The BME Competence Fair aimed to provide networking opportunities for researchers, companies, and innovation stakeholders to assist in successful participation in Horizon Europe research proposals.

The goal of the international matchmaking event, organized by the university for the first time, is to support the global visibility of its researchers while establishing a social platform involving industry and professional organizations. The move comes after recognizing scholars’ need for a new strategy in partnering with corporate funders, small and medium-sized enterprises, professional organizations, and local authorities. 

The interactions between participants were facilitated by an innovative mobile application for setting up smart profiles, initiating 1:1 or group discussions around various topics, and organizing meetups. The app aims to help engage in professional conversations based on shared interests and create an enjoyable networking experience by providing several features, including Horizon Europe keyword search.

Created by BME, the Competence Map supports the visibility of the university’s scholars by providing information about the expertise and results of BME researchers to potential funding and industry partners. It is a practical tool for building Horizon Europe consortia, for companies looking for specific infrastructure, Ph.D. students and early career researchers looking for mentors and supervisors, and external researchers looking for a research team to work within a specific field.

In addition, round-table discussions with guest presenters were held on key trends in European research development. The BME Competence Fair featured a range of activities, from speed networking to professional conversations.

Over the seven-year framework of Horizon Europe, a research and innovation program launched by the European Commission and worth nearly EUR 100 billion, thousands of applications are being pursued in engineering, natural, and social science research. BME was a successful applicant in the previous Horizon 2020 funding cycle (2014-2020) with 67 funded projects with a more than EUR 18 million budget.