The meeting opened with presentations by ITEA3 Office Director Mr. Fopke Klok, ISPIM Representative Mrs. Irina Fiegenbaum, and representatives of ITMO University Prof. Stephen Hagen and Polina Kachirina, ITMO University Ambassador. Important contribution to the discussion on international collaboration opportunities was made by Mr. Vladimir Manzhula, the Head of Cooperation with Universities of Sociocentre (Moscow, Russia), Mr. Omar Mohout from a Belgian company SIRRIS that helps start-ups to develop and implement technological innovations (Brussels, Belgium), and by Mrs. Maria Landenok, the representative of the Belgian Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce for Russia and Belarus (Brussels, Belgium). The St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce also sent its greeting for the participants and supported the idea of university representation in Brussels – a unique case for Russian universities.
The participants of the meeting discussed how the transfer of technologies and innovations generated by ITMO University's researchers can be possible in an open community of European industrial players, SMEs, universities, and user organizations. As a result of the discussion, participants expressed their interest and willingness to get actively involved in projects aimed at supporting internationalization of ITMO University's network of start-up companies. ITMO's researchers were invited to participate in open calls by ITEA3, and to publish their articles in the International Journal of Innovation Management (IJIM) - the official journal of the International Society of Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM). Mrs. Maria Landenok, the representative of the Belgian Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce for Russia and Belarus, mentioned that Russian participants are always welcome to the European Week of Cities and Regions 2015.
As a result, several new lines of action were added to the IRO business plan, among which: to join more international organizations in Brussels and to “integrate fully into the network,” to participate actively in Business missions through meetings with local industrial partners, to start a tradition of informal events, and “invent a common language” in order to avoid a huge cultural gap. The atmosphere of the meeting was quite informal and friendly – IRO is starting to build friendships in EU.
Background information about organizations represented at the meeting:

ITMO University is a leading Russian university based in St Petersburg, specializing in Information Science, Technology and Optics. Currently the University provides courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, in approximately 35 specializations mainly related to Information and Computer Technologies, Programming, Computer Science, Optical Engineering, Engineering, Optical Technologies (Photonics) and Bio-chemistry. The University has over 9,000 students and 1,800 teachers, researchers and staff members.

ISPIM - International Society for Professional Innovation Management is a network of researchers, industrialists, consultants and public bodies who share an interest in innovation management. Founded in 1983 by Professor Knut Holt in Norway, ISPIM is the oldest, largest and most active innovation association in Europe.

ITEA is the EUREKA Cluster programme supporting innovative, industry-driven, pre-competitive R&D projects in the area of Software-intensive Systems & Services (SiSS). SiSS are a key driver of innovation in Europe’s most competitive industries, such as automotive, communications, healthcare, aerospace and consumer electronics.

Belgian Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce for Russia and Belarus - is a network of hundreds of economic operators, corporations and small business, professional and inter-professional associations, authorities, and citizens interested in trade and/or investments in Russia and Belarus. CCBLR keeps contact with them in order to promote contacts and business relationships with Russian and Belarusian authorities, companies, and small businesses.

SIRRIS is a Belgian consulting company that helps start-ups develop, test and effectively implement technological innovations. In working with Sirris' experts, companies tap their knowledge and experience, while using its high-tech infrastructure to explore the full range of possibilities offered by new technologies. This helps companies to make the right technological choices and rapidly turn their innovations into marketable products and services.
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