EU Forum in Rijeka gathers experts and prominent individuals from the academia and the business sector

21.04.2023. / news / 50UNIRI

The University of Rijeka, in cooperation with the Lürssen group, brought a unique two-day event, the European Forum, to the premises of the former Eksportdrvo on April 19 and 20, gathering numerous experts, distinguished guests, and leaders of well-known business giants to discuss the future for universities. During the two-day conference, the academic and business community of Rijeka and the Kvarner region had the opportunity to hear some first-hand experiences and advice of some of the most successful people from the business sector and higher education in Europe. Among many well-known names were also Mr. Peter Lürssen, CEO of Lürssen, Mr. Andreas Treichl, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the ERSTE Foundation, and Mr. Roberto Kutić, co-founder and COO at Infobip.

For 50 years, the University of Rijeka has been a national and regional example of striving for excellence in the education of numerous generations of academic citizens, who have become or will soon become the bearers of socio-economic development, not only in Rijeka, but also in the Kvarner region and beyond. This year, the University of Rijeka is proudly celebrating its 50th anniversary with numerous events and activities aimed at thinking about the future and sustainability.

“The underlying idea of this European Forum, which, hopefully, will not be the only one, was primarily our desire to establish communication. Of course, there is cooperation between the business sector and universities, the civil sector, the local community, and the citizens. However, our idea is that one can face the challenges of the future, as well as the temporary social problems, only if we put our heads together, if we somehow overcome the prejudices that are deeply rooted in our institutions – both business and university. We must try to solve the problems together, because it is our duty, our moral obligation, to think about future generations as much as we think about the quality of life of our citizens”, Prof. Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Ph.D., University of Rijeka Rector pointed out.

The University of Rijeka and the Lürssen company share the same idea, i.e. the future of education lies precisely in cross-sector cooperation at multiple levels. This European Forum tried to embody exactly these values for the purpose of further development and strengthening the competitiveness of the general domestic academic and business community.

“One company alone cannot make a big change within a certain industry. The secret is that we have to work closely with educational and research institutions. By working openly and transparently, we can find a solution together, or direct the industry towards a solution. If one’s good idea doesn’t work the first time, give them a second chance and try to learn from the first mistakes – only then can you succeed the second time. After all, it’s all about people, creative and innovative people”, Mr. Peter Lürssen, concludes. Lürssen is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of large yachts, who has been an extremely active and prominent member of Rijeka’s local community for some time.

“As the University of Rijeka’s strategic partner, the Lürssen group observes the importance of creating new jobs of the future and continuously strives to work very closely with the University to educate new staff who will one day work on the development and research projects of both parties”, added Teuta Duletić, Managing Director at Lürssen Design Center Kvarner.

Mr. Andreas Treichl, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the ERSTE Foundation and former CEO of Erste Group Bank AG, attracted special attention with his rich experience and witty comments during the first day of the Forum, as he was one of the panelists in a panel discussion Education for the competencies of the future, giving the students valuable advice for future personal and professional development.

Mr. Marko Filipović, Mayor of Rijeka, also welcomed the participants: “Through this conference, the University of Rijeka takes both the European and the global perspective, and its work enables Rijeka to connect not only with the academic but also with the business sector. On the other hand, the Lürssen company will implement the project which will change our city. We and the city of Rijeka must not miss the opportunity at hand, and not neglect the possibility of developing our city in the future, in Europe.”

The Prefect of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Mr. Zlatko Komadina, also addressed the numerous participants, and many famous faces and distinguished guests could be seen in the audience: Mr. Goran Palčevski, Deputy Mayor of Rijeka, H.E. Mr. Haakon Blakenborg, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Croatia, Mr. Christoph Schöfböck, President of the Management Board of Erste Bank, Croatia, Mr. Johannes Böck, Director of Gitone Kvarner and Liburnia Riviera Hotels, Mr. Ivo Usmiani, Chairman of the Board at JGL, Ms. Vesna Pusić, former Croatian Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Mr. Velibor Mačkić, Special Advisor to the President of the Republic for the Economy and many others.

All participants had the opportunity to attend four different panels, and all speakers and their short biographies are available at the following link.

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