Major R&I boost

Major R&I boost picture
26/01/2024

Major R&I boost

The research and innovation collaboration of EDUC Universities takes charge with EDUC-WIDE: a Horizon Europe project for excellence, inclusiveness and impact.  

The European Commission supported the EDUC-WIDE project (Full project title: EmpoWering EDUC for Inclusive Development of the ERA) in its Horizon Europe call supporting European Excellence Initiative.  

The call was highly competitive, with only 12 projects funded from 61 submitted proposal, making this another major achievement and recognition for the EDUC Alliance.  

EDUC-WIDE is set to kick-off with a meeting in Brno on 11-12 March 2024. It will run until February 2027, with a total budget of 3,5 million EUR.  

Growing within and beyond EU  

With EDUC-WIDE, the EDUC University Alliance is welcoming a new member to its family, the Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University from Ukraine. We are looking forward to contributing to the European future of Ukraine by establishing firm connections of its R&I with the European Research Area (ERA). 

The main objective of EDUC-WIDE is to foster inclusive development of the ERA, reduce disparities in research excellence and research culture within and beyond EU, and strengthen European position in global R&I cooperation.  

To maximize the impact of the project, ten associated partners have joined the EDUC Universities in the EDUC-WIDE project. Among them, industrial clusters and innovation centres will connect EDUC Universities with regional innovation ecosystems, while Compostela Group of Universities will enable global outreach especially into Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Culture upgrade 

In practical terms, EDUC-WIDE will facilitate upgrading of the R&I culture of the EDUC UniverCity Alliance to match the current priorities of ERA by: 

  • imprinting Open Science (OS) into the R&I culture of EDUC and into the mindset of EDUC researchers 
  • implementing a reform of research assessment to recognize diversity and maximise the quality and impact of research 
  • opening varied career tracks to researchers and reducing inter-sectoral barriers 
  • supporting the exchange of researchers and their ideas, creating new R&I directions contributing to Green and Digital Transition in Europe, the Cancer Mission, and the UN SDGs 

Researchers from EDUC Universities can look forward to calls for mobility fellowships, access to research infrastructures, as well as R&I seed projects. EDUC-WIDE will also support leaders, managers and administrators involved in R&I with a broad range of trainings on Open Science, research assessment, career advisory services, research management and gender equality. 

The change 

Conclusively, EDUC-WIDE will empower the EDUC University Alliance to claim a central role as actor of change in its cities, regions, and countries. By change, we mean transition to knowledge-driven economy and society; a transition driven by green and digital technologies.  

The change shall respect the principles of sustainable development broadly – be protective to the environment, to societal cohesion, and to our European values.  

The change shall be inclusive; that is why we place a central focus on capacity development at partners from less performing countries in terms of R&I – Czechia, Hungary, and Ukraine.  

And the change that we envision will be driven from the bottom; we are looking forward to the initiative of individual researchers seeking collaboration within EDUC and we hope the project activities will provide useful means to connect across the Alliance.