EuroTech Universities cooperating in new focus areas

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EuroTech Universities Alliance's and TUM's President Thomas F. Hofmann

EuroTech Universities Alliance's and TUM's President Thomas F. Hofmann (right) at the Alliance’s Annual High Level Event held in Brussels. Image: Inga Odenthal / EuroTech Universities Alliance

Alliance supports the new European Commission’s climate goals

Earlier this month, on 1 December, the new European Commission embarked on its ambitious journey, striving for a healthy planet and a new digital world. Committed to excellence in research and education, the EuroTech Universities Alliance is dedicated to make a difference and help pave the way to a climate-neutral future based on smart game-changing technologies.

To increase their impact, the Presidents of the six EuroTech Universities jointly defined new Focus Areas for their collaboration: ’Sustainable Society’, ’AI for Engineering Systems’ and ’Additive Manufacturing’. These new fields with a strong sustainability focus will complement the successful existing Focus Areas ’Health and Bio Engineering’ and ’Innovation and Entrepreneurship’.

During a dialogue with the Vice President of DTU’s Student Union on the occasion of the Alliance’s Annual High Level Event held in Brussels on 12 December, the EuroTech Universities Alliance President Thomas F. Hofmann (Technical University of Munich) underlined the important societal value of the Alliance’s ambitions.

,,Technology is not a means to its own ends but needs to embody our values and principles."-- Thomas F. Hofmann, President of TUM

"Uniting leading technical universities in Europe, the EuroTech Universities Alliance is in a unique position to support the new Commission’s goals towards a climate-neutral future. Technology is not a means to its own ends but needs to embody our European values and ethical principles. Human-centred engineering for responsible and trustful innovation aimed at protecting our mother nature lies at the bottom of our search for novelty. Our new Focus Areas demonstrate this joint commitment for research, education and innovation across the alliance partner institutions", Prof. Hofmann said.

Since 2015, the EuroTech Universities Alliance has anchored its activities in fast developing research and innovation areas, where the partner universities offer complementary strengths in education and research and which are of high relevance to Europe’s industrial leadership and address the grand societal challenges. Each of the six member universities have established internationally renowned educational programmes, research centres and infrastructures in these areas, involving key industrial players and creating a significant number of high-tech start-ups. Combining excellent talent and unique learning and research environments, the EuroTech Universities engage in establishing dynamic, interdisciplinary networks with active participation of faculty, students and industrial partners.

Under the umbrella of this Focus Area, the Alliance will be embracing multiple, interdisciplinary topics such as Polar Climate, Integrated Energy Systems and Decarbonisation, building on the successful collaborations on smart urban mobility (EIT Urban Mobility) as well as recently kicked-off exchanges on Circular Economy.

In this field, the ambition is to bundle expertise and research strengths around the crucial topic Industry4.0, covering aspects such as automation, simulation and new materials and involving external stakeholders of the six high-tech innovation ecosystems in which the universities are embedded.

All EuroTech Universities are hotspots for education and research in Artificial Intelligence. In joining forces, they have the critical mass and unique joint perspective to deliver new approaches at the intersection of AI and Engineering systems.

This Focus Area has spawned a series of successful research projects over the last five years, including the 6-million Horizon2020 project REACH and several Innovative Training Networks. A successful event on the future European research mission on cancer highlighted the Alliance’s expertise in the field earlier this year.

As a network of Universities of Science and Technology firmly rooted in their regional industrial ecosystems, innovation and entrepreneurship have been high on the Alliance agenda from day one. Activities range from, inter alia, joint PhD courses, the European Venture Programme for aspiring entrepreneurs and the Horizon2020 project SCALINGS to policy dialogue e.g. through a high-level Round Table on the European Innovation Council in autumn 2018.

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