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On March 15‒17, 2023, an international workshop DISCO Innovation Lab March 2023 was organised at the Krakow University of Economics as part of the Developing Innovative Sustainable Cooperation Opportunities (DISCO) project.

During the three-day workshop, the first phase of the project was summarized, and new goals were set for its subsequent stages. The ensuing discussion focused on our Ukrainian partners’ perilous situation.

The topic of the workshop was introduced by Dr Piotr Kopyciński, Director of the Małopolska School of Public Administration of KUE (MSAP). He emphasised the significance of international cooperation and the exchange of best practices among partners. Prof. Marek Ćwiklicki of KUE, and Paweł Suliński of Hitachi Energy participated in the panel on cross-sectoral cooperation that followed.

On Day 2 of the workshop, participants presented their case studies. Khrystyna Potapenko, CEO of Grain Brain, focused on a range of problems faced by Ukraine as a result of the disruption of grain transport routes. Prof. Łukasz Mamica of KUE and Yaroslav Krempovych of Movens VC also participated in the discussion.

Prof. Nazar Podolchak of LPNU moderated a panel discussion devoted to wartime innovative breakthroughs with Prof. Artur Wołek of the Ignatianum Academy and Jan Piekło, former Polish Ambassador to Ukraine.

In the panel entitled Smart-Up, partners from Switzerland ‒ Prof. René Zeier, Dr Alexander Werbik, and Leonz Korner of HSLU ‒ shared their experiences in implementing innovative solutions to support start-ups. Participants in the discussion included Andrzej Bańka, a representative of the Marshal’s Office of the Małopolska Region, and Rafał Sułkowski, President of the Małopolska Social Economy Fund.

In the next panel of the day ‒ Gender Observatory ‒ Eva Fabry, Director of ECWT, talked about her organization’s initiatives aimed at involving women in modern technological projects. Dr Łukasz Danel, Rector’s Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment at KUE, as well as Dr Bohdana Huriy, MSAP KUE expert, who addressed the difficult situation of women in Ukraine, also participated in the discussion.

The last panel of the day, moderated by Stanisław Alwasiak, an MSAP KUE expert, addressed the topic of educating children and young people, and how to ensure their equitable access to knowledge. The discussion was attended by Andrew Hallam of ASPIRE.

The workshop outcomes were reviewed on the final day, as was the topic of new cooperation potential and how to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s illegal aggression.

The DISCO project is moving forward; further information can be obtained at, supported start-ups at heidisco/our-start-ups/ and on our social media sites.:,,