GENDERACTION: Training and mutual learning workshop. An approach by Steinbeis.

Experts from Danube region and Western Balkans were invited to Training and Mutual Learning Workshop on Gender Equality (GE) on 10th and 11th of March 2020 at the University of Belgrade. Purpose of the meeting was to include gender aspects better into national and international programs and into development of funding actions.

Roxana Boboruta, Steinbeis Project Manager, participated in the workshop and contributed with insights relating to entrepreneurship in Research and Innovation.

Conclusions could be summarized as follows:

  1. What are the most important topics to address GE?
  • Awareness campaingns relating to GE issues and explaining benefits (GE awareness could make the difference for funding decions in any EU-funded program when 2 project ideas are equal)
  • Female archetype in different regions for building reliable strategies (such sociological studies and conclusions could offer solutions for GE policies especially in Eastern Europe)
  • Best practices transfer (bet on the power or example in international consortiums).

2. What are barriers to GE in R&I?

  • Worst forms: no BA, MA or PhD programs on gender issues are available at universities.
  • Soft resistance: gender equality building as a competence cannot be certified by educational responsible bodies (both private and public).

3. What is needed to put  gender equality onto agenda in a specific country (mainly Eastern Danube region)?

  • Best practices transfer
  • Actions towards bodies responsible for minorities issues, and consequently for policies (mainly in Eastern Europe). EU integration baseed on democracy values is directly connected with respecting rights of minorities (as one of the most sensible issues in EU history). Gender equality is a cross-cutting issue relating to reliable women long-standing representation and trusting the expertise provided.

Mainly, where there is no official position  relating to GE as an academic competence, it is included in programs relating to minorities. Which is sufficient.

Economy is a beneficiary of society progress and innovation relates on Business Enterprise Sector (according to OECD definition).

Roxana Boboruta introduced ongoing project “ifempower” as a best practice example what results from international collaboration of higher education instituions and business actors. ifempower tackles GE by promoting female entreprenurship.

From another approach, Steinbeis network itself and promoted transfer model could be seen as a solution for more representation of females in research. Descentralized network of Steinbeis gives female researchers easy access to projects in R&I.

Danube Rectors’ Conference Bucharest

Annual Conference 2019 – Consolidating the Role of Universities in Innovation Ecosystems: Challenges and Future Developments

Bucharest, 07.11.2019

Organizer: Danube Rectors’ Conference
Host: “Politehnica” University Bucharest

Danube Rectors Conference is a network of almost 70 universities in the Danube Region for fostering academic collaboration and lobby actions towards regional development. In order to perform these tasks, DRC maintains connections with national and international organizations, e.g. national Rectors’ Conferences, EUA, UNESCO, EU, Council of Europe, etc.

Jürgen Raizner as coordinator of Steinbeis Danube Competence Group (Stuttgart, Vienna, Bucharest, Uzhhorod) was invited as speaker to the annual event. Title of his presentation: “Science and Entrepreneurship. Synergies for economic growth“.

Technology transfer model applied by Steinbeis Network was explained to academic community as a feasible and proven method to connect industry with universities. Moreover, as a catalyst for better understanding, Jürgen Raizner presented examples from industy to point out what opportunities exist for universities to support enterprises in becoming innovation by solving problems (technology transfer). A challenge: What strategy should a well established enterprise with well known and traditional brands follow to keep its position on the market – taken into account growing international competition?

In compliance with EU strategy for Danube Regionk, tackling innovation gaps through technology transfer, Steinbeis implements also projects to foster entrepreneurship among scientists:

  • ifempower Erasmus + funded project not only tackles a gap in gender distribution in work fields but also opens a sensitive subject: women`s approach towards business environment in general. Entrepreneurship module built under the umbrella of this project will be piloted at partnering EU universities and promoted further.
  • Recently closed project under the leadership of Steinbeis center from Romania – European Early Innovators Initiative – aimed to support the entrepreneurship of young scientists by directing their focus closer to industry is another example of technology transfer that can be deepened by universities.

Given these two simple initiatives fostering university–industry collaboration in both directions: research and curricula focused on current industry and industry actors involved in education process.

Facts like Danubius Young Scientists Award should have priority for different industry departments in such a way that through technology transfer model, ideas become marketable products.

