Avans grant application for European university

Avans University of Applied Sciences joined forces with nine other European universities of applied sciences and research universities to submit a grant proposal to the European Commission for the development of a joint European university. As PIONEER, Avans and its partner institutions are working together on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11: Inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities.

Subsidieaanvraag Europese universiteit PIONEER

As a partner in PIONEER, Avans underscores the importance of European cooperation. This cooperation will receive a huge boost in the event that the grant is awarded, although the consortium intends to continue working together regardless. Europe intends to develop 60 European universities – so far, over 50 have been established – with the goal of promoting mutual cooperation in higher education in the areas of educational development, research and exchange (the physical and virtual mobility of students and staff).

Combination of educational capacity and research potential

PIONEER is an alliance of 10 universities of applied sciences and research universities in Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Czech Republic, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The educational institutions combine their educationalist capacity and research potential to work together on SDG 11. This shows that the cooperation goes beyond simply exchanging students and lecturers. For example, the partners also want to bring their research lines and professors together in order to speed up research and improve clout on the one hand, and to learn across the board from this cooperation as an institution on the other hand.

Five of the partners already have a longstanding cooperation under the name PIONEER. In 2022, Avans was asked to join this network. With this addition, PIONEER hopes to improve its chances of becoming a recognised European university, mainly because Avans has been involved in activities in the field of SDG 11 for many years and in light of its experiences with co-creation. The Urban Living Lab Breda is one example; a living community that works with residents on the development of new technological and social solutions and forms, for a sustainable, healthy, liveable and inclusive city environment. Avans is one of the initiators of this initiative, which fits in perfectly with SDG11 and the deployment of PIONEER.

On the right track

“The Urban Living Lab is an example of a partnership based on the quadruple helix, in which we involve the business community, government agencies and citizens in our research”, explains Jacomine Ravensbergen, acting president of the Executive Board, who hopes the grant application will be approved. “We are on the right track with PIONEER. The choices we make together make sense and we are starting to understand each other more and more. What’s more, we are the only consortium with SDG 11 as a key priority. Although it will not be as easy as ABC, I am hopeful.”

Please also watch the explanatory animation about PIONEER (in Spanish with English subtitles) from the University of Huelva, one of our partners in the consortium.