The Unite! community in a conference room during the 6th Turin Dialogue last September.
The Unite! community in a conference room during the 6th Turin Dialogue last September.
Unite! launches IRIS, its Research & Innovation Services network
The Unite! community in a conference room during the 6th Turin Dialogue last September.
The project is the first of the pilots promoted by the alliance to achieve a common institutional transformation of its member universities.
Unite! has launched the first pilot project related to the research agenda. This is a joint network of Integrated Research and Innovation Services (IRIS), through which common lines will be established for the future development of the alliance in the field of research and towards future support for the application to EU funding

Through the regular interaction of the Grants Offices, Technology Transfer Offices, HR and Open Science Offices of each partner university, a set of services will be identified to promote international collaboration opportunities, the first seed of institutional transformation in the management of the alliance, and which include the training of professional profiles to promote Unite! services and the design of R&I services. 

In fact, the network aims to boost the transformation of research and innovation in Unite! universities and to become an interface with the EU for the design and deployment of future EU funding grants. In addition, IRIS will be connected to the Unite! E+ Service Office, which works as a facilitator to enhance mobility and facilitate student participation. In this way, Unite! will have a Support Service that will work to accompany both students and researchers.

The Unite! H2020 pilots

Pilots are small-scale preliminary studies conducted to assess feasibility, duration, cost, adversities, and improve study design prior to the development of a large-scale research project. In the case of Unite! its research and innovation strategy is managed through the Unite! H2020 project, which launched its pilot projects during the 6th Turin Dialogue last September. 

UNITE! H2020 will have a set of seven synergistic pilots or case studies, which will be developed with the contribution of all all alliance partners:

- Research Agenda: with two pilot projects, one on the creation of a network of R&D services (IRIS) and one on an open network of experts.
- Research infrastructures: with 2 pilot projects on the convergence of IR in the energy sector.
- Academia-industry cooperation: with a pilot on the creation of a network of TT offices.
- Human capital: with pilot actions for the attraction, circulation, motivation and valorisation of talented human resources.
- Open science and innovation: with a case study on best practices, enablers and inhibitors in scientific disciplines in universities.
- Social outreach and citizen engagement: with a repository of activities, best practices and channels for citizen outreach, specific SDGs and mapping of social organizations.

Promoting awareness on research management

On 27th September 2022, representatives from the Politecnico di Torino - coordinator of the Unite!H2020 project - ISINNOVA, Tor Vergata University of Rome and APRE gathered in Rome to bring to life the first public debate around raising awareness of the Research Manager and Administrator (RMA) profession and its role and place in Europe, especially in Italy.

The day focused on presenting national and international training opportunities for RMAs in higher education and reflecting on the lack of formal recognition of the competences and role of this job profile.
Stijn Delauré, Policy Officer, Research Actors and Careers Unit, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission, gave a keynote speech on the implementation of the ERA Policy Agenda, with a focus on the Research Management Initiative, whose implementation will be supported by Member States in the coming month. Dipti Pandya, from the EARMA Board, presented the figures, activities and future plans of the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators. An overview of EC funded projects (foRMAtion, RMROADMAP and CARDEA) was given. 

Many of the participants in the event were members of the Italian network of research managers and administrators, consisting of 25 Italian institutions and led by Valentina Romano from the UNITE-H2020 project coordination team.