All Posts in EIT Digital Alumni

15 September 2021 - No Comments!

New EIT Alumni President Appointed

Anca del Rio is set to become the EIT Alumni’s next President! She will represent over 14,000 alumni from all the Alumni Communities and lead the Alumni Board.

Anca del Rio was selected from a large pool of highly accomplished candidates, following a rigorous selection and evaluation process. Following lengthy applications, motivational videos, letters of support from respective Alumni Communities, interviews, and a final decision by the EIT’s Director, the EIT Health Alumna was appointed as the new President.

A welcome from the EIT Director, Martin Kern:

'A warm welcome to Anca del Rio, the new EIT Alumni President! As an experienced entrepreneur and health innovator herself, she is the ideal representative for the network of fellow entrepreneurs. The EIT highly values this very network and alumni community because it allows students and start-ups to stay connected long term and benefit from the EIT offer while strengthening the EIT community as a whole. I am convinced her leadership and systemic change management will help steer EIT Alumni towards our common vision of a greener, more sustainable Europe. I look forward to working together and see the EIT Alumni community grow under her leadership.' 

Anca del Rio is a passionate and experienced professional in governance, health economics and policy and public health strategy, and a leading innovator with entrepreneurial drive for digital transformation, development and progress.

Sho holds an international Masters of Science in Public Health and is pursuing a PhD in the same field. As a Graduate and then Mentor of the EIT Health Starship Programme in Biodesign, Health Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, she is a specialist in value-based healthcare and digital capacity building, healthcare governance, quality systems, and patient safety.

In March 202, Anca founded The Digital Aid Project, a global COVID-19 Resilience and Response initiative aiming to bring need-led innovation to the most vulnerable and to #LeaveNoOneBehind. The DAP provides capacity-building support on strategic initiatives for the identification and meaningful adoption of digital health solutions in mental health facilities, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes, during and beyond public health crises.

Alongside her diverse executive, advisory and technical roles in healthcare strategy and planning, Anca is involved with several international organisations holding honorary positions. She is the Country Representative at EIT Health Alumni Network, the Regional Network Chair at Patient Safety Movement Foundation, Young Forum Gastein Alumna, Member of the Quality Commission at SPIZE-Hospitals and Clinics of Central Switzerland. Anca is also engaged in several activities to advance effective innovations towards Sustainable Development Goals.

Her passion for societal change is evident through her involvement in events and programmes like the World Health Innovation Summit, MIT COVID-19 Challenge, EU vs. VIRUS, and EIT Health Summer Schools.

The EIT Alumni Community would like to thank the outgoing EIT Alumni President, Miguel Amador, for his committed and thorough work steering the ‘Network of Networks’ through an especially challenging period for the Community and the world at large. He will continue to lead the representation of EIT Health Alumni.

We warmly welcome Anca’s appointment and greatly look forward to her stewardship!

You can follow Anca del Rio on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

11 May 2021 - No Comments!

Year in Review: Read the EIT Alumni Impact Report 2020

A Year of Resilience and Growth for the EIT Alumni Community!

The EIT Alumni Impact Report 2020 presents the activities, results, and impact of the EIT Alumni Community over the course of a year. Even amidst the global pandemic, this year saw the community broaden its outreach, impact and swiftly respond to societal challenges.

In terms of governance, the board welcomed new representatives from EIT RawMaterials Alumni, EIT Climate-KIC Alumni, CommUnity by EIT InnoEnergy and EIT.

A few milestones from Impact Report 2020

The full report is available here.

8 April 2021 - No Comments!

Artificial intelligence a possible remedy for #fakenews in food sector?

As a result of the collaboration between European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and EIT Alumni a Hackathon contest for the Design of an Artificial Intelligence solution to detect fake news using EFSA’s body of scientific opinions was organised!

The overall objective of this hackathon contest was to enhance some of the EFSA key values, such as openness and innovation in order to enable stakeholders to understand the basis of EFSA’s scientific work in an innovative manner and engage a wider community around it.

The specific objective of the hackathon was to come up with a prototype of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) solution to detect fake news in the area of Food and Feed Safety, leveraging the whole EFSA’s body of Scientific Opinions, from its foundation to present days.

On 20 February 2021, the opening session of the on-line hackathon took place with Jeroen van Lent, President of the EIT Digital Alumni Foundation as well as Vice President of EIT Alumni, Barbara Gallani, Head of EFSA’s Communication, Engagement, and Cooperation Department and Jan Grotenbreg, developing and managing the DeepHack open innovation programme at EIT Digital.

The participants had a full weekend on 20 and 21 February of hacking and creating their solution. Teams were tasked to analyse shared statements such as ‘Excess salt is your deadly enemy’ or ‘One cup of coffee can improve your focus’ and provide a credibility score based on proposed solution. Once the weekend was over the jury took over and started the evaluation of all submitted solutions.

The Award Ceremony took place on 19 March 2021 with Bernhard Url, EFSA Executive Director and Martin Kern, EIT Director.

In his opening speech, Bernhard Url explained the reasons for the organisation of the hackathon.

