Unite! – the University Network for Innovation, Technology and Engineering


Unite! is a network of universities in seven countries that will set a new model for a European virtual and physical inter-university campus. Unite! will transform European higher education through multidisciplinary, multicultural and multilingual education, research and entrepreneurship. Unite! will connect engineering, science and technology with the grand challenges of society in co-creation by students, faculty and staff – providing skills for a new generation of European and global citizens.

This will be achieved through

  • Mobility for all students, extending to new short-term programmes, summer schools and joint programmes.
  • Mobility for all staff, including thematic staff weeks and a teaching staff pilot community that will test innovative ways of teaching.
  • Virtual Campus that includes a platform for digital mobility, virtual spaces and online tools.
  • Teaching and Learning Academy to help professors and educators develop models for flexible study paths and innovative pedagogies.
  • Trans-regional network for open innovation and entrepreneurship that enables sharing of local and regional education, supports services for future entrepreneurs and aims to provide input to regional strategies, e.g., Smart Specialisation.

Who are we?

Unite! alliance partner logos

Unite! is a network of universities extended from Finland to Portugal, a distance of more than 3.300 km, connecting European regions of economic prospect, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Together the seven partners have 167,000 students and annually 36,700 graduates. They are already cooperating closely on more than 80 EU projects and have exchanged over 2,000 students in the past five years.

The Unite! partners share a common view towards regional embeddedness, technology transfer, and engineering and science education, with complementary multidisciplinary approaches.

Strong European geographical regions are covered by Unite!:

  • Northern Europe: Two major cities or regions, strong in entrepreneurship and innovation: KTH Stockholm/Sweden, and Aalto in Espoo-Helsinki/Finland
  • Western Europe: Two partners from the two largest economies and drivers of the European Union, TU Darmstadt in Germany (Hesse, Rhein-Main Region) and Grenoble INP in France (Rhone Alpes)
  • Southern Europe: Three major economic and industrial centres ranging from Portugal to Northern Italy: University of Lisbon in Portugal, UPC Barcelona in Spain/Catalonia and Politecnico di Torino in Italy/Piedmont.

Unite Map with all university locations
Unite! originates from the CLUSTER network – Consortium Linking Universities of Science and Technology for Education and Research – and builds on three decades of close and dedicated cooperation on different aspects of higher education, research, innovation and social responsibility.

Based on their long-standing successful cooperation within the CLUSTER network, Unite! partners share a strong commitment to implement a paradigm shift for excellence in learning, teaching and research in accordance with the European core values of human dignity, liberal democracy, the rule of law, and social inclusion.

Unite! is committed to an ethical, safe and sustainable use of technology, in line with fair and open science to generate innovative, feasible and effective solutions to global challenges.

Vision

Unite! is a University Network for Innovation, Technology and Engineering, which will

  • EMPOWER students, staff and faculty to become the owners of a new European University concept by encouraging an active participation at all levels in the development of flexible study paths and joint curricula with embedded mobility across Europe and the world.
  • DEVELOP a European University by sharing resources and services in education, research and management, by removing structural barriers and by generating new frameworks for a European degree.
  • PIONEER new concepts of education and research in science, technology and engineering by drawing on innovative transdisciplinary approaches stemming from art, design, architecture, business, social sciences and the humanities.
  • EDUCATE a new generation of European students in science, technology and engineering who actively contribute to the advancement of knowledge, European competitiveness and the development of solutions for societal challenges.
  • EXEMPLIFY the role of a (virtual and physical) European inter-university campus that connects the regional innovation ecosystems of its member universities, makes their boundaries fluid and functions as a platform of open interaction and the free circulation of ideas.


The European Universities Initiative

The European Commission proposed the European Universities Initiative in 2019 to push towards establishing a European Education Area by 2025. The European Universities are transnational alliances of higher education institutions from across the EU that share a long-term strategy and promote European values and identity. The initiative is designed to significantly strengthen mobility of students and staff, and foster the quality, inclusiveness and competitiveness of European higher education.

Responding to a call in 2019 under the Erasmus+ Framework Programme, the first 17 alliances were selected for a pilot phase of 3 years to build the foundations of the future European Universities. 24 more alliances followed in the 2nd call in 2020, as well as additional funding by the EU under the Horizon 2020 call “Science with and for Society”, in order to boost the Research and Innovation dimension of the European Universities towards a European Research Area.