European Universities alliances add start-ups to playbook

The European Universities initiative was conceived to develop higher education across the European Union, with a tight focus on students and teaching. Higher education institutions from different countries were invited to form alliances and bid for Erasmus+ funds to develop joint curricula and boost mobility. But innovation and entrepreneurship increasingly appear in the alliance playbook, particularly when the partners are close to the market, writes Ian Mundell for Science|Business.

For E³UDRES², an alliance made up of smaller regional universities of applied sciences, it was natural to include innovation and entrepreneurship in its programme. “As universities dealing with professional and higher education, we are already closer to the market and hopefully also closer to society, which is why innovation plays a crucial role for us,” said Hannes Raffaseder of St Pölten University of Applied Sciences in Austria, lead coordinator of the alliance.

Others see it as a logical extension of an alliance’s education mission. “Entrepreneurship and innovation are a big part of education today, because they allow students to be more open-minded, to find value propositions in any environment or context they might be in,” said Antonia Christou of the Cyprus University of Technology, who coordinates Inno-EUt+, an innovation and entrepreneurship programme for the European University of Technology (EUt+) alliance.
Full report on the Science|Business site