European universities are key stakeholders in building research and innovation capacity across Europe. EUA’s work in the policy area of research and innovation aims to support Europe’s universities in the production of knowledge, its transmission, dissemination and utilisation in scientific and technological innovation, hence maximising the university contribution to the creation of new knowledge and foster sustainable socio-economic development.
Through its full range of activities (conferences, workshops, projects, studies, expert group work) involving its membership and other organisations active in research policy at the European level, EUA provides expertise and policy representation on a range of issues. These include university-business partnerships, doctoral education and training programmes, research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation (RIS3) and Science 2.0/Open Science. EUA is also engaged in the development of activities in the area of energy research and education, particularly through the EUA-European Platform of Universities in Energy Research & Education (EUA-EPUE) and through the FP7 UNI-SET (UNIversities in the SET-Plan) project. EUA also has an active role in representing European universities’ interests at large in the development of the current EU research and innovation funding programme, Horizon 2020.
EUA plays a core role in bringing empirical evidence from universities’ experiences in research and innovation activities to inform the policy-making process, with a view to support universities’ strategic development and their activities in relation to the socio-economic “grand challenges”. In terms of its formal structure, the Research and Innovation Unit works in close cooperation with the Research Policy Working Group (RPWG). The figure on the right illustrates the relationship between EUA’s governing bodies (EUA Board and Council) and the different research and innovation structures. EUA’s main decision-making bodies include the Board and Council. In the area of research and innovation, the Research Policy Working Group acts as an advisory body to the Board and Council and reports directly to these bodies.