The theme of this edition, "Innovation Ecosystems," captured the spirit of the meeting, where different debate sessions on the Alliance’s main priorities, meetings of the various Working Groups and Alliance projects, and training sessions have been held.
Tiziana Lippiello: "Becoming a legal entity is more than a mere formallity" EUTOPIA President Tiziana Lippiello , the Rector of Ca’Foscari University of Venice (UNIVE), inaugurated EUTOPIA Week on Monday. In her opening speech, she highlighted some of the Alliance’s key institutional achievements in recent months. She began by noting the formal establishment of EUTOPIA as a legal entity in a ceremony held at the European Parliament in September, considering it "more than a mere formality." She also emphasized the launch of new Connected Communities , the attraction of new projects like EUTOPIA Health, the inclusion of the fifth global partner, the University of Arizona, and other partners joining the Alliance in the coming year.
Ursula M. Staudinger , TUD Rector, highlighted the role of the German university as a hub for initiatives in innovation, research, and knowledge transfer excellence, emphasizing the value of belonging to a European university alliance. During the inauguration, student representatives presented some of the shared initiatives of the Alliance, such as the Catalan MOOC offered by UPF, and representatives from the Young Leaders Academy and Connected Communities explained the depth of the projects they are involved in.
Also on this first day, an open session on the state of the Alliance took place, where project and Working Group leaders presented the main strengths and challenges they face. Representing UPF, as the coordinator of the Alliance’s largest project, EUTOPIA MORE, Vice-Rector for Internationalization Helena Ramalhinho , along with EUTOPIA Secretary-General Mattia Bellotti , intervened. They shared with partners the coordination and governance tasks of the project and the Alliance carried out by UPF, along with the General Secretary.
After Monday’s inauguration, during the second and third days of the meeting, meetings of the governing bodies and working groups of the Alliance took place, such as the Advisory Council, the Student Council, the Academic Council, the meeting of Institutional Coordinators, and the communication team.
Everyone’s voice to gather proposals and new challengesOne of the most prominent sessions of the week took place on Tuesday, with an open debate and deliberation format on various topics of interest to European university alliances, and to EUTOPIA in particular. Throughout the morning, parallel debates were held on the role of students, multilingualism, artificial intelligence, or responsible internationalization, among others.
These and other topics discussed by all participants in the EUTOPIA Week will be addressed by the Alliance’s management bodies in the coming months, with the aim of responding to the concerns raised in the session.
Beyond these discussions, Wednesday afternoon served to reap the fruits of the EUTOPIA TRAIN project, concluding in 2023. Its coordinators organized two conferences on the challenges and experiences of the project that have helped define the Alliance’s strategy regarding its Research and Innovation policy, with the participation of prominent members of the Dresden scientific community.
The role of the Young Leaders AcademyWhile a significant part of the sessions has focused on the challenges and achievements in building the Alliance itself, the Young Leaders Academy (YLA) has also played a prominent role. It is a community of high-level young researchers from the Alliance universities and their global partners --two from each university and call-- who receive training, resources, and tools to work together with other EUTOPIA researchers.
In this EUTOPIA Week, the researchers selected in 2023 presented their main projects and received various specific training sessions. From UPF, Nausikań El-Mecky, a professor in the Department of Humanities, and Marta Barniol-Xicota, a professor in the Department of Medicine and Life Sciences, participated and will be part of the program until 2025."