ERIA: A new project to boost the research and innovation dimension of our alliance

On 1st September 2021, the project Circle U. ERIA (Empowering Research and Innovation Actions) was officially launched. ERIA will strengthen the Research and Innovation dimensions of Circle U. by supporting pilot activities in its Knowledge Hubs and empowering its early-career researchers.

In the next three years, through a variety of concrete actions that will support four key objectives, ERIA aims to encourage institutional transformations at research and innovation levels within the Circle U. Alliance.

Fostering interdisciplinarity to co-construct solutions with other sectors

Three pilot actions will foster interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity:

  • ERIA will give the opportunity to Circle U. researchers to participate in so-called “sandboxes”, a cooking pressure method to encourage the emergence of interdisciplinary projects. Over 48 hours, researchers from different sectors and stakeholders outside academia will brainstorm research ideas for responding to challenges linked to Circle U.’s Knowledge Hubs.
  • ERIA will provide opportunities to set-up Circle U.-wide “Thematic Networks” bringing together researchers from different Circle U. universities around a common topic, to stimulate interdisciplinary research projects in areas related to the Knowledge Hubs.
  • Each year, ERIA will award a inter Circle U. Prize where existing interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary initiatives from Circle U.’s partners will be showcased.

Involving citizens and society in research and innovation

ERIA will pilot initiatives that broaden and deepen Circle U.’s interactions with citizens and society at different stages of research processes, via three thematic Pilot Actions:

  • The Democracy in Schools Initiative will be organised in collaboration with schools (action research) and will investigate the perception of democracy among young Europeans, their links with democratic institutions, their opinion on the future of democracy and their role as citizens. 
  • A Training Programme for Practitioners on Climate Change, targeted at non-academic actors (i.e.: industry leaders, activists, governmental actors, academics, journalists, etc.), to give insights into key points of climate change, and into possibilities of mitigating it by concrete measures
  • A series of Public Interactive Lectures on Global Health will be organised and involve researchers from Circle U. universities and external stakeholders.

Strengthening human capital and Gender Equality

ERIA will implement concrete actions to empower Circle U.’s Early Career Researchers with transversal skills and will provide opportunities to boost their international and inter-sectoral mobility within Circle U.

  • ERIA’s Early-Career Researcher’s Forum will create a shared space where common issues related to doctoral training, mobility and PhD/post-doc careers are discussed. 
  • Thematic Interdisciplinary Summer schools for PhD students will be organised on different themes related to the three Knowledge Hubs. 
  • Online doctoral training sessions will enable early-career researchers to focus on transversal issues such as the role of science in society, research integrity and ethics, gender, inter- and trans-disciplinarity, etc.
  • Two programmes for Early-career researchers will be proposed to boost their international and inter-sectoral mobility.
  • ERIA will also dedicated specific resources and implement concrete measures to ensure gender balance is integrated in all Circle U. platforms and activities. 

Structuring Research and Innovation collaboration at the European level

With ERIA, we want to make a substantial impact in the European Research and Innovation Area. This is why ERIA will reinforce its ties with other European University Alliances and be active in the “Forum of European Universities #2 – FOREU2”, where we will share and assess best practices in the implementation of R&I long-term strategies with other Alliances.

The Circle U. ERIA project is co-financed by the European Commission under the Horizon2020 ‘Science with and for Society’ (SWAFS) programme and the Circle U. member universities. It is coordinated by Université de Paris and funded for 3 years.


Subscribe to the monthly Circle U. newsletter.
Published Oct. 4, 2021 12:43 PM - Last modified Oct. 4, 2021 1:11 PM