particular SMEs, to get access to and work with students and researchers from other countries. And they can support networking with higher education institutions and business from other countries.

Rapporteur: Gloria Nunes-Rodrigues (DEUSTO University)


University-Business cooperation for better and closer trans-border collaboration
Mr Eduardo Castro, Vice-Rector University of Aveiro

Mr Frank Barry, National University of Ireland Galway, IE
Mr Peter Firsching, Deggendorf Institute of Technology, DE
Mr João Navalho, Necton
Mr Mário Raposo, Vice-Rector, University of Beira Interior, PT


University-Business cooperation for increasing international outreach and cooperation
Mr Nuno Fernandes, Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics

Mr Gerard Danford, Haaga–Helia University of Applied Sciences, FI
Mr Christian Friedl, Joanneum University of Applied Sciences, AT
Mr André Azevedo, Microsoft | UCP, PT
Mr Nuno Vinagre, Critical Software, PT





Dinner at a local restaurant


15 FEB


Presentation and discussion of conclusions of parallel sessions

Ms Glória Nunes Rodrigues, University of Deusto, Bilbao
Ms Lucía Sirera, Crue/CRUP office, Brussels
Ms Victoria Galán Muros, OECD, Paris


Keynote Speech

Mr Jan-Philipp Beck, CEO, EIT Health


Coffee break


Plenary Panel – José Manuel Fernandes, Director of Observador and Ms Clara Raposo, President of ISEG / ULisboa

Mr Angelo Riccaboni, President of Fondazione CRUI (Italian Conference of the Rectors)
Ms Begoña Arano, Head of Unit, DG EAC, European Commission
Mr Salvador Naya, Vice-Rector, Universidade da Coruña + INTALENT Researchers
Mr Luís Rocha, DTx Digital Transformation CoLab, Braga
Mr Carlos Pascoal Neto, Instituto Raíz, The Navigator Company, Aveiro


Closing remarks

Mr António Cruz Serra, Rector, University of Lisbon
Mr Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education


Close of the event and Lunch break



14:30 – 16:30

Workshop on HEInnovate: Supporting the development of innovative and entrepreneurial higher education institutions