1st annual EPICUR Forum

09/12/2020 @ 10:00 - 11/12/2020 @ 19:00 CET
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1st annual EPICUR Forum

09/12/2020 @ 10:00 - 11/12/2020 @ 19:00 CET

The EPICUR alliance will organise its first Public Forum between 9 and 11 December 2020. The Forum is an opportunity to connect, to share experiences and to develop ideas with all members of the academic community. It will also provide an occasion to discover the – entrepreneurial – ecosystems of the eight universities of the alliance. Hosted by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), this year’s Forum will be a fully virtual event. It aims to bring together students, teachers, researchers, administrative staff and professionals around a broad range of activities dedicated to the themes of “Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development.”

Our Forum is an invitation to local, regional, and European stakeholders as well as the members of its diverse academic communities to explore the EPICUR alliance and its many inspiring projects that lay the foundation for one of the first truly European Universities.

The Forum offers a journey through our European university partners and their communities by offering: a Virtual Start-up Tour, enlightening Panel Discussions, Keynotes on sustainability and entrepreneurship, Workshops, EPICURtalks & Virtual Booths for all interested in the future of teaching and learning, an ERASMUS challenge for students…

The programme

Welcome Speech by EPICUR President Michel  Deneken (UNISTRA) and Prof. Dr. Thomas Hirth, Vice-President for Innovation and International Affairs at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Public event

Michel Deneken is both the President of the EPICUR Alliance & of the University of Strasbourg. He will talk about the necessity to build bridges between students, staff and stakeholders while linking the different regional networks through interdisciplinary approaches and about the need to offer students during this crisis events such as the Forum and to create a new vision of mobility and adapted programmes to guarantee them a European perspective during their studies.

Michel Deneken has been teaching at the University of Strasbourg since 1989. He was dean of the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Strasbourg from 2001 to 2009. From January 2009 to December 2016, he was First Vice-President in charge of finance and then of initial and continuing education at the University of Strasbourg. In December 2016, he was elected Chairman of the University of Strasbourg.


Prof. Hirth is responsible for entrepreneurial activities at KIT – one of the two leading German universities in this sector – and will talk about the fact that research, teaching and innovation must interlock directly if we want to be successful, both as a European university and as a society.

Professor Dr. Thomas Hirth became director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB, Stuttgart in 2007. From 2008 to 2015 he in addition has been professor at the University of Stuttgart and head of the Institute of Interfacial Process Engineering and Plasma Technology and from 2012 to 2015, Thomas Hirth has been vice-dean of the Faculty of Energy-, Process-, and Bio-Engineering at the University of Stuttgart. Since January 01, 2016, he has been Vice-President for Innovation and International Affairs of KIT. Moreover, he is chairman of the Steering Committee of ProcessNet and Spokesperson of the THINKTANK Industrial Resource Strategies.


– Digital ERASMUS Feeling Challenge

Audience: Students (all study levels) of the EPICUR Universities.

Click here for more information on the Challenge.

Before challenging students to explore new digital formats to create similar or even identical results during a virtual semester abroad, we have invited students and alumni of all ages to share their ERAMUS experience by sending videos.

During the forum, groups of students from the 8 universities will form teams of 5 to 7. Together they will brainstorm to define the important factors contributing to the Erasmus feeling by capturing small facets. On the last day, each group will have 3 minutes to present a solution by giving a lecture, showing a video, photos or even making a musical presentation of their ideas. The best ideas will be rewarded with various prizes.

This challenge will take place in three steps:

  • The kick-off session with the creation of the groups and an introductory speech by Oana Dumitrescu, Director General for Education and Culture at the European Commission.
  • The following day, the activity will continue with tutorials and discussions in the morning and an Erasmus quiz in the evening.
  • On Friday, the final presentation of the “Erasmus Feeling Challenge” will take place in the presence of Kostis Giannidis, President of the Erasmus Student Network, followed by the award ceremony.

 – Keynote by Prof Phoebe Koundouri, Director of the EIT Climate-KIC on Financing environmental projects

Public event

Professor Dr. Phoebe Koundouri will introduce the emergence and requirements of entrepreneurs who tackle the issue of sustainability. She will further discuss the requirements for funding such projects with a link to the SDGs and then give a concrete explanation of how to obtain funding as well as some examples of projects already funded by Climate KIC Greece.  There will be plenty of opportunity for the audience to ask questions. 

