The A4U European research office presents its work plan for 2024

OPERA, which this year celebrates its 15th anniversary, represents a strategic space in Brussels for the research staff of the 4 Universities Alliance. Pompeu Fabra University will occupy the rotating presidency of the Board of Directors of the A4U for the next two years, taking over from the Carlos III University of Madrid.

The Alliance 4 Universities ( A4U )’s Office for the Promotion of European Research Activities (OPERA), which includes Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), UAB, UAM and UPF, has recently presented its work plan proposals for the year 2024. One of its main objectives is to promote the international participation of research staff in European scientific projects.

OPERA’s new work plan focuses on four key areas. First, addressing critical research and innovation issues, developing a common strategy on human-centred artificial intelligence, on reducing the costs of open access and promoting R&D collaboration with Africa. Second, expanding and improving the collaboration of the A4U’s four European university support offices. Third, supporting institutions in implementing effective policies for attracting and retaining research talent. And fourth, increasing participation and impact within Horizon Europe, the European Union (EU)’s framework programme for research and innovation.

The A4U General Assembly was held last week at UC3M and was attended by all the alliance rectors, among them Laia de Nadal , rector of the UPF. During the session, the positions of the board of directors were renewed, with a two-year mandate and a rotating presidency among the four partner universities, with UPF as the university replacing UC3M leading the alliance in this period. During the session, the presentation of the new director of OPERA, Ignasi Salvadó, took place, who set the goal of consolidating the role of this office as a bridge between Brussels and Spain, promoting collaboration and knowledge exchange in research practices and their internationalisation. The value that OPERA represents for the Alliance universities was recognised by the four rectors.

In 2024, OPERA’s 15th anniversary will be celebrated in Brussels. To commemorate this anniversary, throughout the year the office will hold several events to recognise the contributions of its former directors (Marta Truco, Stephanie Ulbrig and Jorge Molina) in promoting European research and supporting researchers’ access to EU R&D funding.

"Working with such important research universities is a privilege and makes my role in Brussels really exciting. Promoting and supporting such excellent research and researchers is incredibly rewarding," said Dr Ignasi Salvadó, Director of OPERA.

Workspaces in the heart of Europe since 2009

Located in Brussels, OPERA works closely with the European project offices of each of the Alliance universities. It also works directly with the European Commission and other European institutions and networks, and maintains close links with Spanish institutions in Brussels operating in the field of R&D and innovation. The OPERA office provides A4U researchers with a set of meeting spaces (3 rooms with capacity for 15, 20 and 80 people) and 12 individual workstations with Internet connection and photocopy, fax and printing services. Access to them is free, subject to prior reservation. OPERA is also well connected to the airport and just a few minutes away from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and the European Parliament.

OPERA serves A4U researchers, a strategic university alliance between four leading Spanish public universities: UAB, UAM, UC3M and UPF. A4U’s objectives include promoting research in Europe; raising its profile and improving its international reputation by promoting contacts in priority and strategic countries and areas; improving mobility options for students, teaching staff and researchers; and enhancing teaching quality, with a clear commitment to inter-university degrees, programmes in English and online training.

L’Aliança 4 Universitats inaugura a Brussel·les una oficina per a la promoció de la investigació

L’Aliança 4 Universitats reforça la seva internacionalització amb una visita a Malàisia