The EIT’s HEI Initiative 2023 Innovation Vision Action Plan (IVAP) Workshop was held on 31 May and 1 June 2023 in Prague. It brought together project members from Cohorts 1, 2 and 3, members of the Initiative’s Project Management Team from 8 Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) and other key stakeholders. The objective of the third IVAP Workshop was twofold: to orient and welcome the new cohort of the Initiative while also bringing together all cohorts and projects of the Initiative to collaborate and strengthen their Innovation Vision Action Plans. Prof. Carmen Nastase, Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Administration and Business, Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava Romania, deputy director Vidmantas Bendokas from Lithuanian Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry and project coordinator Miika Kajanus from Savonia University of Applied Sciences Finland represented ILCA project in the event. Altogether 240 participants from 37 countries took part in the event.
The ILCA project was invited to participate in workshop panel 1 to share both its successes and its abilities to mitigate and navigate struggles. Based on the structure of the Initiative consortium composition is essential to the success of the project. The ILCA project has successfully expanded its consortium, adding three strong Ukrainian partners—Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University, King Danylo University, and the National Scientific Center Institute of Agriculture NAAS—through the Ukrainian Aid from the HEI Initiative. Strong trust among Ukrainian and all ILCA partners including Vilnius College of Technology and Design, Lithuania University of Forestry, Bulgaria and Natural Resources Institute Finland enabled extensive work in all work packages and over achievement of all objectives during phase 1. Successful work has continued during the present year, especially mentioning the climate innovation laboratories preparing the climate roadmap in Ukraine, even during wartime. During times when climate change and biodiversity loss persist, and the possibility of a new pandemic looms, our Ukrainian partners may offer valuable lessons for all education, research, and innovation actors to adapt to a poly-crisis future.
Other good practices of ILCA-project raised in the panel were engaging academic and non-academic staff by green transition group, using regional climate roadmaps as a tool to integrate the knowledge triangle actors and anchor to regional strategy and institutionalization efforts by the involvement of top-level management of partners. The event presented a large number of interesting HEI Initiative projects through illustrative posters and offered an opportunity to engage in discussions with project representatives to learn from their experiences and explore future collaboration. As the ILCA project, we are proud to be part of an excellent knowledge and innovation community!