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ABIS GlobalNewsMessage to Members for the ABIS President

Message to Members for the ABIS President

Dear colleagues,

I trust that the year has begun positively for you and your colleagues.

With this message, I would like to share with you some of the strategic ABIS priorities as well as activities and events that we have planned for the next months and how your institution will benefit from our efforts to make this year a great one.

2016 has been a year where we have harvested great insights from two of our large-scale EU projects that both ended last December. First, our EU-InnovatE project, which resulted in being a ground-breaking study into the emerging phenomenon of sustainable entrepreneurship and citizen innovation and the prospects for a sustainable Europe in 2050. The project has also generated a wide range of resources including high-level recommendations to the EU to accelerate growth in this domain. Another highlight is a scenarios board game, grounded in sustainable lifestyles, which each ABIS member will receive a physical copy of later in Q1!

Secondly, the Innovation 4 Sustainability (I4S) project provided training and funding for 8 early-stage researchers and 2 experienced researchers to investigate sustainability-driven innovation in business. One of the key outcomes of this project is its final cases report which explores various dimensions of Sustainability-Driven Innovation. Next to this, a European Policy Brief on the implications for businesses highlights how the research conducted within the network can valuably inform academics, practitioners and policy makers in the domain of Sustainability-Driven Innovation.

Apart from these EU-funded projects, ABIS is also very delighted to see the outcomes of its long-term investment in the corporate Africa initiative together with IBM, GSK and Unilever, which in 2016 convened its first values-driven leadership workshop in association with the University of Stellenbosch Business School. With this first workshop having been a great success, ABIS aims to not only continue this innovative form of collaboration but also expand it geographically across the continent.

During the last year, we have also put great emphasis on revising business education curricula through various related ABIS initiatives. This endeavor was also recently echoed in various sessions at the World Economic Forum in Davos, calling for businesses to put an emphasis on responsible leadership. With business education being an integral part of this ambition, ABIS will continue to bridge the worlds of business and academia to co-create a future blueprint for business and management education adapted to the complexities and challenges of the 21st century.

As the first event this year, we will convene our 3rd Knowledge Into Action Forum in Brussels on 11 May 2017. The Forum will draw from the networks' insights and offer everyone access to corporate-focused sessions, information regarding EU funding opportunities and an engaging marketplace for new and upcoming project ideas. Regarding the Horizon 2020 developments, we will share the network’s contribution to the future of EU funding programmes, building on the ABIS Horizon 2020 mid-term review position paper which was submitted to the European Commission in January this year. We also aim to continue the great work from 2016, where last year’s Knowledge Into Action Forum ignited projects worth EUR 16 million in EU funding, involving 42 member institutions.

In the afternoon of the day before the Forum, we will also host our Annual General Assembly, which serves as the network’s most important strategy meeting, in which we will present headlines and achievements from the previous year and outline the priorities, milestones and engagement opportunities for the upcoming months.

I personally truly believe that this year will be one of extraordinary opportunities for our ABIS partners and members.

I look forward to meeting all of you in May to our Annual General Assembly and Knowledge Into Action Forum.

Kindest regards,

Alfons Sauquet Rovira
President & Chair of the Board

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