Successful R&I 2018 – Impressions

Once again in 2018, the importance of the “Successful R&I in Europe” conference series for Europe’s research and innovation calendar was substantiated by the number of participants. Around 300 delegates from 28 countries attended the European Networking Event in Düsseldorf on 15-16 March: 42 % were entrepreneurs and over 50 % were representatives of universities or research institutes. The fact that about half the participants came from abroad confirms that the event answers a demand for networking platforms at international level. 

The conference, which was organised by ZENIT GmbH on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, was opened by Dr. Beate Wieland, Director of the Ministry’s Research Division. Keynote speaker was Dr. Erich Unterwurzacher, Director, Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission, Brussels.

Dr Beate Wieland
Dr Erich Unterwurzacher

The event was structured in thematic workshops and open networking sessions. Researchers previously selected within a call for proposals had the opportunity to present not only new ideas for future projects but also research results ready for commercialisation: Some 90 pitches over the two-day event! Delegates profited from the opportunity for an exchange of experience as well as to meet new potential partners and – most importantly – initiate joint EU projects.


Topics were:

  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
  • Nanotechnology, Materials and Manufacturing (NMM)
  • Energy
  • Sustainable Economy
  • Life Sciences
  • Transport

In the framework of a parallel exhibition entitled “Innovations for Europe based in NRW”, a number of selected projects and initiatives were presented.  

The event benefited from extensive promotional activities undertaken by the Enterprise Europe Network, the largest business, technology and innovation support network in the world (over 600 organisations in over 60 countries), of which ZENIT is a partner in a consortium with NRW.BANK and NRW.International. Further assistance was provided by the National Contact Points in Germany and a large number of organisations in this year’s partner regions of Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Israel, the Netherlands and Poland.

Delegates had at their disposal an eCar shuttle service between Düsseldorf Airport and the impressive venue of Van der Valk Airporthotel.

Next year will see the 10th anniversary of this major R&I networking event – watch this space!