Image of a meeting in a room full of people
Image of a meeting in a room full of people
Unite! and Una Europa join forces to come up with innovative solutions for the advancement of sustainable energy in Europe
Image of a meeting in a room full of people
The matchmaking event between the two university alliances encouraged further research activities and collaboration within the European research area.
Unite! and Una Europa, two alliances gathering a total of 20 European universities, have teamed up for joint matchmaking activities devoted to sustainable energy in Horizon Europe. The two events – a digital pre-matchmaking and an in-person meeting in Brussels – brought together 46 researchers from 15 universities and 10 countries. Three new European research consortia are now preparing proposals for upcoming calls in Horizon Europe Cluster 5 “Climate, Energy and Mobility”.

The researchers’ meetings were preceded by a preparatory phase of several weeks. At its end, Unite! and Una Europa had identified several research topics with a particularly high potential for fruitful matchmaking. These topics included innovative energy supply, the smart use of bio-refineries and geothermal energy, as well as buildings designed for changing climates and user needs.

The digital pre-matchmaking took place on 19 January 2023, one and a half weeks before the in-person meeting. Besides offering introductory information about proposal writing in Horizon Europe, this event allowed the alliances’ researchers to gain first impressions about the others’ academic background and research ideas. The participants teamed up in small working groups, discussing the ways in which each partner could contribute to future collaborative projects.

The in-person meeting in Brussels was hosted by the Polish National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR Office) on 30-31 January 2023. The 30 participants of this meeting included not only researchers from all over Europe, but also research advisors and other representatives of both university alliances. The event started off with a keynote speech by Hélène Chraye, head of the unit ‘Clean Energy Transition’ of the EU’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. Ms Chraye stressed the vital role of sustainability and sustainable energy in the EU’s policy goals for the next years and decades. In the course of the two-days event, the participating researchers had ample opportunity to discuss their ideas, assign specific roles and tasks to each partner, and to ask questions about the path towards receiving EU research funding. The meeting was concluded by a pitching session in which each coordinator presented their project idea and consortium to the other participants. 

Three working groups decided to take their collaboration to the next level, as it were: Having set up their own agendas for submitting joint research proposals in the coming months and years, they have made a true commitment to the new partners they found during the matchmaking. These three groups are working on the following topics:

  • HORIZON-CL5-2024-D3-02-03: “Development of smart concepts of integrated energy driven bio-refineries for co-production of advanced biofuels, bio-chemicals and biomaterials” 
  • HORIZON-CL5-2024-D3-01-06: “Innovative applications/integration of geothermal heating and cooling in industry” 
  • HORIZON-CL5-2024-D4-02-04: “Design for adaptability, re-use and deconstruction of buildings, in line with the principles of circular economy (Built4People Partnership)
Several researchers made known their wish for similar alliance-wide events in the future. The matchmaking offered a glimpse at how university alliances, such as Unite! and Una Europa, can foster research activities and collaboration across Europe. They can offer researchers a versatile platform for sharing and discussing ideas, and for getting in touch with like-minded partners one would otherwise be unaware of. This can be an important step towards unlocking the potential of the European research area.

Unite! & Una Europa strengthen their partnership

On the basis of this partnership both alliances have been able to make progress on the following issues: