All Posts in EIT Alumni News

17th November 2017 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni-Benelux Christmas Meet-up

We are very proud to announce that this Christmas will mark the first gathering of the EIT Alumni in the Benelux region.

The Christmas meet-up will take place at the newly opened EIT House in Brussels.
Staff of the EIT or the KICs, as well as alumni based outside of the Benelux countries are more than welcome to join.

Location and Date
📍 EIT House, Rue Guimard 7, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
🗓 16 December or 17 December 2017. TBC based on your input.

🎄 TENTATIVE AGENDA 🎄
10:00 - 13:00 Part 1: Working sessions 👩🏻‍💻
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch Break 🍎
14:00 - 17:00 Part 2: Festive networking sessions 🎅🏻

The sessions are optional. If you are interested in attending, more info can be found in the registration form available at https://goo.gl/forms/sstGnik7gC4WXCqS2

Registration deadline is November 30th. We hope you can join us!

18th October 2017 - No Comments!

Some remarks on EIT Alumni CONNECT 2017

Author - Jonas Moll, EIT Health alumnus

As I wrote in my last blog post the EIT Alumni Connect event was hosted in Budapest October 15 –  October 16. I really had a great time during this event and if I should choose one word to describe the overall impression I got from the event it would be “Inspiring”! 

First of all, I really liked the setting in the room we all gathered in during the event. There were around 100 participants and 16 round tables. The activities performed during the first day made sure that there were representatives from several alumni networks (EIT Health, EIT Digital, EIT Raw Materials, EIT Climate-KIC and EIT InnoEnergy) at each table. This gave participants an excellent opportunity to develop an understanding of the different EIT Alumni communities.

One of the main aims of the event was to provide an opportunity to connect with other alumni and the setting ensured that networking could be performed both within and across the represented communities.

One especially interesting group activity was performed during the last part (before dinner) of the first day. The main aim was to work on real problems identified by the participants – problems related to the main areas of the EIT - in a Co-creation session.

The group work activity started out with a discussion among the participants at the respective tables about different project ideas that we would like to work on. My idea was, of course, based on patient accessible electronic health records and more specifically means of using these systems as mediators during patient visits. The ideas presented at my table were very different from one another since the participants represented different alumni networks.

The next step was a very short pitch, given on stage so that everyone could hear. About 20 participants pitched ideas. Based on the pitches the rest of the participants then decided which idea they wanted to work with for the rest of the day.
I never pitched my own idea, since I was really curious about another participant’s idea (about developing a system to enable digital consent for use of health data in research) and hence wanted to work on that instead.

During the following 1.5 hours we discussed the respective projects within the newly formed project groups. The focus was to develop the idea and to develop a pitch which should be presented to a jury. This step was really important, since the three top groups would get financial support from the EIT Alumni Board, which they should use to implement the ideas!
Just before lunch the second day the three winners, named EIT Roadshow (bringing entrepreneurial education to schools), Impact ( a challenge solving platform for NGOs) and EIT Chaos (an EIT Alumni feedback system), were announced.

The gamification component introduced in the group work activity was really working. Everyone gave great pitches and there were so many interesting ideas represented in the room. I’m quite sure the jury had a tough choice to make. I also think it’s great the EIT Alumni actually offers financial support to promising projects.

The keynotes speakers of the event covered the EIT Alumni Community in general as well as some successful spin-offs projects from earlier years of EIT Alumni Connect as a form of inspiration for this year's participants. One of this spin-offs was the new group Women@EIT.

A few challenges faced by the EIT and its alumni community were also mentioned. One identified need was that end users should be involved to a higher degree. EIT also wants to add new Innovation Communities so that all major issues we face today are covered (integration, security and water protection are a few areas that are not covered today). The board also wants to create even more collaborations across KICs. I really think the last point is important, since key challenges must be addressed from several different angles.

I really enjoyed being a part of the EIT Alumni Connect activity and I’m really considering applying for one of the open positions at the EIT Health Alumni board. (as I said earlier EIT Health Alumni is fairly new). 

I will end this post with some words different participants used to describe EIT Alumni Connect during the first session today. I think they summarize what the EIT is about in a good way: networking, explosive, fun, collaboration, innovation, inspiration.

28th June 2017 - No Comments!

Inspiring Women Leaders from the EIT Community – Mina Mirzadeh

On June 2nd we published our second profile of Inspirational Women from the EIT Community. 

These profiles are designed to highlight some of the great and successful women in our community, to inspire a future generation of women entrepreneurs, and to create a buzz around the opportunities an entrepreneurial education can offer.
Unfortunately, it is true that there is a gender imbalance in the field of entrepreneurship. We hope that these profiles will be one small step towards improving this!

Our 2nd inspirational candidate was Mina Mirzadeh, an EIT InnoEnergy Alumna and local CommUnity Manager for Leuven.

Have a read of her interview below. She offers some very valuable insights into being a woman leader in the EIT Community.

 


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19th June 2017 - No Comments!

Our new EIT Alumni Board – 2017

In June 2017, three new enthusiastic and talented alumni were welcomed onto the EIT Alumni Board, excited to build on the solid foundations created in 2016.

The Board of the EIT Alumni is made up of four members representing the four existing EIT Community Alumni associations, namely: EIT Digital Alumni, Climate-KIC Alumni Association, The CommUnity by InnoEnergy and EIT Health, supported by an EIT representative. In the near future, the alumni associations of EIT Raw Materials and EIT Food will also appoint a member from their own alumni board to represent them as part of the EIT Alumni Community.

The first EIT Alumni Board was created in May 2016 as a means of strengthening the EIT Alumni community, shaping its future, and fostering collaboration between the KIC alumni associations. Importantly, the EIT Alumni Community creates a real and effective link between the EIT and EIT Community students and innovators.

In its first year of operation, the role of the EIT Alumni Board has primarily been to create an effective governance structure for the community and to hold added-value activities for members. As this initial period comes to an end, the EIT Alumni Board can now focus on increasing levels of collaboration between the KIC Alumni groups, and work on building a strong community, which supports and enables its members.

The new Board for 2017

The new board members hope to bring a fresh burst of energy to the EIT Alumni Community and are excited to build on the strong foundations established by the previous board in 2016.

 

Left to Right: Laurent Roux, Emsee Kooijman, Falko Döring, Francesco Bonadiman, Miguel Amador

  • Our new EIT Alumni president for 2017 is Falko Döring, Community Manager of the CommUnity by InnoEnergy
  • Our new Vice-President is Esmee Kooijman, current Secretary of the Board of EIT Climate-KIC Alumni Association
  • Our new Community Manager is Francesco Bonadiman, current President of the EIT Digital Alumni
  • Our new EIT Representative is Laurent Roux, Entrepreneurship Officer at the EIT.
  • Our Treasurer continues to be Antonio Martinez Millano, the EIT Health representative.

While the original board may leave big shoes to fill, our new board members are certainly up to the challenge!

Thank you to the previous Board


Of the original five board members , we say farewell to four of them:

These initial Board members have put a great deal of time and effort into setting up the EIT Alumni Board and we would like to thank all of them for their great work and commitment to the EIT Alumni Community.

 

For more information on the new board members, check out our Board Page

 


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17th May 2017 - No Comments!

Inspiring Women leaders from the EIT Community – Estefania Tapias

On Friday the 12th of May, we launched the first of our profiles of 'Inspirational EIT Community Women Leaders and Entrepreneurs'

These profiles are designed to highlight some of the great and successful women in our community, to inspire a future generation of women entrepreneurs, and to create a buzz around the opportunities an entrepreneurial education can offer.
Unfortunately, it is true that there is a gender imbalance in the field of entrepreneurship. We hope that these profiles will be one small step towards improving this!

Without any further ado, allow us to introduce Estefania Tapias, current President of our EIT Alumni Board and former President of the Climate-KIC Alumni Association!

 

Estefania Tapias

 

Our next profile will be posted on Friday the 2nd of June. Keep an eye out!

 


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24th April 2017 - No Comments!

Meet Andra Lungu, Alumna of EIT Digital Master’s School

During the course of 2017, EIT Digital will meet former Master School students and ask them why they chose their programme and how they see their professional future. Last week they met with Andra Lungu.

EIT Digital Master's Students

EIT Digital Master Schools offer two year programmes in 19 of the best European universities, providing ICT and entrepreneurial training. Every year, 500 graduates join the alumni network and begin a career in the best European and international companies and organisations.