We need to build a community around methods to detect fake news. This is not only to secure scientific information is not superseded by a swamp of fake stories.  The danger of disinformation goes much further: it undermines trust in the democratic institutions and it is an assault on the open society. - Bernhard Url, EFSA Executive Director

The role of the hackathon was to leverage the best brains in the European Union and to ignite interest to the topic of fake news together with proposing remedies for this phenomenon.

Martin Kern, presented the role of innovation as such in tackling societal challenges as well as the role of collaboration between EU agencies, including the engagement of the EIT Alumni.

Innovation happens if you work together. If you go outside the boundaries, outside your comfort zone, if we work with people you normally would not work with and if you try new ideas. - Martin Kern, EIT Director

The importance of artificial intelligence technology in driving innovations was outlined in the context of growing numbers of EIT projects in this field and across different sectors.

Top 5 solutions
  • 1st prize EUR 7 000 for Asclepium Oracle team of 10 members from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona for its encompassing solution, covering aspects related to science, journalism and technology.
  • 2nd prize EUR 6 000 for Food Busters team with Zacharoula Theodorakopoulou, Timotheos Lanitis, Simona Mladenova and Mihalis Papakonstantinou for having properly complemented EFSA data sources with additional ones, and for its very attractive user interface.
  • 3rd prize EUR 5 000 for Dane Mitrev and Luca Coviello, EIT Digital Alumni for having properly integrated different techniques such as Named Entity Recognition, Claim Decomposition and Fact Verification Model.
  • 4th prize EUR 3 500 for Marvin Mouroum, Lauri Laatu, Mayank Yadav and Jonathan Smyth from EIT Digital Alumni for an attention based continuous Deep Learning solution and its focus on Explainability of results produced by AI.
  • 5th prize EUR 3 500 for Honest Food team with Alettea Tordai from EIT Digital Alumni and Dim Hoogeveen for adopting document similarity ranking to nicely present and understand the results.
Congratulations to all teams!

17 December 2020 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni CONNECT 2020 – first time online!

Over 120 EIT Alumni came together on 28 and 29 November to connect, build partnerships, co-create projects, and work together to develop the EIT Alumni Community.

EIT Alumni CONNECT  is the annual big event and opportunity for EIT Alumni members to meet, discuss and debate on social, environmental and technological challenges.

The theme of the 2020 EIT Alumni CONNECT was 'Responsible Consumption and Production' and how EIT Alumni could address it. It was about how to do more and better with less, about decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation, increasing resource efficiency, and promoting sustainable lifestyles.

Alongside interactive networking session, a series of workshops allowed our members to get unique insights from external organisations, and from members of the EIT Alumni Communities: EIT Climate-KIC Alumni, EIT Digital Alumni, CommUnity by EIT InnoEnergy, EIT Health Alumni, EIT RawMaterials Alumni and representatives from EIT Food Alumni.

The first day started off with a welcoming speech by EIT Director Mr. Martin Kern who emphasized the role of the Alumni members to lead the change to a greener, sustainable and more digitalized Europe, before giving the floor to the EIT Alumni Communities representatives to introduce the main activities and plans for the current and upcoming year.

Wrap up video EIT Alumni CONNECT 2020. 

Panel discussions

Throughout the two days, two panel discussions took place on the theme of the event ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’, one focusing on the ‘Industry Perspective’ with Selah Li, ELLURE AB, Harrison Wavell, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Antoni Pijoan, EIT Manufacturing. The second panel discussion focused the ‘Consumer Perspective’ with Giulia Marzetti, EIT Climate-KIC Alumna, Mara De Pater, CollAction and Alessandra Schmidt, Fab Lab Barcelona IAAC.

Both panels touched upon the themes with very valuable insights including:

  • Idea of developing mass personalisation instead of mass consumption;
  • Importance of the distribution of infrastructure (idea of localism – localised production);
  • Emphasis on the need of documentation of product production;
  • Idea of prosumer (a person who both produces and consumes a particular commodity);
  • Importance of reusing, reducing and recycling;
  • The need for Doughnut economics ('economy exceeds within the boundaries of society');
  • Advocating for degrowth movement ('a really good believe system for both consumers and producers').
Workshops

On top of that, a series of parallel workshops ran on the first day of the event with different topics and hosted by a group of industry experts:

  • 'Gender Databias in applied AI', led by Women@EIT;
  • 'Better life for farm animals', led by Matus Gasparik, EIT Food Alumni;
  • 'Towards sustainable food systems': Awareness and Action, led by Silvia Fernandez Gonzalez from EIT Climate-KIC Alumni, representing DESOS Opció Solidària;
  • 'Climate impact forecast', led by Bram van der Grinten and Gabi Brunazzo;
  • 'How to ExPlane your organisation', led by Symke Nieboer, Isabel Seeger and Peter Paul Vossepoel.
Networking and virtual party time

The second and last day of the event was more interactive, with an online networking session for the participants. They had the opportunity to connect, talk and overcome the space and virtual barrier.

The event ended with a virtual party time where participants enjoyed games, a quiz and other activities. For next year, we hope to see everyone again, in a better and more sustainable world.

Watch the welcome by EIT Director Martin Kern, the two panel discussion and presentations of the different EIT Alumni Communities.