Croissant Event 2024: “Rebuild, Reshape, Revitalise”

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As regionally embedded higher education institutions, Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) work in close concertation with local stakeholders from industry, public authorities and civil society to jointly address the challenges and opportunities on the ground. In addition, UAS are increasingly engaged in international collaborative research and innovation to leverage a diverse range of perspectives and expertise. By connecting with partners worldwide, UAS contribute to a collective pool of knowledge, transcending geographical boundaries and ensuring that innovations developed locally can benefit and inspire communities on a global scale.

As a development that bears the prospect to mobilise the full potential of all types of higher education institutions, the ongoing research assessment reform implemented through the Coalition on Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) deserves highlighting. With the intention of striking a healthy balance of quantitative and qualitative excellence criteria, CoARA comes with the vision of a science system that adequately reflects the diversity of the research sector – from basic research to applied sciences, from young talents to experienced researchers, considering all types of research outputs.

While CoARA was very carefully constituted through in-depth bottom-up discussions, facilitated by the European Commission, the set-up of the Steering Board and the selection of thematic and cross-cutting working groups, it is now time to ensure the reform’s implementation!

Against this background, we want to use the UAS4EUROPE Croissant Event 2024 to discuss how to seize the momentum to rebuild, reshape and revitalise our science system through CoARA.

The event will be kindly hosted by the Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU (Av. de Cortenbergh 30, Bruxelles) on 12 June 2024.



The event will be moderated by Massimo Busuoli, Director of the NTNU Brussels office

9:15 – 10:00 Registration and morning coffee
10:00 – 10:05


Welcome address by the host

·         H.E. Franz Wirtenberger, Deputy Permanent Representative of Austria to the EU, COREPER I Ambassador (tbc)

10:05 – 10:15


Welcome address by UAS4EUROPE

·         Marjolijn Brussaard, Prof. Em., Co-Chairwoman of UAS4EUROPE

10:15 – 10:30 Setting the scene: “(Re-)Build: What to expect from the future of Horizon?”

·         Anna Panagopoulou, Director for ERA & Innovation, DG RTD, European Commission

10:30 – 10:45 Keynote address: “(Re-)Shaping research capacity at UAS: The case of professional doctorates”

·         Frank van der Zwan-Scholtz, Quartermaster Professional Doctorates, Vereniging Hogescholen

10:45 – 11:45 Panel discussion: “(Re-)Vitalising science: How to reform our research system through CoARA?”

·         Anna Panagopoulou, Director for ERA & Innovation, DG RTD, European Commission

·         Dr. Isabelle Halleux, Advisor to the Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, Government of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles

·         FH-Prof. Dr. Heimo Sandtner, Rector, FH Campus Wien

·         Member of the CoARA Steering Board (tbd)

11:45 – 12:00 Handover to the Finnish presidency of UAS4EUROPE and Closing