UAS4EUROPE: Smart Partnerships for Regional Impact
UAS4EUROPE is a joint initiative from EURASHE, UASnet, swissuniversities, Hochschule Bayern e.V. (supported by Bavarian Research Alliance) and the Austrian FHK.
Europe needs more and stronger involvement of the Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS). This conclusion is unavoidable if we look at the European objectives in the area of innovation and growth. The European challenge-based research approach must generate more impact power. We believe there is an insufficiently used reserve of impact power resting with the UAS on European level.
Increasing the impact of applied research and innovation is the way forward to enhance Europe’s competitiveness and ability to create more growth and jobs. European Universities of Applied Sciences play an important regional role in delivering applied research and innovation on the one hand and on the other hand they act as an important link between SMEs and industry, traditional universities, societal organizations and VET and other educational institutions in the region.
On Tuesday 31 May 2016, board members of the five organisations behind UAS4EUROPE presented a joint position paper to the European Commission, Robert-Jan Smits (DG Research and Innovation) during the launch event of UAS4EUROPE.
The aim of the joint position paper is to show the roles of the UAS and their value to Europe:
1. As regional connectors: experts in having the right connections and constant cooperation in the region, from traditional universities, SMEs, industry, civil society and local and regional authorities. The UAS are at the core of regional development and in constant contact with all the stakeholders. They can respond quickly to the regional and market needs.
2. As international key players: collaboration with people across borders: from all over Europe and from around the world. This supplies the UAS with a culture of openness and allows UAS to connect with a broad spectrum of contacts and networks. A genuine culture of sharing information and knowledge adds to the success of delivering projects with societal impact.
3. As competent project leaders and evaluators for European programs: The European UAS are already leading in different kinds of multidisciplinary projects. As research actors they have the competence and capacity to lead more European projects. The UAS applied researchers have unique skills sets, which can contribute to and complement the traditional university and industry researchers’ skills as evaluators of for example H2020 projects.
4. As consulting bodies: being part of European and national level discussions, advisory boards and decision-making on calls in relevant fields of research and innovation.
5. As contributors to European entrepreneurship: The European UAS are the key entrepreneur educators in their regions. In this way they contribute to European growth and to more jobs. The working life skills the UAS project work offers to their students strongly enhance employability, professional innovation and trendsetting.