The European Universities initiative proposed by the European Commission in 2019 is designed to significantly strengthen mobility of students and staff, and foster the quality, inclusiveness and competitiveness of European higher education. 17 university alliances got funded from the Erasmus+ programme in 2019 for a three year pilot period and Unite! is one of them. Unite! is also financed by the H2020 programme “Science with and for Society” allowing us to create an integrated, shared and long-term research and innovation (R&I) strategy.
What does Unite! do?
Unite! will create a new model for European university education by development of unique joint programs that combine multidisciplinary, multilingual and multicultural elements into common curricula and flexible study pathways. In the future, the aim is also to create study paths in which students can combine studies in different European countries leading to a joint degree, or a European degree. A strong emphasis is on the development of more flexible, short-term mobilities, as well as blended and hybrid models for student exchange. Excellence in teaching and learning is the foundation on which Unite! builds all of its actions and activities, extending to degree-seeking students at all levels, to non-traditional students, and life-long learners. To tackle grand societal challenges we focus our educational activities especially on energy, industry 4.0, artificial intelligence and entrepreneurship. We collaborate with the local industry and entrepreneurial ecosystems. See here for more detailed descriptions of the task forces.
UNITE.H2020 project targets to create an integrated research and innovation (R&I) environment for the seven universities with a common R&I strategy, shared infrastructures and a shared innovation ecosystem supported by a community of technology transfer offices. We are also designing a new open science and innovation governance model and policy for scientific knowledge co-creation and transfer. Reducing barriers and creating novel integrated strategies to strengthen human resources’ motivation, equality, career progress and reward is at the core. We involve societal organizations in the research and innovation activities carried out by the alliance especially focusing on the grand challenges of society. See here for more detailed descriptions of the work packages.
There are altogether some 50 staff members at Aalto who work in the different task forces of Unite!. President Ilkka Niemelä and Vice President for Education Petri Suomala represent Aalto University in the Unite! Governing Platform. VP Petri Suomala is the legal representative of Unite! at Aalto.
Unite! activities at Aalto are headed by Professor Katrina Nordström. Erasmus+ project manager is Anneli Vartio and H2020 project manager is Rubén Vicente Sáez. Suvi Lavinto takes care of communications. You can find their contact information below.
Unite! presents its strategic roadmap towards open science in the digital age
The roadmap includes objectives, recommendations and actions that Aalto and the other universities of the alliance can promote to make Unite! a European driver of open science and innovation by 2023.