COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), is one of four local partners in the Erasmus+ project “Transforming Academic Knowledge to Develop Entrepreneurial Universities in Pakistan,” which is funded by the European Union (TAKE-UP). Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) in Athens, Greece, and the University of Saarland (UdS) in Saarbrücken, Germany, are the European partners, whereas Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore, Government College University, Lahore, and the University of Gujrat are the three local universities. COMSATS University Islamabad’s Lahore Campus sent a four-member team to the two European partner institutions to establish “Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices.”. The delegation was comprised of:

  • Muhammad Ahmed Farooqui, P.I and the Coordinator of the TAKE-UP Project
  • Rana Nadir Idrees, HoD and Assistant Professor of Management Sciences
  • Syed Muhammad Imran Hassan Naqvi, Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering.
  • Ghulam Jilani, Sr. C.O. and Manager of the TAKE-UP project

The objectives of the visit included the strategic planning for promoting entrepreneurial culture in Pakistani universities, visits to the Athens Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, gaining hands-on experience in the operation of Fabrication Labs, and attending workshops/meetings with faculty and officials relevant to the project.

This visit had two segments: In the first segment, the workshop sessions and related activities were held at the Athens Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), Athens (Greece), whereas for the second segment, the activities were held at University de Saarland, (UdS) Saarbrucken (Germany).

PART-A: Athens Segment of the Tour

The Athens segment was five days long, 21st to 25th March 2022, in which several activities were carried out.

On the 21st of March all the participants of the project were welcomed by Prof. Dr. Vasilios Papadakis, Vice-Rector of International Affairs at the Athens Centre of entrepreneurship, followed by the welcome address by the Director of the Cultural Unit of the German Embassy in Greece Ms. Sonja Bohnet. Participants did a detailed discussion on the Coaching Manual. In these five-day session, different experts on entrepreneurship and young startups delivered presentations and lectures on wide variety of topics related to entrepreneurship and how to start a successful business.

some of the prominent speakers were Dr. Angeliki Karagiannaki, Managing Director (ACEin), Mr. Andreas Zerkoulis, StartUp Teams Growth Specialist (ACEin), Dr. Erifili Chatzopoulou, Project Manager (ACEin), Dr. Arsenis Spyros, Head of Business Development Innovation Unit. The Astra project and the new European Universities Initiatives, Mr. Panourgias Papaioannou, Project Manager (ACEin) The Inter-Departmental Entrepreneurial Assignment (IDEA), Ms. Vasiliki Chronaki, Entrepreneurial Education Manager and many more. The five-day trip ended with a Cultural evening and a dinner at Myrtillo, A WWII historical Place. (Trifillias and Efstathiou Lampsa, Athina).

PART-B Saarbrucken Segment of the Tour

The Saarbrucken segment was also five days long, 27th March to 1st April, during which the different activities were carried out:

The five-day session started with the Moderated discussion and reflection about strategic action plans (WP2) by Theresa Zimmer. Welcome address and structure of program was briefed by Ms. Theresa Zimmer and Dr. Nida Bajwa (Project coordinators). Dr. Manfred Schmitt (President of Saarland University) and Prof. Cornelius König (Vice President European and International Affairs) also welcomed the participants. Different experts of entrepreneurship, innovation and technology gave presentations during the five-day sessions. Some of the presenters were Johannes Abele (Director International Office), he presented about the Potentials of international networks – examples of international cooperation at Saarland University. Natalie Rau (Office for Knowledge and Technology Transfer of Saarland University) discussed about supporting start-ups at different stages during their entrepreneurial journey.  Guided tour and presentation about knowledge exchange and collaboration: ZeMA was done by Attique Bashir (KI-trainer). Dr.  Flavio Soldera (Managing Director) briefed the participants about the internationalized institution: EUSMAT, European School of Materials in Saatland university.  All the participants did a guided tour of the World Cultural Heritage Site Völklingen Ironwork famous for its history and capacity.   A moderated discussion was done about entrepreneurship course (WP4) by Theresa Zimmer

Another important activity during the sessions was the visit of FabLab at HBK (established FabLab) and CoHub (new FabLab): Guided tour and practical exercises were led by Thorsten Müller (Technician and instructor at FabLab HBK)

Prof. Bastian Popp (Business administration) presented about the Introduction of European Institute for Advanced Behavioral Management. The 5-day trip ended with the review of the trip and way forward, moderation by Theresa. We would like to thank all the organizers especially Dr. Nida Bajwa and Ms. Theresa Zimmer for the smooth conduction of our trip to Athens and Saarland Germany. We would also like to thank Ms. Vasiliki Chronaki and Mr. Panourgias Papaioannou for their hospitality and arrangements in Athens, Greece.

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