ECIU Opens Office in Brussels

2017-10-18 17:00

From 1 October 2017, the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU) will be represented on the European stage by a permanent Brussels office. In the development of European funding programmes, European institutions rely on networks like the ECIU for advice and expertise. As a consultant, the ECIU will be able to secure a position as an important stakeholder.

Victor van der Chijs, ECIU President, sees the Brussels’ office as a major step forward for the consortium.

“Brussels is the place to be for showing what ECIU is capable of. By challenging conventional thinking, which is ECIU’s mission, we will be able to play a proactive role in preparing the upcoming European programmes and policies”, said Victor van der Chijs.

ECIU is a collaboration between 12 research-intensive universities; the Consortium aims to create societal impact through innovation and creativity. Within the network, ECIU members work together to obtain information from European institutions to influence the debate on the European funding programmes.

Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) has been a member of ECIU since January 2016. KTU’s Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation Asta Pundzienė, is the Consortium’s Vice-President since April 2017.

“KTU is actively involved in the working group for intellectual property and technology transfer, has initiated the researchers’ mobility programme. The opening of ECIU headquarters in Brussels provides us the possibility to represent KTU when important decisions on research policy in European Commission are being made”, said Professor Pundzienė.

The ECIU Brussels office strenghtens the network by being in close proximity to the main European Offices. A permanent representative in Brussels ensures a quick coordination of ECIU replies to requests for advice and consultancy. The Brussels office will work closely with the EU Steering Committee which consists of Liaison Officers of every member institution.

The timing for the opening of the Brussels office could not be more perfect as the European Commission is set to begin preparations for new European programmes in 2018. The programmes that are currently most relevant for ECIU universities are Horizon 2020, Erasmus+ and the European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF), which includes regional funds. The successors of these programmes will start in 2021.

ECIU has experience contributing to European policy debates. The consortium has played an active role in the past and has ambitions to strengthen and intensify its presence in these debates.

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