On 1 March 2021, EU-CONEXUS, the European University for Smart Urban Coastal Sustainability, from which the Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest is part of, started implementing the project ‘EU-CONEXUS Research for Society (RFS)’ funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101017436.
During the virtual Kick-off event on March 2, 2021, the researchers’ community came together to discuss the project’s impact and the project participants’, as well as the European Commission’s, expectations of the project implementation. During the event, attention was focused on such topics as how to better relate science to innovation, socially responsible human resources management, joint research infrastructures and resources, knowledge transfer, open science, and citizen involvement in research. Moreover, EU-CONEXUS RFS will compare different national legal and institutional environments for research conducting, help to identify barriers in elaborating joint European research strategies and programmes and to facilitate research collaborations. Doru-Leonard Irimie and Isabelle de Meeus d’Argenteuil, project officers at the Research Executive Agency, expressed their positive expectations of the fluent fulfillment of this project.
In his welcoming address, the Chair of the EU-CONEXUS Governing Board Jean-Marc Ogier underlined the strategic importance of this additional support to the European University initiative referring to the development of its research potential. “While each of the partner universities is quite small in reality, together we can reach staff numbers that are very significant, and if we consider the fact that all the staff is going to be concentrated on the discussion on the smart urban coastal sustainability, this could become a real strength at the worldwide level”, says Mr. Jean-Marc Ogier.
This project is about creating a new approach to interdisciplinary research within a transnational research environment addressing European and global initiatives for sustainable development, such as the Green Deal and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “The project relies on great researchers, ready to collaborate and share their expertise and experience, and open to qualitatively new, participatory and innovative partnerships”, notes Rasa Viederyte, RFS Project Manager.
EU-CONEXUS RFS aims at institutional transformation at all partner universities in order to create favourable conditions for the development of a multidisciplinary, challenge-driven, and internationally competitive research and innovation area based on a transnational inter-university campus. According to Isabella Baer-Eiselt, Executive Director of EU-CONEXUS, “The project will work on a structural level for the improvement and modernisation of conditions for conducting research, at each university and within an inter-university system. It will significantly strengthen the comprehensiveness of the institutional development of the European University and enable the provision of a fully-fledged university service by covering education, research, and innovation on equal ground.”
The project partners from France, Lithuania, Greece, Romania, Spain, and Croatia and associated partners of the European University from Ireland, Germany and Cyprus will implement the project tasks and provide their significant contributions within a period of 3 years.
Project lead partner: La Rochelle Université, France
Agricultural University of Athens, Greece
Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest, Romania
Klaipeda University, Lithuania
Universidad Catolica de Valencia, Spain
University of Zadar, Croatia
Associated partners of the European University:
Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland
University of Rostock, Germany
Frederick University, Cyprus