UNITE! is one of the first 17 European University Alliances; it gathers seven universities that connect European regions of economic prospect, entrepreneurship and innovation with the aim to renew European higher education, within its Erasmus+ pilot project, as well as develop a common research and innovation agenda among its partners within its Horizon 2020 project.
UNITE! will connect engineering, science and technology with the great challenges of society in co-creation with students, faculty and staff – providing skills for a new generation of European and global citizens.
The process of developing a new university model started in autumn 2019; plus, starting from January 2021 the UNITE! Alliance will look even further and will take up the challenge launched by the EC to develop, in synergy with its education dimension, a shared, integrated, long-term research and innovation (R&I) strategy. It includes activities aimed at students and staff as well as external partners with the following targets:
- For BSc and MSc students
- Physical and virtual mobility within UNITE! for all students that ranges from joint education, summer schools, and on-line courses, to new joint courses comprising a short-term mobility programme
- Language and cultural awareness courses
- For PhD students
- A joint European PhD program to be developed within the UNITE! doctoral school
- Mobility within UNITE!
- For faculty and staff
- Mobility within UNITE! for all staff, including thematic staff weeks
- Teaching and Learning Academy to help professors and educators develop models for flexible study paths and innovative pedagogies
- For the region
- Connection of the ecosystems of UNITE! partners, aimed at offering regional actors the possibility for to form new powerful international partnerships
UNITE!H2020 project, funded within the Horizon2020 programme, will perform in 3 years the following:
- Develop a common R&I 2030 agenda, emphasizing our common DNA and shared vocation to address major societal challenges;
- Develop policies to strengthen our R&I human capital by, e.g., new career development initiatives;
- Develop policies to share our research infrastructures (RIs) supported by, e.g., experimental tests of previously developed guidelines on a selection of Energy RIs;
- Reinforce cooperation with non-academic R&I players by, e.g., developing a network of Grant Offices & TTOs;
- Mainstream our comprehensive Open Science practices based on, e.g., a detailed experimental analysis on the approach of our R&I groups to OS;
- Involve citizens, civil society and public authorities in R&I;
- Develop relations with other Alliances for joint synergies/complementarities.
Additional activities of the Alliance regard the development of joint models for governance and management, support services, communication and quality assurance.
Western Europe: Two partners from the two largest economies and drivers of the European Union, TU Darmstadt in Germany (Hessen, Rhein-Main Region), coordinator of the alliance, and Université Grenoble Alpes / Grenoble INP (France / Rhone Alpes)
Southern Europe: Three major economic and industrial centres ranging from Portugal to Northern Italy: Politecnico di Torino (Italy / Piedmont), University of Lisbon / Instituto Superior Tecnico in Portugal and UPC Barcelona (Spain/Catalonia).