29 July 2020

EU support for extended university collaboration


The 4EU+ University Alliance, of which the University of Copenhagen is a member, has received EU funding to develop a collaboration project that will boost support for research and innovation. The project will provide the basis for making recommendations for the future EU research and funding policy.

Until now, joint programmes and student exchanges have been the core of the 4EU+ University Alliance, but the Alliance is now expanding its collaboration to also focus on how the universities support research and innovation. This has been made possible by the European Commission’s grant of around two million euros dedicated to a collaboration project under the Horizon 2020 programme. The project will be coordinated by the University of Copenhagen.

Better collaboration among universities in Europe

The world of research is competitive. Universities are competing for funding, top researchers, access to the best equipment and the best data. With the new grants, the Commission invites European universities to examine whether – and how – they can enhance European research through increased collaboration and through innovative approaches to supporting research and innovation.

Known as TRAIN4EU+ (Transforming ReseArch & INnovation agendas and support in 4EU+), the project aims to:

  • Identify and develop best practices within HR and research support (for instance, in talent programmes and in the recruitment and retention of employees)
  • Analyse barriers to international research collaboration (local/national/European framework conditions, regulations, traditions and practices)
  • Provide an overview of the research infrastructure at the six universities in the alliance and explore the options for expanded collaboration and sharing
  • Explore the options for increased collaboration with the surrounding society, such as citizens and business communities
  • Survey and develop structures that promote collaboration on joint research agendas, for example COVID 19 and EU Green Deal

Experiences from the project will provide the basis for making recommendations for the future EU research and funding policy.

The grant is not intended to finance specific research projects in the Alliance.

Six universities

The 4EU+ Alliance consists of six European universities. The other members are Charles University in Prague, Heidelberg University, Sorbonne University in Paris, the University of Milan and the University of Warsaw. In 2019, 4EU+ was selected by the EU commission as a pilot project in the so-called European University Initiative, which will be fully implemented during the next Erasmus programme 2021-2027.

Read more about 4EU+ on the alliance's website

Read the press release from 4EU+ about TRAIN4EU+