Andra Lungu

Andra is a student from Romania who joined the Cloud Computing and Services (CSS) Master after a bachelor degree at Bucharest Polytechnic University. She tells EIT Digital about her learning and experiences during the two years of her Master's.

What studies did you do before joining the EIT Digital Master Schools programme?

I started studying Computer Science in high school as I was good at maths, so it was quite a logical path forward. I then passed my bachelor degree at Bucharest Polytechnic University in Computer Science. The content of the programmes at the University were technical and I graduated as an engineer in 2013.

How did you come across the EIT Digital Master Schools programme?

An assistant professor at the Bucharest Polytechnic University recommended the EIT Digital Master Schools programme to me when I was searching for a Master's programme after University. The Cloud Computing and Services (CSS) Master had all I wanted from a Master programme and offered me the benefit of studying abroad in both France and Germany.

What motivated you to join the programme?

I liked the idea of experiencing two different cultures in the course of my study. It was also a challenge, as I knew the French language but not so much German. To me, it was the opportunity to discover new cultures and work in two different countries.

Andra Lungu with classmates at the Summer School in Finland

Can you tell us about your experience as a student in France and Germany?

Université de Rennes 1 in France was a great start to my studies, the programme manager, Stéphanie Halochet, did a lot to help foreign students set up in France. She was a bit like a second mother, helping us with administrative work and day-to-day issues. Rennes is a small city and to me, coming from Bucharest, it was fun and unusual to have people recognizing me in the streets, like in a village.

During the Summer School in Finland after the year in France, I was able to develop a personal entrepreneurial project based on information and big data, which helped for my second year in Berlin.

My second year at the Technical University of Berlin was even busier. I didn’t suffer from the language barrier as people spoke English and Berlin is an international city. At the time, a lot of startups were being created and I felt right in the middle of the buzz.

The EIT Digital Master Schools taught me entrepreneurship as well as competences in my field of research. In the first and second year, my project was about big data, so logically I joined the startup « Flink » to work as a research assistant during my studies. It was great to work in a team of startupers and get both academic knowledge and business experience at the same time.

During the programme I liked how we could combine startup ideas with technical courses in a fun way. In Bucharest I just studied engineering, with EIT Digital I could also get into the business side of technology. It was also very interesting to compare evaluation methods in Rennes and Berlin: The French academic system is more theoretical whereas the German academic system is more practical.

What did you learn about yourself during your studies?

I learned that I can face cultural challenges, become friends with other Europeans, and I learned to become independent by working and studying at the same time.

What have you done since the Master's programme?

After the degree I came back to Bucharest and joined Orange to work for a project in big data - my job consisted of developing methods and tools to analyse data from phone networks. I am now working for Adobe on a gateway project: we develop a bot to detect anomalies and work on algorithms in machine learning.

Do you wish to move again in Europe?

Yes, I would like to travel again, but maybe not just in Europe. I can envisage America as a next adventure. Silicon Valley next, who knows?

Why would you recommend the EIT Digital Master Schools?

In this programme you meet people from all around the world, with very different backgrounds, you experience the challenge of working together in the same project.

Joining the EIT Digital Master Schools means joining a huge network of alumni and friends from all over Europe. I still have good friends and many great memories of events, the graduation ceremony and of our Summer School in Oulanka (Finland).

In conclusion, I would recommend the Master's programme as it is a great experience which allows you to go out of your comfort zone and discover new cultures, as well as study in the best European Universities. With my experience at the startup « Flink » and my year at the Technical University of Berlin, my CV was very attractive for the big tech companies I have worked for.

It is a unique personal and professional experience.

Article taken from EIT Digital. Original author - Alexis Poulin

 


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6th April 2017 - No Comments!

EIT Digital Alumni Annual Meeting 2017 #digitalumni17

2nd annual meeting of the EIT Digital Alumni a triumph.

On the 20th of March, EIT Digital Alumni held their 2nd annual community meeting, this time gathering in Brussels. The idea was to create a memorable and exciting platform, a forum for discussion, a journey for the alumni.
They aimed to inspire. They succeeded.

