On the first week of February, 2021 the new project of the European Union's research and innovation funding program Horizon 2020 (H2020) "ECIU University Research Institute for Smart European Regions" (SMART-ER) was launched. This project will be implemented together with the members of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU), who will jointly develop and work towards the creation of the ECIU University Virtual Research Institute.
The SMART-ER Virtual Research Institute will provide a framework for collaborative research that complements ECIU University's innovation and study activities and responds to the Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG11), in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Another important aspect of the project is an effective collaboration between science and society to conduct research activities that align innovations with societal needs, values and expectations.
The project will develop a common research and innovation agenda, and a plan for sharing the infrastructure available to all the partners, strengthen research potential resources through joint research initiatives and project activities, develop science - society cooperation and citizen research initiatives in practice.
The Virtual Research Institute set up during the SMART-ER project will work with different stakeholder groups at national and international level. The new model of research and innovation, based on a virtual collaborative environment, will enable dialogue between different disciplines, business sectors, different cultures and countries.
The international team of the project consists of the following European higher education institutions: Aalborg University (Denmark), Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain), University of Aveiro (Portugal), Dublin City University (Ireland), INSA Group (France), Hamburg University of Technology (Germany), Kaunas University of Technology (Lithuania), Linköping University (Sweden), University of Stavanger (Norway), Tampere University (Finland), University of Trento (Italy), University of Twente (Netherlands), as well as Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico).
The SMART-ER project is implemented under the EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 part “Science with and for Society (SwafS) ECIU University received 2 million euros for the implementation of the SMART-ER project. Project implementation period – 36 months.