Meet the Partner UIIN

The University Industry Innovation Network (UIIN) is committed to enhancing employability and driving innovation through university industry, developing more engaged and engaged universities and preparing graduates for the future. We are dedicated to advancing the future of higher education institutions and their impact on society. We support our global community of 100+ organizational and 500+ individual members by providing insights from research, sharing best practices, and building capacity amongst academics, professionals and leaders in higher education and industry.

In addition to being a service and knowledge provider and the organiser of the largest conference on university-business engagement, UIIN conducts research for public and private institutions in Europe and beyond. In addition to our involvement in over a dozen large-scale projects for the European Commission, EIT, GIZ and others, UIIN has also worked with various national and regional governments in more than 10 countries (incl. Australia). UIIN is operated by a passionate and highly experienced team of 11, who have led research, implementation and consulting projects in the fields of entrepreneurial universities, regional development, future of universities and university-industry engagement.

With its unique competence to understand and bring together, higher education, business and government and societal stakeholders, UIIN has a proven track record in leading and undertaking research activities, developing and implementing training models and tools as well as actively sharing this knowledge with our wider audience. UIIN has a proven experience of successfully leading international events, undertaking the implementation of European projects and developing strategic partnerships with relevant stakeholders. The network creates new training concepts and offers professional development workshops to higher education staff on a regular basis. UIIN has a track record in participating in strategic partnerships and knowledge alliances, focussing on entrepreneurial and entrepreneurship education, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and engagement of HEI and small and medium-sized enterprises

Through its access to key contacts in academia and industry and various communication and distribution channels reaching a large variety of European stakeholders, UIIN will support the further exploitation of the value created within the project. Key personnel: Arno Meerman Arno Meerman is the founder and CEO of UIIN. In his role, Arno has built UIIN to one of the largest networks on university-industry interaction globally. Arno actively works with the European Commission, universities, and other government bodies towards professionalisation of university-industry relationships, entrepreneurial universities and partnerships. He has designed and led a number of UIIN’s research projects for the European Commission and professional training programmes on entrepreneurial education, innovation alliances and university-business cooperation. Dr. Balzhan Orazbayeva Balzhan Orazbayeva is the strategic initiatives manager at UIIN. In this role, she designs and delivers innovative training, consultancy concepts and models to develop more engaged and entrepreneurial universities. Balzhan has undertaken research around university-business collaboration and social innovation and has run a number of training programmes and workshops around entrepreneurial universities, future of universities and university-business collaboration. Balzhan holds a doctoral degree from the Free University Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam), where she focused on the engagement of academics and businesses in education-driven university-business collaboration. Alexandra Zinovyeva Alexandra is a higher education specialist with a focus on entrepreneurial and practice-based learning and teaching, inter-and multidisciplinary education and life-long learning, engaged universities and university-industry-society interaction. In her current position as the Manager EU Projects at UIIN, Alexandra oversees and undertakes research activities in a wide array of the European-wide collaborative projects fostering the new generation of better-connected and “future-proof” higher education institutions. Alexandra holds a MSc in Higher Education Management, BA in Education and has previously exercised her passion for education as a curriculum design advisor and an educator herself. Fleur Schellekens Fleur has a master’s degree in Euroculture and studied in different universities in the EU, such as Uppsala and Göttingen. During her time in the academic environment, Fleur conducted research on the exchange between different cultures and the effects on the these have on European society, and on the engagement of Muslim students at the English secondary school. In her current position as a Junior Research Officer at UIIN, Fleur undertakes different research activities and creates content on a wide variety of topics that range from university-business cooperation to stakeholder engagement and entrepreneurship.



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