The event began in the late hours of the 19th. As the last rays of sun shining on the Grand Place were slowly eclipsed by the towering steeple of the City Hall, alumni assembled in the square for a night of networking, sightseeing, lively conversation and (we can only presume) the sampling of a few Belgian beers.

The next morning, fresh faced and ready to collaborate, the alumni streamed down the thin winding veins of Brussels town centre. Their destination? The European Parliament; the heart of Europe.

After a stirring tour of the site where unanticipated exits are taken and passionate speeches are given, the alumni were transferred back to the Egg, suitably inspired.

After a quick registration, the alumni were treated to a keynote speech from the unconventionally captivating Mills, the co-founder of ustwo.

His key points?
- Follow your passion! Don't let anyone say you can't do it. Live your dreams. If you have an idea, dare to pursue it. Don't be afraid of what other people think about it. JFDI!
- Know that it's going to take all your time!
- Embrace succailure. Learn from your failures. Use them to mould you into the person you want to be.
- Love your 'fampany'. Companies shouldn't be about the individual. It's all about the collective, looking out for each other and growing together.

After a tasty bite to eat, the participants reconvened for a panel discussion from three illustrious figures of EIT Digital. Willem Jonker, the CEO, Anders Flodström, Chief Education Officer, and Edna Ayme-Yahil, the Head of Communications, took to the stage offering a fine balance of personal insights and practical advice to spur the alumni forward.

The latter half of the event was given to presentations delivered by alumni, for alumni.

Reports from board members on successful events gone by, plans for the future, and new intriguing opportunities were intertwined with the presentations of alumni working groups, eager to display and discuss their new initiatives and the benefits they would bring. Not only to their alumni family, but to society as a whole.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Almost 24 hours after the initial Grand Place reunion, alumni had the chance discuss the day’s events, mull over ideas and reinforce new bonds.

So as you can see, the event was, by all accounts, legendary!

Check out more #digitalumni17 photos on our Facebook photo album!
See the full collection in Google Photos.

 


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5th April 2017 - No Comments!

Climate-KIC’s Green Business Ideas Competition is now open

EIT Climate-KIC's ClimateLaunchpad competition is your ticket to European and global success. Provided you have a green business idea and have what it takes to become an entrepreneur. (As EIT Alumni you should be one step ahead of the game!!)

Your idea can be an innovation in renewable energy, a sustainable transition in the food chain, a mind shift in urban mobility or any other way to tackle climate change.

Train. Compete. Launch.

How it works


To enter the competition you submit an idea or innovation that can make environmental impact. The climateLaunchpad will help you fast track that idea into a business and bypass all possible pitfalls along the way. You’ll learn how to get your idea funded and launched.

Once you are selected to join ClimateLaunchpad, the Boot Camp and coaching sessions will help you develop your idea to a rock-solid plan. You will pitch this during your National Final. The top 3 winners of each national competition will go on to compete in the Grand Final.

Even if your idea is on the back of a napkin, you’re most welcome to join. National Juries select the best proposals to join the National Finals.

Climate Launchpad countries


In 2017 the competition is open to participants based in Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom (England: Birmingham & London), and Ukraine.

Some of the deadlines are in the next few months, so get involved now! You don't want to miss your chance.

Check the submission deadlines per country.

The programme


Once you’re accepted into the competition, the games begin:

Step 1: Boot Camp

ClimateLaunchpad kicks off with a 2-day Boot Camp in your own country. Trainers will teach you all you need to know about jumpstarting your business.

Step 2: Intensive coaching and National Finals

The Boot Camp is followed by a period of intensive coaching. You’ll perfect your pitch, value proposition and business model. We’ll make sure you are ready to rock the National Final where you get to pitch in front of your National Jury. The Top-3 of each country enters the Grand Final held in October in Limasol, Cyprus.

Step 3: Grand Final in Cyprus in October

The Top-10 competitors in the Grand Final will get direct access to the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator, the renowned business school where great ideas grow into great businesses. On top of that there is also prize money. The overall winner of the Grand Final receives € 10,000, the runner up gets € 5,000 and the idea that comes in third place wins € 2,500.

All other National Finalists who made it to the Grand Final get a chance to pitch their idea to the review board of EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator. Impress them and gain access to their programme.

