The ECIU University has developed a joint long-term research strategy on smart regions, building on the rapid development of digital infrastructures across Europe to address common research challenges related to SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) topics.   

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Four distinct Challenge Based Research themes that the ECIU University will initially focus on are:

●    Energy and sustainability

●    Circular economy

●    Transport and mobility

●    Resilient communities

Two cross-cutting themes that underpin the ECIU University approach to addressing these challenges are:

●    Human capital development

●    Co-creation, including interdisciplinarity

Collaborative Research & Funding

The ECIU universities are research-intensive universities that are committed to high quality research. They have been very successful in getting European funding for research and innovation projects. The ECIU Board wishes to clearly encourage the researchers to work together and develop innovative projects with the member universities. 
Our shared research areas at glance

featured joint projects

Researcher Mobility Fund

The ECIU University is committed to ensuring that its researchers are connected across all member institutions. A researcher at any member institution of the ECIU University may apply a grant for travels and associated costs to visit researchers at other member institutions to establish and extend scientific collaboration.
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The aim of the RUNIN network program is to train researchers on how universities contribute to innovation and economic growth in their regions. We do this through research, seeking to examine how universities fulfil their third mission in relation to regional industry and their engagement with regional firms and institutions.
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ECIU is a partner in the Erasmus+ project Towards a European Framework for Community Engagement in Higher Education (TEFCE). The main result is the TEFCE Toolbox, an institutional self-reflection framework that supports universities to improve how they address societal needs through partnerships with their external communities.
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activities STart on
1 February 2021

The ECIU University Research Institute for Smart European Regions (SMART-ER) is a research, innovation and education strong alliance, enabling all member universities to jointly address complex societal challenges under the framework of the UN SDG11 (Sustainable cities and communities).

The ECIU University SMART-ER Research Institute will design, develop and implement research; will value-capture and deliver solutions to current and future UN SDG11 challenges, identified by the ECIU University. Activities will be implemented by bringing together scientific and management research capacities at the 12 ECIU University member institutions.

The challenge-based approach adopted by the ECIU University allows engagement of societal stakeholders and learners 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 achieve this, the ECIU University will align research capacities and will bring together researchers as an example of how to overcome the limits of each single institution.

The SMART-ER Research Institute will implement a new model of barrier-free  They will promote a dialogue with society, to help overcome the limitations of disciplines, sectors and countries 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 mechanisms and structures built.

Strategic SMART-ER initiatives

Develop a common research and innovation agenda and convergence action plan, in synergy with education strategies and regional engagement, sharing infrastructures and resources
Develop and implement strategies for strengthening human capital and collaborations in research and innovation.
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Promote and integrate dialogue with society in research and innovation activities of SMART-ER

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