Besides its purposes, DRC serves also as platform for strengthening already existing partnerships. Thus, for Steinbeis event translated into a great opportunity for conversation to Ukrainian environment. Prof. Smolanka, rector of Uzhhrod university is already partner of Steinbeis network through Steinbeis Transfer Management Ukraine (led by Mike Nagorkin). Prof. Smolanka, as a reputated academician in Romania, /scientist, visited also STM headquarters in Palais Ghica Victoria and reinforced the partnership. So new actions are on the way to be designed.


26.06.2019, Bucharest: Youth – Entrepreneurship – Science. YES! EUSDR. Steinbeis Romania organised this official side event to Annual Forum of EU Strategy for Danube Region.

For details, please go to our Event website.

STM at National Participation Days EUSDR

Tulcea, 15./16.05.2019: Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration of Romania and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, in partnership with the Tulcea City Council and the Agapedia Foundation organized for the first time in Romania, the EUSDR National Participation Days. Indeed, this was an unique event dedicated to the promotion of the progresses and challenges diffrent countries are facing within the EUSDR.

National Participation Days (NPD) are  meetings of actively involved, interested or potential stakeholders of the EUSDR on the national, regional, and local levels. These meetings address civil society organisations and networks, local actors, academia, public authorities on the local and regional level as well as national institutions and experts active in the EUSDR institutions.”

Among speakers: Melania-Gabriela Ciot (State Secretary Ministry of Foregin Affairs), Radu Gorincioi (National Coordinator EUSDR), Claudia Singer (PAC 10), Stefan Barth (Agapedia), Stefan Lüdgenau (Civil Society Forum) – and Jürgen Raizner, Steinbeis Romania.

Revision of EUSDR Action Plan is going on. Jürgen Raizner pointed out that Romania, currently holding the presidency of EUSDR, should use this leading role to contribute to a new strategy with profund knowledge on what is really necessary to do. A clear statement followed: projects can be financed by using various programs of EC. Danube Transnational Program contributes significantly to the success of EUSDR. But there exist programs with larger budgets and less bureaucracy. Jürgen Raizner mentioned an example. Steinbeis is project partner in ifempower, funded by Erasmus+. There are 4 Danube countries involved in this action to empower females to become entrepreneurs. Other project partners come from Spain, Portugal and Iceland. Important is that a project brings impact to the Danube Region.

Jürgen Raizner invited participants of NPD 2019 to Steinbeis’ side event to EUSDR Annual Forum: YES! EUSDR. The conference on Youth – Entrepreneurship – Science is based on European Early Innovators Initiative, a project what was implemented with support from Danube Strategic Project Fund (DSPF). Jürgen Raizner took the chance to thank Claudia Singer (PAC 10) who is responsible for DSPF.

Digital Danube

12.12.2018, Bucharest: Opening Session of 2-day-event “Digital Danube”. Participants are welcommed by Vice Prime Minister Gratiela Gavrilescu (Minister of Environment), Alexandru Petrescu (Minister of Communications and Information Society) and Jürgen Raizner, representing German Steinbeis Centers.

Romania holds presidency of EUSDR. This is both a great opportunity and responsibility when taking into account that EUSDR is in process of renewal. The Action Plan is almost obsolete. Structures of Priority Areas, Steering Groups and Working Groups are in discussion. A sort of leadership is required while the bottom-up approach in designing the strategy remains valid. Jürgen Raizner pointed out such challenges in his opening speech. He also referred to cross-sectoral projects, such as European Early Innovators Progam and ifempower. Both projects are to be understood as models for further actions to promote knowledge based entrepreneurship in Danube Region. It is agreed to deepen collaboration.

We thank Cristian Ilie for an excellent moderation of the event.

Second day of the event as dedicated to discuss projects for a Digital Danube. Among those projects: “Attractive Danube”, an ongoing Danube Transnational Program for improving capacities for enhancing territorial attractiveness of the Danube Region. Sabina Leopa, Urbsofia, presented a helpful output: Territorial Attractiveness Atlas of the Danube Region what will be followed by a monitoring platform. A strategic project of the Ministry: “One team – on stream” for creating a research and knowledge base, connecting rivers Danube and Rhine. This project is promoted by STM and presented to members of Steering Group PA 7 (Knowledge Society).

Early Innovators in Trieste

Project Partners of European Early Innovators Initiative meet in Trieste. Special guests: Scientists from Romania and Ukraine who received an intensive coaching during the 2-day workshop.

AREA Science Park in Trieste – a public national research organization promotes the development of innovation processes. With 40 years of experiences AREA Science Park is an excellent project partner for implementing EEII. Together with us in Trieste: representatives of NGO Common Regions from Slovakia, of Steinbeis Ukraine and our coordinator of Danube Strategic Project Fund.

