EUTOPIA alliance receives €2 million from EU

EUTOPIA alliance receives €2 million from EU

Open access, HR and valorisation: with EUTOPIA-TRAIN, six universities – including VUB – are investing in cross-border research and education

On 24 July 2020, the EUTOPIA-TRAIN project was approved under the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. In the Science With and For Society category, the EUTOPIA Alliance project was awarded €2 million in project funds.

EUTOPIA is an alliance of six like-minded universities: Vrije Universiteit Brussel, University of Gothenburg, CY Cergy Paris Université, Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, University of Warwick, and University of Ljubljana. In 2019, it was officially recognised as a European University by the European Commission, and has already received €5 million in project funding for its three-year EUTOPIA2050 pilot project.

EUTOPIA-TRAIN (Transformation of Research And Innovation) is a cross-border research and education project embedded in the full academic EUTOPIA environment. It has two objectives: to create pan-EUTOPIA research and innovation communities and to open them up to businesses, students, policymakers and wider society. EUTOPIA-TRAIN includes an open access metadata portal, a common HR strategy and the creation of a EUTOPIA office for grants, innovation and legal affairs.

“VUB was asked to take the lead in setting up an HR strategy within EUTOPIA,” says Raf Devos, HR director at VUB. “We don’t want academics to struggle with mobility between partners. Whether they commute between Jette and Etterbeek, or between Gothenburg and Barcelona, that shouldn’t really make a difference. The university administrations must support our professors, researchers and students in this. Corona means that this is still a long way off, but we are already preparing that future within the EUTOPIA family. We want to be a pioneer in this within Europe. By doing so, we strengthen our European research and innovation potential and ultimately create a better world."

VUB rector Caroline Pauwels: “I am proud that the EUTOPIA alliance was selected by the European Commission for their EUTOPIA-TRAIN project. Our goal is to create a common European learning and knowledge community that transforms our universities into ‘living labs’ for education, research and innovation. Through open science and open education, with EUTOPIA we are creating a common ‘multiverse’ with a strong multilingual, multidisciplinary and multicultural research and education agenda.



Mieke Gijsemans -

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EUTOPIA is an alliance of six leading, like-minded European universities committed to creating a connected and inclusive community to address local and global challenges. The aim is to contribute to a new model of higher education in Europe. The alliance is made up of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), University of Gothenburg (Sweden), CY Cergy Paris Université (France), Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona (Spain), University of Warwick (United Kingdom) and University of Ljubljana (Slovenia). EUTOPIA brings together more than 165,000 students, 30,000 staff, research centres in 760 areas of knowledge, and 90,000 international alumni in six countries.

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