600 plus participants from all the world came to EBN and Retis Congresses
EBN organised the 26th annual EBN Congress - the meeting of innovation and incubation practictioners, corporates and startups - that gathered for the first time in Enghien-les-Bains (Paris Region, France).
EBN joined forces for the second time with the French innovation network RETIS, to coorganise their congresses, and the great success was also thanks to the efforts of the local organiser, EU|BIC, Val d'Oise Technopole.
More than 600 participants from 40 different countries came together to exchange ideas, best practices and networking opportunities. Different occassions were offered to those exchanges.
The congress started with the Special Interest Groups meetings, focused on the thematic areas of interest to EBN Members. The discussions were focused on future project cooperation, knowledge sharing and new services. For more information read this news.
Getting to know each other is very important at the Congress, and many opportunities were organised for this purpose: under the supervision of FET2RIN and FETFX the Future Emerging Technology (FET) projects had a B2B meeting with EU|BICs during the afternoon of Wednesday. This was followed by a speed dating session - two-minute introductions in a 1-to-1 format for all participants at the Congress.
The big moment of the day arrived with the official opening of the Congress. Patrick Valverde as President of both EBN and Retis kicked off the Congress in front of a crowd. His speech was followed by Philippe Sueur, Mayor of Enghien-les-Bains and President of Val d'Oise Technopole as host of the Congress, and Benjamin Chkroun, Regional Counsellor at Ile de France.
Following the opening, participants were invited to enjoy the Welcome Cocktail and canapés in a sunny and pleasant evening, where the more courageous ones could play a game of pétanque.
Thursday, the big day of the EBN Congress, started with a presentation of the 'incubation value chain' with experts from EU|BICs, corporates, startups, investors, in fact all the ecosystems merged at the EBN Congress, to explore different ways of cooperation. Knowledge Capital and Collier County, the guest speakers, introduced their ecosystems to the audience.
At the same time, the startups met with deputes from the region, with corporates looking for new innovative ideas and with peers from all the corners. The Incobra Brokerage Event took place for the first time in Europe, being a great success:
Thursday afternoon the keyword was: OPEN. While some participants were networking with their peers in the Open Startup Exhibition, some other were attending the different parallel session. Here is an overview of the programme.
During this time, the first session of the FIBIA project on inclusive incubation took place, with the opening of the Social Challenges Innovation Platform - Are you a challenge owner? Are you a social innovator? This platform is meant for you.
After the EBN AGM, with the presentation of the new EBN CEO, Javier Echarri, and the new EBN Board, it was time to enjoy the Gala Dinner in an enchanted and magical place: the Royaumont Abbey. This was the perfect ending of a long day of meeting, networking and learning.
The last day of the Congress, continued with the Open Ecosystems Awards, a video competition where EBN and Retis members where showcasing their ecosystems. The audience voted for the two winners: Angers Technopole (France) got the first prize and a joint initiative from the Basque Country (Spain); Bind4.0 won the second prize. If you missed the videos, or you would like to review them again here they are.
The two panels on why ecosystems are important and the impact of corporates on startups retained a lot of attention from the audience. Ecosystems need to be open to new ideas, the competition is not between the biggest and smallest companies, but between the fastest and the slowest to innovate.
And another EBN Congress came to an end! Thank you to all the participants that made possible those three days, thanks as well to the speakers, moderator and sponsors. And see you soon!!
To have more insights about the congress have a look at the EBN Congress Storify.
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