The six universities that form part of the 4EU+ European University Alliance are all research-intensive institutions with rich traditions for playing a decisive role in science and research in their regions. Globalization and the many current societal challenges facing Europe and the World increase the need for researchers to collaborate across regions, institutions and disciplines.
The 4EU+ Alliance is determined to strengthen research excellence within the member institutions to help address those societal challenges and to work towards stronger research coherence within the European Union. This will provide opportunities to build strong international networks and partnerships with internal and external partners and stakeholders, to develop common research interests and ideas, to increase the sharing of research infrastructure and to submit collaborative research proposals in calls organised within the framework of Horizon Europe and other European, international and national funding calls.
4EU+ will also create mechanisms to stimulate bottom-up collaboration between faculties, staff and students with diverse disciplinary backgrounds. Students at all levels are encouraged to take part in the diverse projects developed by international research teams. Synergy between research and education is an important principle of the Alliance.
To accelerate and further embed the research and innovation (R&I) dimension in the 4EU+ Alliance, work has started on the R&I project TRAIN4EU+, funded through the Horizon 2020 ‘Science with and for Society’ call to support the research and innovation dimension of European University Alliances.
TRAIN4EU+ aims to improve the quality of R&I support at the 4EU+ member universities by developing a culture of co-learning, co-innovation and collaboration within the 4EU+ Alliance, based on a thorough, cross-institutional best-practice assessment. A systematic methodology will be applied to identify the best models, procedures, approaches and lessons learned across the 4EU+ universities’ R&I support services and structures, and to co-develop transformative action plans.
The project has five key objectives:
We will find new ways to improve – individually and collectively – our support structures for enhancing quality and impact of R&I;
We will foster a culture of co-learning and co-innovation across the consortium based on a thorough best-practice assessment;
We will pilot selected transformative measures within different modules within the project’s lifetime;
We will push boundaries by pinpointing and highlighting drivers and facilitators of, as well as barriers and obstacles to, transformative change;
We will strive to scale up impact in collaboration with other alliances and through dissemination and communication.
TRAIN4EU+ will support coordinated institutional transformation efforts at the R&I level, including developing common research agendas, sharing research infrastructure, multiplying and mainstreaming open science practices, strengthening human capital, embedding a strong equal opportunities culture, reinforcing co-creation with non-academic sectors and digitalizing research support processes.
These transformation efforts will be developed through five TRAIN4EU+ work packages. TRAIN4EU+ will not host joint research activities within the Alliance, but will serve as a platform for exploring and developing long-term joint strategies and collaborations on research and innovation, in line with the overall visions and strategies of the 4EU+ Alliance.
Dissemination and communication of project outcomes are key elements in making the results and lessons learned available for use both inside and outside the Alliance. By reaching policy makers, peer universities, university alliances, business and industry stakeholders and the wider society, TRAIN4EU+ aims to constructively contribute to the ongoing efforts to develop the European Research Area and preparing the European universities for the future.
The project is rooted in the 4EU+ Alliance’s ambition to strive for excellence in each and every aspect of their roles as comprehensive, public research-based European universities, be it in education, R&I, administration or public engagement. It also reflects the 4EU+ mission to support researchers as they continue to expand the limits of knowledge and to ensure that the knowledge and innovations produced by the 4EU+ member universities help society address the challenges of our times.
The five main work packages of TRAIN4EU+:
As TRAIN4EU+ develops and each work package unfolds, all public material as well as newsletters and updates on relevant activities will be available on this website.
TRAIN4EU+ runs from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2023.
The project kick-off meeting was held virtually on 13-14 January 2021.
TRAIN4EU+ is coordinated by the University of Copenhagen (UCPH).
Coordinator Professor Bo Jellesmark Thorsen (UCPH):
Project Manager Miriam Koktvedgaard Zeitzen (UCPH):