Keynote by Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis (KIT): Entrepreneurship Education – good practices and future

Public event

Entrepreneurship education is one of the key pillars of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. It aims to prepare students for entrepreneurial practice and to develop profound entrepreneurial competencies. In his keynote speech, Prof. Terzidis presents good practices in teaching Entrepreneurship at the KIT and discusses future opportunities for the state of the art of Entrepreneurship Education within EPICUR.

Prof. Orestis Terzidis heads the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Technology Management and Innovation (EnTechnon) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). After his doctorate in physics, he worked at SAP from 1998-2011, first as an application developer, later as assistant to CEO Henning Kagermann and director of the SAP Research Center in Karlsruhe. In October 2011, he joined KIT as a full professor.

– Keynote by Maria Vassilakou: Planning the City of Tomorrow – Towards a major Urban Transition.

Public event

Maria Vassilakou will share her expertise coming from her experience as the former Deputy Mayor & Executive Councellor at the City of Vienna (urban development, climate issues and participation) (2010-2019) as well as a Member of the European Commission’s Mission board (Climate-neutral and smart cities) for Horizon Europe for 2021-2027. She will present new approaches of urban development, notably regarding the shift of role paradigms in the interplay of politics, economy & civil society.

– Experiential Learning & Experimental Teaching in Digital Settings

Public event. All those interested in Teaching & Learning (Restriction Apply in Part I) 

Click here for more information on Workshops

 In the current pandemic, digital and blended learning has gained new momentum. This has boosted innovation and creativity among university educators and e-Learning experts at the eight EPICUR partner universities. The EPICUR Forum will offer a two-part event that explores the potentials and challenges of “Experiential Learning and Experimental Teaching in Digital Settings,” offering the opportunity to share and exchange on out-of-the-box ideas about the future of education in European Universities. Framed by two keynotes on the impact of “Digitization in Higher Education” and “Working & Learning 4.0”, the EPICUR team invites you to an interactive and inspiring journey into the future of learning and teaching.

Morning session. Experiential Learning & Experimental Teaching – Part I: “Train the Trainer” – Workshops 

Audience: teaching staff, (early career) researchers, administrative university staff, young professionals  

The first part, dedicated to “Experiential Learning” offers university lecturers, teachers, study coordinators, and didactic staff from all partners five parallel “train-the-trainer” workshops addressing interculturality, social learning, entrepreneurial education, summer schools and virtual exchanges. 

Afternoon session. Experiential Learning & Experimental Teaching – Part II: Virtual Fair & EPICURtalks.

Public event

Focusing on “Experimental Teaching,” the second part invites everyone to a Virtual Fair, featuring EPICUR’s newest format “EPICURtalks” as well as virtual booths that give the floor to some of the most innovative and creative teaching formats within the EPICUR alliance. 


 Virtual Start-up Tour – Innovative solutions for European challenges

Public event

The virtual start-up tour will feature contributions by start-ups from partner universities, involved in the field of sustainable development, showcasing the entrepreneurial spirit of the EPICUR community. Start-Ups will create introductory videos, followed by an in-depth exchange about their respective challenges in the form of an interactive panel discussion. 

 Panel Discussion – Entrepreneurial Student Clubs as hotbeds for Start-ups at Universities

Public event

The Panel Discussion for Young Entrepreneurs is targeted towards all those who have played with the idea of becoming an entrepreneur. Bringing together young entrepreneurs and student associations to inspire and showcase the diverse experiences that people have made moving from the academic world into the economic sphere. The discussion will also address the challenges and hurdles that young entrepreneurs encounter, what solutions they have found and what support would be needed.

EPICUR Staff Quiz

University Members

The EPICUR Staff Quiz will be a social event for the EPICUR Team (anyone that has been hired to work on EPICUR) of all eight partners. Taking the form of a pub quiz, teams made up of members from each partner will compete in a knowledge and creativity contest surrounding not just EPICUR (hope you have that proposal memorized) but also our universities and their surrounding cities, the staffs hidden talents, and Europe in general. There will also be a couple of tasks that will demand creativity in order to be managed digitally across the EPICUR alliance.


Meet an EPICURean – Networking Carrousel

Public event

Meet an EPICURrean – “Networking Carrousel” is an innovative networking method for the community of EPICUR to meet informally and discuss the day’s events, the keynotes, the European University. Equipped with a couple of short questions, participants will be randomly assigned to a breakout room with three other EPICUReans and will have 5-10min to get to know each other. The Networking Carousel will be an open invite to all EPICUReans and will take place after keynotes. 

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