17 June 2021, 09:30 – 12:30

Helis Health & Life Sciences Academy: closing event

On 17 June Helis Academy presents you the closing Symposium. You’ll learn about the project, the cross-border collaboration programme and how careers in life sciences are stimulated and supported during the presentations by, Interreg Vlaanderen-Nederland, Pan Cancer T and the keynote of Academic Transfer.

>> Watch the recordings

For whom?

The symposium is aimed at professionals working in training and capacity building in institutes, research projects and companies, as well as policymakers and funders, industry representatives and anyone who would like to gain more insight into the cross-border project and/or the Helis Academy domains (data analysis & stewardship, technology & life sciences and business development).


09:30 Plenary opening by Programme chair Pascale Engelen
09:35 Session 1: Advance your career through professional skill development - Dajo Smet,
09:50 Session 2: Cross-border collaboration & innovation - Bram De Kort, Interreg Vlaanderen-Nederland
10:00 Session 3: Katrien Reynders, Pan Cancer T
10:15 Keynote: The art of matchmaking - Jeroen Sparla, Academic Transfer
10:40 Closing remarks by Programme chair Pascale Engelen
10:50 End


Pascale Engelen | Co General Manager,

Pascale currently holds the position of Co General Manager of the independent life sciences organisation She is a driven life sciences senior executive with 30+ years experience in biopharmaceutical industry and contract research laboratory holding positions in sales, marketing and general management with increasing responsibilities at Ipsen, Solvay Pharma, FCB Global Healthcare, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Mylan and Anacura. She has a broad experience in the development of successful marketing strategies for small molecules, biotech, vaccines and generics. Today her focus lies in attracting human talent and funding for the fast-growing biotech start-ups and scale-ups in Flanders (Belgium).

Dajo Smet | Programme manager,

After an academic career in sciences (PhD in biology), Dajo joined the ranks of the independent life sciences organisation as programme manager. In that capacity, he works at the intersection between academia and the life sciences industry. Dajo is the project manager of the Helis Academy. Furthermore, he overlooks the Agro-foodTech ecosystem and is involved in the coordination of activities in that area of the life sciences sector.

Bram De Kort | General Director, Interreg Flanders - The Netherlands

Bram de Kort is the general director of the Interreg Flanders – The Netherlands programme. In this capacity he advises the Monitoring Committee of this subsidies programme and manages day-to-day operation of the Flemish-Dutch joint secretariat implementing it. Bram de Kort grew up in the Dutch provinces of Noord-Brabant and Zeeland and moved to the Flemish city of Ghent, following master studies in Human Geography (Radboud University, Nijmegen) and Public Management (Antwerp University).

Jeroen Sparla | Managing Director, AcademicTransfer

Jeroen Sparla (1966) is managing director and member of the board of AcademicTransfer, a cooperative association of which all Dutch universities, university medical centers and research institutes of KNAW and NWO are members. Primary objective is to bring the scientific vacancies of the members nationally and worldwide to the attention of the right target group of scientists. AcademicTransfer advertises about 8,000 vacancies in 167 countries, viewed by 2,5 million visitors on an annual basis. Currently AcademicTransfer is in transition from a job board to a career platform. The goal is to not only get to know applicants during the brief moment of a current job posting, but to build long-term relationships. These should eventually make it possible to provide targeted advice on careers for these individual scientists, within and outside academia. Jeroen has been involved in the development of AcademicTransfer and its services for over 20 years. Before that he worked at the umbrella organization of universities VSNU and at employee organization VHP.

Katrien Reynders-Frederix | CEO, Pan Cancer T

Katrien Reynders-Frederix is the Chief Executive Officer of Pan Cancer T, a spin-off from Erasmus MC (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) that advances first-in-class TCR T-cell therapies for hard-to-treat solid tumors. She joined the young biotech since the foundation in September 2020. Before, Katrien worked for more than 16 years in biopharma where she led international teams and global programs, notably in the immune-oncology field. In a previous role, she was program director at Celyad, where she oversaw the program of the autologous CAR-T Lead candidate CYAD-01.

About Helis Academy

Helis Academy is a consortium of 10 public and private partners that strive to optimize the Life Sciences & Health cluster in the Netherlands and Flanders. The project focuses on the development and coordination of appropriate training programmes in the Life Sciences and Health sector by matching companies' job requirements and profiles to curricula and develops new training programmes where needed. Through these training programmes students and young professionals are better prepared for the labour market by training them in skills and competences that are in demand. In this way, the academy increases the industry readiness of life scientists.

Helis Academy is financed by the Interreg V-programme Flanders-Netherlands, the cross border collaboration programme with financial support from the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRO).


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