Special coverage: General Assembly and Annual Conference - Contributing to the MCAA’s vision, mission, growth and reputation

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From being a member of the Board to organising the annual conferences, academic entrepreneurship expert Marco Masia has seemingly done it all since joining the MCAA in 2013. In recognition of his tireless efforts, he received the Outstanding Contributor Award at the MCAA 2022 Annual Conference.

As an innovation consultant for SMEs, NPOs and start-ups, Marco works at the intersection between research, innovation and policy. However, it’s his long list of leadership positions that have given him the opportunity to contribute to governing and developing the MCAA.

Marco Masia’s commitment within the MCAA

Leading the way

• 2014-2016 Chair of Policy Working Group
• 2015-2016 Founder & Vice-Chair of German Chapter
• 2015 Founder of Bridging Science and Business Working Group
• 2016-2018 Board Vice-Chair
• 2016-2020 Board Member of German Chapter
• 2016-2020 Vice-Chair of Information and Data Access Working Group
• 2018-2020 Ordinary Board Member
• 2020-2022 Chair of Information and Data Access Working Group

MCAA community development

• 2015-2018 ideation, launch and coordination of MCAA Academy initiative
• 2015 Organised German Chapter annual meeting in Darmstadt
• 2016 Organised German Chapter annual meeting in Heidelberg
• 2017 Supported organisation of General Assembly and Annual Conference (GA/AC) in Salamanca
• 2018 Supported organisation of GA/AC in Leuven
• 2019 Supported organisation of GA/AC in Vienna
• 2019 Organised Researchers meet Innovators in Berlin
• 2020 Supported organisation of GA/AC in Zagreb

MCAA engagement and commitment

• 2014 Launch and coordination of policy webinar series
• 2016 Launch and coordination of Bridging Science and Business webinars
• 2016-2022 Ideation, launch and coordination of My Super Science Heroes book project
• 2016 Redesign and launch of new website, and administration of YouTube channel
• 2017 Ideation and launch of MCAA blog
• 2017-2022 Development of backend functionalities for better service to the MCAA
• 2018-2021 Coordination of open cloud voucher programme
• 2020-2021 Transition to Drupal 9 and redesign of portal

MCAA representation

• Presented at EuroScience Open Forum in 2014, 2016 and 2018
• Represented the MCAA at Initiative for Science in Europe from 2014 to 2018
• Represented the MCAA at the MSCA Advisory Group from 2016 to 2018
• Presented (upon invitation) at the EIT Climate-KIC GA in 2017
• Presented (upon invitation) at the EURAXESS North America event on scientific diasporas in 2018
• Participated in EIT Digital in 2018 and 2019
• Presented at DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival in 2018
• Member of the jury for FameLab 2019 in Brussels

Of all his achievements, Marco singles out two: My Super Science Heroes and Researchers meet Innovators (RMI). The first is an illustrated book series written in partnership with the MCAA. The aim is to spark children’s love of science and maths. The second is a two-day event targeting people from research, start-ups, NPOs and the corporate world who want to learn more about innovation and how researchers and innovators can synergistically and successfully collaborate.

“I came up with the concepts and coordinated both initiatives to find sustainable sources for funding that would work in the long term,” says Marco. Two books on Marie Curie and Alan Turing have already been published, contributing more than EUR 25 000 to the MCAA. In addition, new royalties are paid every year based on book sales. The RMI meeting was very successful, and eventually showed a profit of about EUR 3 000.

From 2015 to 2021, Marco actively worked to identify and secure new sponsorship opportunities that have brought in tens of thousands of euros to the MCAA. He has established connections with other organisations, including Vitae, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture, EIT Health, EIT Digital, EIT Climate-KIC, the New York Academy of Sciences, EURAXESS North America and Initiative for Science in Europe.

“I feel very honoured to receive this award and consider it a great recognition for eight years of voluntary service to the MCAA,” comments Marco. He credits his entire experience to developing into a mature professional. “In fact, having carried out volunteer work in many different facets of the MCAA, I have learned a lot and acquired different competencies that are now very useful in my career.”

“When I joined, we were approximately 1 000 members, now we are more than 20 times that amount,” he concludes. “Putting my own contributions aside, none of this could have been accomplished and maintained without the dedication and hard work of many members.”

Jerry Stamatelos
MCAA Editorial Team

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