Small Print


You have been challenged, join the competition. But before you do, make sure that you:

  • have not yet started a business or you started it less than one year ago;
  • have no substantial revenue;
  • have attracted no more than € 200,000 in investment;
  • have not yet sold products, solutions or prototypes on commercial terms.

For more information, please check the FAQ.

All good? Don’t miss out: enter your idea by filling out our application form.

ClimateLaunchpad. The world’s largest green business ideas competition.

 


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28th February 2017 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni Yearbook 2016!!

eit-alumni-community-yearbook-cover

We have finally, officially published our EIT Alumni Yearbook for 2016!

This looks at some of our highlights of 2016, including the Start-up days event, EIT Alumni Connect and various cross-KIC events and workshops.

These events offer a unique opportunity for sharing knowledge and experiences, discussing entrepreneurial ideas with fellow students/alumni in a cross-disciplinary way and finding partners for exchange of ideas and potential collaboration.

Want to know more about the EIT Alumni? Read about our events and much more in the 2016 EIT Alumni Community Yearbook!

you can also check out the image gallery from the EIT Alumni Connect event at INNOVEIT 2016 here!

If you have any questions or want to let us know what you think, leave a comment below.

Follow the EIT Alumni Community:

EIT Alumni Facebook page  EIT Alumni Twitter
Are you a studying in a EIT labelled-educational programme? Or you have already graduated and you would like to keep in touch with the community and connect with the other EIT Alumni? Join the LinkedIn group at http://linkd.in/1b8pfme .

 

10th November 2016 - No Comments!

Nuclear fuel concept a winner for EIT InnoEnergy graduate

Nothing tops finishing up your master’s thesis with a feeling of a job well done. Except perhaps making a major discovery AND winning a prestigious award! EIT InnoEnergy MSc EMINE student Alicia Raftery did just that when securing the honourable Sigvard Eklund award for 2016.

The late nuclear physicist Sigvard Eklund dedicated his life to utilising nuclear energy for peaceful purposes – and his foundation carries on that tradition. This year Alicia was one of proud winners receiving their award at the SKC (Swedish Centre for Nuclear Technology) annual symposium in September 2016 in Hindås.

Alicia shares her passion for nuclear energy with us – and how EIT InnoEnergy has been a big part of the picture.

Award-winning idea

Always having an interest in nuclear fuel fabrication, during a 3-week nuclear fuels course at Cadarache (part of her master’s study) it just clicked. She reached out to KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) to obtain a master’s thesis position in their nuclear fuels lab. This hands on experience allowed her to develop this possible new fuel concept – also the theme of her thesis, “Fabrication and Characterization of UN-USix Nuclear Fuel”.

Working closely with KTH PhD student supervisor, Kyle Johnson, she created a composite nuclear fuel of uranium silicide and uranium nitride using a relatively new sintering method called “spark plasma sintering” (SPS). The project was a great success in the fact that a high-density fuel pellet with enhanced thermal conductivity was created, but it also uncovered a new “unknown” ternary phase. “Westinghouse is going forward with the next step of irradiation testing the fuel in the US, putting the fuel in a research reactor to see how it behaves”, explains Alicia.

Kyle submitted her thesis for the award, recognising the significance of the results. “She was an incredibly talented, knowledgeable, and thorough young scientist – who always willing to get her hands dirty (not something just anyone does in a nuclear fuel lab).“

EIT InnoEnergy’s role

Alicia already felt like a winner, having received a scholarship from EIT InnoEnergy for the entirety of her master studies. “The EMINE programme exposed me to a wide network in industry and academia, both in Sweden and France.” Excited to begin her PhD studies in January 2017, she’ll spend the first two years studying in the US and the second two years in Belgium. “I think the high level of education I received in the EMINE program definitely contributed to my acceptance into this PhD position.” 

Onward and upward

She is currently working at the Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico, gaining experience at a national lab before going on to graduate school. When asked what the future holds, “I’ve really enjoyed studying in an international environment. I see myself as a project manager on international collaborative projects.” But what continues to drive her passion in the field of nuclear energy? “I consider nuclear energy not only to be the most practical energy solution, but also endlessly interesting. And I am a true victim to the notion that my contributions to nuclear research will make a real difference in the world.” It’s clear to see she is already on her way. Congratulations on the discovery and award!