The alliance known as UNITE! (University Network for Innovation, Technology and Engineering) is coordinated by TU Darmstadt. The seven partner universities aim to use the alliance to create a European inter-university campus for students and scientists while at the same time incorporating regions and companies, thereby making transeuropean courses of study, scientific cooperation in teaching and research and international knowledge transfer almost routine by 2025.
TU President Hans Jürgen Prömel explained: “We have applied to the EU Commission together with six universities with which we have had close and trusting cooperation in a joint network for almost thirty years. With UNITE! we intend to create a European inter-university campus of a totally new quality that offers outstanding opportunities to students and teachers alike. A special focus is being placed on the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship, to which end we also wish to closely integrate our seven regions.”
From Finland to Portugal
UNITE! ranges from Finland to Portugal. As leading technical universities in their respective countries and regions, the partners are both central actors in their regional innovation ecosystems and drivers of the international networking of the regions. Via the multidisciplinary and multicultural education of their students, their aim is to prepare their graduates for the future demands of the labour market and enable them to solve global challenges.
The decision on the project will be made in the summer of this year. If the application from UNITE! is accepted, the alliance will receive support from the EU of up to five million euros for the first three years.
Background to UNITE!
In addition to TU Darmstadt UNITE! includes Aalto University (Finland), the KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), the Grenoble Institute of Technology (France), the Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy), the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Spain) and the University of Lisbon (Portugal). Together the seven partners have 167,000 students and annually 36,700 graduates. They are already cooperating closely on more than 80 EU projects and have exchanged over 2,000 students in the past five years. They have all been members of the CLUSTER network (Consortium Linking Universities of Science and Technology for Education and Research) of twelve leading European technical universities since 1990.