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Third Mission: The role of universities in the European regions

Published 15 Nov 16:01

Workshop at the University of Graz under the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Universities are regional lead institutions. Together with leading businesses, universities are the drivers for site development and the necessary structural change that has started in all European regions. These were the findings of a European workshop for universities that took place on Tuesday 13 November 2018 at the University of Graz under the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

At the 1‑day workshop various European concepts for research and innovation smart specialisation strategies (RIS3) were presented. One of the main topics was the impact of universities on regional development, also with regard to business activities. Organised by the European University Association, Universities Austria (UNIKO) and the Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI), the meeting brought together some 100 distinguished university representatives and experts for regional innovation from all over Europe to discuss the new role of universities in their region.

One of the opportunities the workshop offered was to get to know European universities from the Balearic Islands to Lapland in their role as committed lead institutions in their regions. In addition, the European Commission offered the prospect of new support measures for “Smart Growth” as of 2021, which should also benefit universities. It is high time for Europe to take over innovation leadership in some areas, concluded Taina Tukainen, member of the Committee of the Regions.  The new policy of mission orientation which has been proposed for the next framework programme for research should, however, be integrated into the structures that already exist in the regions.

More information about this event can be found on the event page.   

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Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research

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