University of Twente: project funded with €3.7m from EU to train young innovation and regional development researchers launches on 1 Sep 2016


Enschede, Netherlands, 02-Sep-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — The project consortium, involving the University of Twente alongside six other European universities, was recently awarded more than €3.7m funding from the EU.

Congratulations were in order across Europe in May when the project was selected for funding following its application to Horizon 2020, the EU’s major Research and Innovation programme.  The last administrative details have been finalised and the project launches on 1st September 2016, running for four years to train 14 new innovation and regional development professionals.

The RUNIN (The Role of Universities in Innovation and Regional Development) project was awarded over €3.7m through the Innovative Training Networks (ITN) scheme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie research programme. With just seven percent of applicants to this scheme successful each round, the final proposal was three years in the making involving universities and regional development organisations in seven European countries.  RUNIN will coordinate international research on regional innovation, more specifically on the role of universities in innovation and regional development.

RUNIS is being co-ordinated by the University of Stavanger (UiS) in Norway, leading a consortium involving seven universities and nine regional development organisations. The project is embedded within ECIU (European Consortium of Innovative Universities), of which six of the university partners are members.   The president of the University of Twente, Victor van der Chijs, was appointed as vice speaker of the ECIU consortium earlier this year.

Paul Benneworth, Senior Researcher at the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS) from the UT, was involved in developing and writing the proposal along with colleagues at the ECIU universities.

RUNIN is an advanced training programme where candidates will learn advanced innovation skills through undertaking a Ph.D. programme in close collaboration with societal partners.  The aim is to train innovation researchers who can work within this field in the academic world or as decision-makers at national or European level. The focus on innovation and regional economic development will equip participants to work in a range of sectors following graduation, whether in industry, the public sector, higher education or civil society.

The RUNIN project will employ a total of 14 PhD students who will be enrolled at participating universities; several candidates will either work permanently or spend time on secondment at regional development companies in their respective regions. Each candidate will also undertake in two secondments at other universities or regional development companies in the RUNIN network.

The University of Twente will enrol two Ph.D. students; one will be employed at CHEPS, and the other at Regio Twente, the regional development agency for the Twente region.  The close co-operation with regional development organisations is a critical component in enhancing the Ph.D. candidates’ research and learning the necessary skills to use research to contribute to regional development and innovation.

The university partners in the project are the University of Stavanger, Norway; Aalborg University, Denmark; University of Lincoln, United Kingdom; University of Twente, Netherlands; Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain; Linköping University, Sweden and University of Aveiro, Portugal.

The participating universities are members of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU), a consortium founded 20 years ago by the UT. A common characteristic of all ECIU institutions is that they are key players in regional innovation partnerships and make systemic contributions to driving regional economic development. They are all based in old industrial regions, and have all also made substantial contributions to driving the emergence of new industrial sectors.  ECIU members were some of the earliest advocates of active university engagement via technology transfer, knowledge exchange and entrepreneurship activities, and all ECIU members collaborate closely with their regional industrial and public sector partners.

JOCHEM VREEMANPress relations
+31 53 489 6139


Comments are closed.