ECIU University will receive 2 million euros from the Horizon 2020 programme. This support will enable the ECIU University to strengthen research and innovation mission and establish the SMART-ER: the ECIU University Research Institute for SMART European Regions.
The new Horizon 2020 funding for the SMART-ER Research Institute will allow the ECIU University members to jointly address complex societal challenges under the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal no. 11 “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” (SDG11).
The ECIU University SMART-ER Research Institute will design, develop and implement research; will value-capture and deliver solutions to current and future SDG11 challenges, identified by the ECIU University, Erasmus+ financed project. Activities will be implemented by bringing together scientific and management research capacities at 12 ECIU University member institutions (Aalborg University, Dublin City University, Kaunas University of Technology, Linköping University, Tampere University, Hamburg University of Technology, Universidade de Aveiro, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, University of Stavanger, Università degli Studi di Trento, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées).
The challenge-based approach adopted by the ECIU University allows engagement of societal stakeholders and learners (from any age and background) in creating and working on challenges and exploiting results. The SMART-ER Research Institute, together with diverse stakeholder groups at a local, national and international level, will work according to a shared Research and Innovation Agenda. To move towards the vision, ECIU University will align research capacities and will bring together researchers as an example of how to overcome the limits of every single institution.
The SMART-ER Research Institute will implement a new model of doing research and innovation without walls while promoting the dialogue with society, overcoming the limitations of disciplines, sectors and countries and being mainly based on a virtual collaborative environment. Jointly, the institutions will pilot capacity building programmes (Seed Programme and SMART-ER Academy) and citizen science initiatives that will be used as a testbed to put into practice all the mechanism and structures built.