The competition is the result of an initiative by French President Macron in 2017 to create around 20 European universities by 2025. In a first pilot call of this “European Excellence Strategy”, the EU selected seventeen alliances that will receive up to five million Euro each in funding between 2019 and 2022.
The successful alliance UNITE! (University Network for Innovation, Technology and Engineering) is coordinated by TU Darmstadt. With this alliance, the seven partner universities want to create a trans-European campus for students and scientists, involving regions and companies. Trans-European courses of study, scientific cooperation in teaching and research, and transnational knowledge transfer are to become a reality by 2025.
TU President Hans Jürgen Prömel ascribes the success of UNITE! to many years of successful cooperation: “For almost thirty years we have been working closely and trustingly with the six partners of the alliance in a joint network. UNITE! strives to be a role model for a truly integrated trans-European campus of a completely new quality that offers outstanding opportunities for students and teachers. At the same time, UNITE! aims at closely interconnecting our seven regions thereby creating a trans-European ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship.”
From Finland to Portugal
UNITE! extends 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. Therefore, UNITE! is receiving support from the EU of five million euros for the first three years.