On 6 March, STARTERnetwork opened a series of webinars to develop the innovation capacity of Ukrainian universities. The opening event was attended by 250 lecturers of Ukrainian universities, but the number of people interested in participating was close to a thousand.
At the opening event, we shared the University of Tartu’s experiences in developing spin-offs and best practices of university-business cooperation. The high interest is a sign that Ukrainian universities attach great importance to innovation and science communication, even in the current complicated situation, and are looking to the future with courage. In recent years, a strong and expanding network of Ukraine’s entrepreneurial universities has developed that is ready to take the lead in educational innovation and willing to learn from the experience of others.
The participants were welcomed by the Estonian ambassador in Ukraine, Kaimo Kuusk. Mart Maasik and Triinu Lööve from the Centre of Entrepreneurship and Innovation shared the University of Tartu’s experience. Andrus Kurvits introduced good cooperation practices between Tartu Science Park and the university. On behalf of Ukraine, Igor Taranov of the Ministry of Education and Research greeted the participants. Representatives of the Zhytomyr Polytechnic State University and the software company Genesis presented various cooperation opportunities.
The STARTERnetwork runs for four months, with thematic webinars during the programme. For example, the plan is to share experiences on science communication, different ways of cooperation between universities and the business sector, and to organise a two-day development camp for startups and spin-offs of Ukrainian universities.
The STARTERnetwork programme is part of UnivEntre, an international cooperation project between the University of Tartu Startup Lab and the Ukrainian NGO YEP, which focuses on improving the Ukrainian higher education system. Startup Lab has been supporting the development of the Ukrainian education system since 2016. The project “Development of innovative capacity and entrepreneurial competence of Ukrainian universities: sharing best practice of Estonia” (UnivEntre) is supported by the Estonian Centre for International Development.
Screenshot from webinar. Source: University of Tartu Startup Lab
Source: University of Tartu Startup Lab