18. March 2021

Towards Future Universities for Smart and Sustainable Regions: European University Alliance E³UDRES² celebrates its first Online Opening Conference

The “Engaged and Entrepreneurial European University as Driver for European Smart and Sustainable Regions” (E³UDRES²) enriches small cities and rural regions all over Europe with sustainable ideas, intelligence and innovation.


The European University Alliance launched in 2020 now celebrates its first E³UDRES² Online Opening Conference with representatives of the European Commission present at the public online event streamed from St. Pölten (Austria). With 55.700 students, 7.300 staff and 43 faculties from six countries, the European University Alliance will develop concepts and structures to promote small and medium-sized cities and their rural environments into smart and sustainable regions. The consortium under the leadership of the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences (Austria) comprises the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (Portugal), the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences (Hungary), UC Leuven-Limburg (Belgium), the Politehnica University Timișoara (Romania), and the Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (Latvia). Together, the institutions aim to establish joint degrees and modules, research groups, living labs, innovation centers as well as pools of experts and open resources. E3UDRES2 will showcase educational and governance models and open true European perspectives for students. The alliance forms part of the European Commission’s European Universities Initiative and is one of two alliances coordinated by an Austrian university.


In Europe, innovation most often originates from urbanized regions and globally acting enterprises. However, a majority of the European population lives in small or medium-sized towns and their surrounding rural areas. Also, myriads of regionally anchored SMEs make significant contributions to the European economy. Thus, progressive regions and smart villages urgently need to develop innovative ecosystems taking into account the specific challenges and opportunities of medium-sized cities and their rural surroundings. Therefore, the new European University Alliance E3UDRES2 will support such cities and their rural surroundings by co-innovating smart and sustainable regions, co-ideating a future university and by co-creating a European multi-university campus. To this end, it pools the knowledge, core competences and skills and shares resources of six higher education institutions across Europe plus nine associated partners from business, regional authorities, research centers and associations.


Hannes Raffaseder, Project Leader & Chief Research and Innovation Officer at St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences (Austria) comments: “E3UDRES2 will bring together a new generation of creative Europeans able to cooperate across languages, borders and disciplines to address societal challenges and skill shortages faced in Europe. It is one of the flagship initiatives of the EU’s ambitions to build a European Education, Research and Innovation Area”.


The alliance aims to achieve ambitious deliverables in its first three-year period – these include co-ideating an exemplary model for the governance of a progressive European University. Also, a common educational model for students will be developed by offering open educational resources, shared modules and joint degrees with mobility opportunities. R&D capabilities of future universities will be designed by establishing so called I-Living Labs, I-research networks and I-cubator programmes with the “I” standing for inspiring, innovative, intercultural, international, interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inclusive and intense. Additionally, the partners will engage in activities that promote open and engaged knowledge exchanges that contribute and interact with regional communities and are acknowledged as good practice on a European level.


“A key point for the future success of E3UDRES2”, adds Hannes Raffaseder, “is a deep understanding for the needs and requirements as well as for the potential and competences of smaller universities, cities and countries within the European Union. All E³UDRES² partners are anchored in their surrounding environments, but internationally connected and active within the European Higher Education Area.”



The E³UDRES² Online Opening Conference on 22 and 23 March 2021 not only presents forward-looking keynotes from renowned experts, but also offers interesting discussions and new takes on the topics of “Future Universities” and “Smart and Sustainable Regions”. The event will offer the possibility to exchange thoughts and chat with high representatives from the E³UDRES² alliance. Different high representatives from national ministries and EU bodies have already confirmed their attendance.


More information and the full programme to the conference is available here:


Registration to attend the event is required:


Further information:
Follow E³UDRES²  on:





Contact E3UDRES2

FH-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Hannes Raffaseder

CEO | Chief Research and Innovation Officer

St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences

3100 St. Pölten

Matthias Corvinus-Straße 15

T: +43/2742/313 228 616

M: +43/676/847 228 616



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