EIT Red Kalyna Initiative - “Her Idea, Our Future: Empowering Resilience”

In the midst of profound adversity, a new chapter is unfolding in Ukraine. The ongoing war has brought women to the forefront, propelling them into critical leadership roles within the nation’s burgeoning tech sector. These resilient women are gaining invaluable experience and forging global connections, positioning themselves as key players in the reconstruction of Ukraine’s economy once the war ends.

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) aligns with the broader European Union in condemning Russia’s unprovoked military aggression against Ukraine. The commitment is clear: to support Ukraine through medical assistance, education, skills training, and full access to our innovation network.

In this spirit, the EIT launched the Red Kalyna Initiative in 2023. This initiative is designed to support Ukrainian women innovators in business, science, and leadership. Through the EIT Strategic Regional Innovation Cluster, we aim to shine a spotlight on their achievements, foster a supportive community, and equip participants with essential knowledge and connections.

From June 11-13, 2024, the EIT Red Kalyna finalists embarked on a transformative study visit to Warsaw. This visit, organized in collaboration with the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce as a partner of EEN Ukraine, was an inspiring exchange of ideas and empowerment. The participants visited the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development to explore opportunities for Ukrainian start-ups, toured the Warsaw Google Campus, and engaged with the Łukasiewicz Research Network – Warsaw Institute of Technology, observing how science and innovation are applied in everyday life.

"After these two days, I am once again full of ideas and determination. Starting Monday, I will begin transforming everything into a strategy."
Aleksandra Samokhina-CEO and Co-Founder of Tehnotable
Aleksandra Samokhina
CEO and Co-Founder of Tehnotable
"It was an unforgettable experience. The event was a gathering of incredibly inspiring individuals whose support has recharged me and restored my confidence."
Tetiana Antofiichuk-MD-PhD-Assistant Professor at Bukovian State Medical University
Tetiana Antofiichuk
MD, PhD, Assistant Professor at Bukovian State Medical University
"You provided great opportunities, care & showed that it’s possible to build even more than community, just in 3 days. I believe these 3 days become a new top quality base for the relations between female entrepreneurs & innovators."
Christina Seryozhechkina-CEO of Kooperativ Fedoriv Group
Christina Seryozhechkina
CEO of Kooperativ Fedoriv Group

The pinnacle of this visit was the Perspektywy Women in Tech Summit, the largest event in Europe and Asia for women in new technologies. Held at Warsaw Expo XXI on June 12 and 13, the summit brought together leading engineers, programmers, specialists, scientists, entrepreneurs, activists, leaders, start-ups, students, and women at the start of their professional journeys. The EIT Community and Red Kalyna participants hosted a session focused on supporting Ukrainian female innovators, attended by around 100 participants. Additionally, the finalists joined a panel discussion on the main start-up stage, led by Emerging Europe, which attracted an audience of approximately 500 people.

The women of the EIT Red Kalyna Initiative are extraordinary role models for Ukraine and the world. They exemplify leadership and mentorship, showing that dreams can be realized despite formidable obstacles. Their stories must be amplified, their voices heard, and their contributions recognized, as they are vital to the future of Ukraine and beyond.

The second call for applications to join the EIT Red Kalyna community is open until September 15. This is an invaluable opportunity for Ukrainian women innovators to join a transformative network. We also welcome organizations committed to supporting and empowering women to grow and inspire.

Together, let us celebrate and support these remarkable women as they lead Ukraine’s tech sector forward. In these challenging times, their innovation and resilience light the way, proving that even in the darkest moments, the human spirit can prevail and rebuild.

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