Start of the new academic year with 1,200 first-semester students - MCI Welcome 2022 with EU Research Commissioner Mariya Gabriel.
In keeping with tradition, the new academic year at the Entrepreneurial School® also begins with a top-class guest. This time, it is Mariya Gabriel, the European Commissioner responsible for the fields of innovation, research, education, youth and culture, making her thematically predestined for the opening of the academic year.
MCI Rector Andreas Altmann welcomed EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel to the Congress Innsbruck filled to capacity with more than 1,200 guests, before she addressed the question "How to keep Europe globally competitive?" in her gripping speech.
Europe's strengths as the key to success
"We need to identify, define and invest in our strengths," Mariya Gabriel clarifies at the beginning of her keynote. She elaborates on four areas in which she sees Europe's greatest strengths: Science, industry, education and innovation. She underlines Europe's leading position in some sectors of these areas and promises to continue to heavily invest in them. She also mentions "Horizon Europe" several times, the world's largest funding program for research and innovation, which is designed to help Europe significantly progress in the aforementioned fields.
The EU Commissioner emphasizes the importance of young people in these all of these areas. "It is up to us to provide the conditions for young people and provide them with opportunities," Gabriel said. In order to remain competitive and promote independence in industry, we should give special attention to start-ups and small companies.
Overall, however, the key lies in Europe's education, "Europe can be proud. We have excellent universities and institutions." Therefore, we must continue to focus on European universities and university alliances that provide the necessary competitive skills to young people. "We are lucky to have an entrepreneurial school like the MCI in Innsbruck," said Mariya Gabriel, "you are drivers, you bring Europe forward, you shape the 'European University' and serve as role models when it comes to turning potential into strengths."
Even though Europe leads the world in several areas of science, industry and education, Europe still needs to reach its full potential in the area of innovation. With the new wave of "deep tech innovations”, Gabriel sees now as just the right time to do so, "Let's seize the opportunity to transform Europe into an international 'Power House'."
Talents are Europe's “flagship”
Mariya Gabriel is convinced, "Yes, Europe is internationally competitive." However, only as long as Europe continues to invest in young talents, shapes them into entrepreneurial personalities, allows them to make mistakes in this process, and conveys common European values and a European identity.
Lastly, EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel turns to the students in the audience, "We trust in you and want to listen to you. Tell us how we can help you realize your dreams and make Europe 'your home'. With you in the driving seat, we can make sustainable progress in science, education and research."