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ECIU University Research Institute for Smart European Regions

Project description

Preparing cities for future challenges

More than half the world’s population lives in cities. But problems are rife in urban areas. Making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable is a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal. This requires deep changes in related research, study and management based on dialogue with society, beyond traditional physical borders or limitations like country or discipline specificities. In this context, the EU-funded SMART-ER project will develop a new model of research and innovation through an alliance of universities for virtual research, innovation and education: the ECIU University Research Institute. It will create and validate new models of performing collaborative research in a virtual environment and novel transformative approaches and practices.


The ECIU University Research Institute for Smart European Regions (SMART-ER) is a research, innovation and education alliance, enabling all member universities to jointly address complex societal challenges under the UN SDG11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable).
SMART-ER, organized as a virtual research institute, designs and implements research, value-captures and delivers solutions to SDG11 challenges, identified by the ECIU University Erasmus+ project. SMART-ER, together with stakeholder groups at a local and international level, showcases and works according to a shared R&I Agenda, focused on social needs, and its implementation plan. SMART-ER will align and bring together research capacities, both scientific and management capacities, bring together researchers and share a common vision, creating a virtual research institute as an example of how to overcome the limits of each single institution.
It means, in fact, to implement a new model of doing research and innovation without walls, because:
• is a way to leave behind the ivory tower, promoting dialogue with society
• it will overcome the limitations of disciplines, sectors and countries
• it will be mainly based on setting a virtual collaborative environment
All partners will join efforts to develop and test transformative approaches focused on R&I that are so needed:
• Mapping relevant information regarding ECIU University resources and infrastructures, practices and actors needed to move to the second phase
• Developing the internal plans, procedures, training contents and platforms that will allow the creation and the operability of the SMART-ER
• A capacity building programme (Seed Programme and SMART-ER Academy) and citizen science initiatives that will be used as a testbed to put into practice all built mechanisms and structures
• Validating the pilots and procedures
• Producing guidelines and toolkits for tested models replication and practices of reference


Net EU contribution
€ 193 834,36
7522 NB Enschede

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Oost-Nederland Overijssel Twente
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Participants (11)