The Future of U!REKA

Building a fruitful future on a strong foundation

3 Jul 2022 20:42

At five years old, the U!REKA Network’s growth has been led by grassroots passion and energy for collaboration.Time to look ahead and find ways to build a fruitful future on this strong foundation.

June 2021 saw the beginning of a consultancy process with U!REKA stakeholders from across the seven institutions, resulting in the U!REKA Way Forward. The Way Forward considers the four pillars of U!REKA’s work: actors, fundament, ambitions and identity, and how we can define these more clearly to unite the U!REKA member institutions and individuals towards a shared goal.

Since the original U!REKA Agreement, signed in Amsterdam at the inaugural meeting in 2016, was coming to an end, a new Agreement was signed at the opening session of U!REKA Connects in Ghent. This agreement incorporates many of the outcomes of the Way Forward, seeking to formalise the work of U!REKA and strengthen the commitment of the partners into the future.

European Universities Initiative

The U!REKA Steering Committee also announced that the Network will be submitting a bid for the European Universities Initiative in 2023. A successful bid will help to ensure that the Network can amplify its impact in strengthening urban quality of life through collaboration in research, education and services. The bid team will be led by Metropolia, and a special session was held to get perspectives on the bid process from stakeholders at all institutions. Anna-Maria Vilkuna, Director of RDI Services, Metropolia UAS, Finland said of the bid, “we believe that we, as the U!REKA consortium, are able to prepare a successful EUI application. We have a shared ambition to educate the European professionals of tomorrow and to create together new solutions in a rapidly changing world”.