Additionally participating scientists benefit from EEII knowledge base on funding opportunities, start-up initiatives, support actions, etc. what is made available to them – and what is available for others for download from our project website.

Business opportunities: collaborate with our scientists. Profiles of participating scientists

04.12.2018: With Early Innovators from Romania and Ukraine in Trieste. Training on business canvas at Contamination Lab of University Trieste.

05.12.2018: Networking and Pitching in Trieste. Coachhed by our Italian project partner, scientists from Danube Region complete their business canvas. Presentations to invited experts are more professional on this second day of the EEII event.

Knowledge Society and EEII

Jürgen Raizner was invited to take part at the 16th Steering Group Meeting of Priority Area 7 (“Knowledge Society”) which was hosted by Serbian coordination team and took place in the Rectorate building of the University of Belgrade on November 22nd and 23rd, 2018.

Interesing for the Steering Group Members: the ongoing European Early Innovators Initiative (EEII).  Jürgen Raizner presented outputs and status of the project. EEII was designed to strengthen competitivness of enterprises (PA 8) but it contributes also to a stronger knowledge society in Danube Region.  SG members are invited to recommend project partners for the future European Early Innovators Program (EEIP) what is currently under construction.

Steering Group decided to revise the PA 7 action plan. Inputs from stakeholders are valueable. details

DSPF Networking: Vienna

The purpose of the networking event was to present the projects funded from DSPF to more stakeholders, and to enable exchange between EUSDR & EUSAIR actors.

Ana Turcan and Jürgen Raizner represented European Early Innovators Initiative at DSPF Networking event.

12 projects are supported by DSPF. The 12 projects were at the center of attention throughout the day. Representatives of various institutions emphasized the importance of the projects for the whole Danube region:

Exhibition | Project Space

Steinbeis representative at the EEII project stand answered questions related progress of EEII and discussed synergies with other projects. Furthermore, future partnership which aims to design European Early Innovators Program was put on high emphasis.

Qualitative networking was supported also through the presence of Mr. Eric Bartha in his quality as representative of Council of Danube Cities and Regions and possible future project partner.

Session “Empowering the Youth”, moderated by Claudia Singer (PAC 10)

DSPF fosters integration and reconciliation of Danube countries, with a particular focus on the training of young people. Main question of this session was, what support youth in Danube Region needs. But also: how to get in touch with “the” youth. Six projects, funded by DSPF, address exactly to the societal challenges of youth and EUSDR: EEII, SECCo2, The Bridge, RONNI, I-VET, DIY-ACCEL (DSPF projects on web). Synergies were discussed. Solutions are under construction.

Annual Forum EUSDR in Sofia

Steinbeis Transfer Management was represented by Jürgen Raizner and Ana Turcan at this key event of the 2018 EUSDR Presidency, Bulgaria and the European Commission, in cooperation with Danube Transnational Programme – 7th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy of the Danube Region in Sofia. The main focus of the event was on tourism development as a precondition to economic growth and territorial cohesion.

Important topics concerning measures to be taken for development and cultural heritage or which scientific tools are the most suitable for promoting European heritage and tourism in order to offer online and interactive access to cultural heritage for example, were put on high emphasis. Furthermore, issues related to qualifying the staff as a prerequisite for the development of tourism and or tourism infrastructure (improvement of Danube River navigation for example) to which suitable solutions would help to reach a sustainable tourism linked to European funds and investments, were approached as well.

Session dedicated to scientific research covered subjects like security in public spaces, safety and security in tourism, consequences from acts of terrorism in Europe and worldwide, vulnerability assessment and protection in public spaces and major events with international dimension.

Full sessions were also dedicated to on-going programs and most important projects in Danube region, synergy/interrelation of the EUSDR within the ESIF programs and also current and future implementation opportunities for EUSDR were approached for a better overview on Danube macro-region.

Within this great framework, representatives of Steinbeis Romania took the chance to promote European Early Innovators Innitiative project as a great contribution to diminish discrepancies in Danube region when it comes to research and innovation and, furthermore, explain the results of research on best practices to be implemented in future European Early Innovators Programs. More topics of networking in Sofia: business friendly environment for doing business in Danube Region, supporting female entrepreneurship and excellency in consultancy on various business areas.

Good to know:

  • 3rd Call in Danube Transnational Program is announced to be launched end of 2018. Application documents are available already.
  • DSPF Networking event will take place October 31st, 2018, in Vienna.