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Okres sprawozdawczy: 2021-09-01 do 2023-02-28

ENHANCERIA aims to strengthen the research and innovation dimensions of the ENHANCE Alliance. The project brings together seven member universities from the ENHANCE Alliance: Chalmers, NTNU, Polimi, RWTH Aachen, TU Berlin, UPV and WUT.

The ENHANCE Alliance and the project take as a starting point the ambition of universities to become and act as drivers and enablers of sustainable development, in line with the vision of the European Commission for the modern universities in the European Strategy for Universities. The ENHANCE Alliance brings together technology-focused universities with different backgrounds, ranging from more comprehensive universities with technological and natural science main profiles to more specialised polytechnic universities. Common to all partners is a close collaboration with private companies and other societal institutions and stakeholders.

Interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral research collaboration is becoming a natural approach to tackling societal challenges, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the energy crisis, environmental crisis and the climate crisis. This requires understanding and exchange around new ways of working with research and innovation, around entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems, around human resources and career development in higher education, and also around the role of research infrastructures.

Based on this, four focus areas have been selected for the collaborative effort in ENHANCERIA:

- Sustainable development through transdisciplinary research (FA1)
- Sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems (FA2)
- Human resources and researcher career development (FA3)
- Research infrastructures (FA4)

In combination, these focus areas target several of the transformation modules defined in the SwafS-call directly, and all indirectly.

The main objective of ENHANCERIA is to combine insights developed with respect to these focus areas in developing a transformation agenda for the Alliance on the role of universities as drivers and enablers of sustainable development. The sub-objectives of the project are to:

- Explore practices, ways of working and structures across the Alliance
- Establish and widen international networks of employees within research and innovation
- Develop models for collaboration and recommendations for implementation
- Disseminate and exchange models and practices
- Increase the internationalisation of research and innovation activities
- Identify challenges and barriers at institutional, national and European level
- Develop new initiatives to be funded through internal, national and international sources
ENHANCERIA follows a general research methodology for the development of insights across the focal areas. This implies: 1) identify, map and connect, 2) compare, exchange and learn, 3) analyse, synthesize and reflect, 4) develop models, approaches, lessons learned and recommendations, 5) develop common strategies and action plan, 6) implement, 7) spread and widen, and 8) identify opportunities for further development and funding.

In the first reporting period of the project, the main focus across the selected focus areas has been to develop a broad knowledge base across the universities in the consortium, in addition to establishing the project and necessary guiding documents.

So far, more than 40 transdisciplinary initiatives and more than 80 initiatives within sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation (SEI) have been mapped. More than 50 research infrastructures have been selected to be part of the project, and the partners have exchanged current practices on human resources. This is documented through deliverables for the different focus areas and, additionally, through cross-area deliverables with preliminary results of the analyses of interconnections . Within the FA2, a framework on sustainable return on investment has been developed, in addition to research instruments. Within the FA3 a guidance tool for researcher career development was also developed in the first reporting period.

The main results so far can be summarised as the establishment of a collaborative platform, and a better joint understanding and overview of approaches, practices and structures within the four focus areas of ENHANCERIA. The mapping provides a better understanding of the diversity within the alliance and represents both a knowledge base and preparation for upcoming activities, recommendations and development of an enhanced toolbox that support a transformation agenda on research and innovation for the ENHANCE Alliance.

From the mapping of initiatives, we can also see some examples that bridge across the focus areas. Most activities need a form for infrastructure where the activities take place, and many transdisciplinary initiatives combine research, education, and innovation in collaboration with non-academic stakeholders.
The state-of-the-art within the selected focus areas at the partner universities has been mapped in the project, and the mapping works as a knowledge base and inspiration pool to the involved institutions. In the continuation of the project, the knowledge base will be used to develop a transformation agenda for the ENHANCE Alliance. This will include a toolbox with recommendations, guidelines and possible pathways for universities within the four focus areas of ENHANCERIA. The knowledge base will also serve as a platform to develop further networks within the ENHANCE Alliance. For example, in FA2 and FA3 there are clear expectations to develop an alliance-wide network within sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation, and communities of practice connected to specific types of research infrastructures. The results from the project are expected to be utilised well beyond the end date of this project.

In addition to making tangible contributions to the partner universities and the ENHANCE Alliance, the project expects to contribute towards the further development of the European Research Area, and modernisation of universities in Europe. Some of the impacts we expect to achieve from the project are:

- Support, facilitate, enable and increase (structured) ways of working across sectors on grand challenges (e.g. green and digital transition) and the UN SDGs, with universities as drivers of such joint efforts.
- Increased awareness in universities on the need to increase societal engagement and involvement.
- Enhanced agenda for sustainable entrepreneurial universities in Europe.
- Broadened perspective of entrepreneurship and innovation in and around universities from commercialisation to include holistic and sustainable perspectives.
- Better working conditions for researchers through enhanced implementation of the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.
- Increased attractiveness of universities as workplaces.
- Increased visibility and access opportunity of strategic research infrastructures among the Alliance.
- Identified areas for enhanced and continued collaboration to strengthen research and innovation dimensions of ENHANCE.
- Increased international collaboration among ENHANCE partners for students, academic staff, administrative staff and technical staff.
First transdisciplinary walk and talk session at TU Berlin.