International Projects at the St. Pölten UAS
European University Alliance E³UDRES² Promotes Innovation and Entrepreneurship through Four Projects at St. Pölten UAS
Within the framework of a European Excellence Initiative, the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences has been coordinating the European University E³UDRES² for two and a half years now. The alliance comprises nine higher education institutions from all over Europe with more than 10,000 staff members and approximately 100,000 students. With the support of the European Union, the goal is to gradually develop the alliance into a full-fledged European University over the next few years. Important partial successes are already being achieved in the four joint EU projects revolving around the future-oriented topics of innovation, education, and research.
The European University E³UDRES² strengthens the diversity of European regions through its manifold contributions to the further development of small and medium-sized towns and their rural surroundings to become “European Smart and Sustainable Regions”.
“E³UDRES² is working on exemplary concepts for a forward-looking, socially committed, and entrepreneurially-minded European University. Our focus on strengthening regional ecosystems to promote excellent education and training, applied research, and human-centred innovation is already recognised as good practice in European contexts after this relatively short time”, says St. Pölten UAS Executive Director and E³UDRES² Lead Coordinator Hannes Raffaseder.
At the moment, the St. Pölten UAS and its E³UDRES² partners are committed to the various aspects of innovation and entrepreneurship in four EU projects with the goal of strengthening European regions beyond the big metropolitan centres.
Towards Creating an Entrepreneurial University
The research and innovation project “Accelerate Future HEI” is about developing and implementing concepts to make higher education institutions even stronger partners for regional and Europe-wide social and economic development through education, research, and commitment. The project supports the participating universities in acquiring and expanding the skills and capacities that they need in order to purposefully promote their institutional further development and act as regionally anchored, Europe-wide recognised, and internationally active partners for the transformation of innovation ecosystems over the next few years.
The objective of the project Ent-r-e-novators is to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs, researchers, educators, and innovators. The idea is to stop thinking in “either – or” categories and to promote close ties between education, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship instead. The project addresses the needs of regions and uses the exchange for a multitude of approaches: future workshops, hackathons, I Living Labs, and Citizen Science projects.
At the centre, so-called Ent-r-e-novators act as both entrepreneurs and innovators: They bridge the divide between theory and practice, thereby moving away from a culture of “I” and towards a culture of “we”. An essential target of the project is the development and implementation of a joint research and innovation strategy for the European University E³UDRES².
Innovations for Digital Healthcare
As a consequence of the ageing population and the rise of chronic diseases, the European healthcare systems are increasingly under pressure. Digital technologies can be a means to meet future challenges and a driving force for the transformation of the healthcare sector.
The project UASHome aims to promote universities of applied sciences (UAS) as centres of innovation and entrepreneurship. It examines incubation processes – in other words, the promotion of company foundation – at these institutions, collects tried and tested practices of UAS-based incubators at the regional and European levels, and draws up a programme that every incubator at a university of applied sciences can use to further develop its incubation processes.
Network for Innovation
Together with the University Industry Interaction Network (UIIN), E³UDRES² launched the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Network for Smart and Sustainable European Regions (E.I.N.S.). Its focus is on teaching students and staff entrepreneurial skills. In this context, a central role is played by the management of the involved higher education institutions, the intensive interaction with various partners in regional innovation ecosystems, and their Europe-wide networking as well as the promotion of start-ups and spin-offs.
While global innovation capacities are concentrated in a small number of urban centres and big universities compete in research-oriented global rankings, E.I.N.S. pursues the further development of “Smart & Sustainable European Regions”. The project pools the forces of the internationally active University Industry Interaction Networks (UIIN) and the European University E³UDRES², which features comparably small but agile universities with strong regional roots working together. The innovation network cooperates closely with business agencies, incubators, venture capital funds, start-up communities, and other stakeholders that promote digital and green innovation.
In the projects, higher education institutions belonging to the E³UDRES² alliance collaborate in different constellations. The coordination of every project is up to one of the involved universities.
E³UDRES² and information on all projects:
E³UDRES² and UASHome are co-funded through the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. E.I.N.S. is supported by EIT RawMaterials and co-funded by the European Union within the framework of the EIT HEI Initiative. Ent-R-E-Novators and Accelerate_FutureHEI are funded by the European Union within the framework of the Horizon Europe programme.
16th Forschungsforum der Österreichischen Fachhochschulen
From 19 to 20 April 2023, the Forschungsforum der Österreichischen Fachhochschulen (research forum of Austrian universities of applied sciences) will be hosted at the St. Pölten UAS under the motto “Connecting Research”.
FH-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Hannes RaffasederChief Executive Officer (CEO)
Mag. Gabriele PermoserHead of Service Unit
Research and Knowledge Transfer