Prestigious Grant from the European Commission

Milan (I), July 2020 - "ENHANCE - European Universities of Technology Alliance" - will receive funding from the European Commission to strategically develop its cooperation. The alliance, of which TU Berlin is the speaker, is one of the organisations in the second call of the European University Initiative to be awarded five million euros over the coming three years.

The seven partner universities of technology of "ENHANCE - European Universities of Technology Alliance" are Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden); Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway); Politecnico di Milano (Italy); RWTH Aachen University and Technische Universität Berlin (Germany); Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain); and Warsaw University of Technology (Poland).

The networks formed through the initiative are intended to enhance the quality and attractiveness of European higher education and boost cooperation between institutions, their students, and staffs. The proposal of the seven ENHANCE universities pursues a joint strategy and promotes European values and identity.

The initiative is designed to significantly strengthen mobility of students and staff and foster the inclusiveness of higher education in Europe. More flexible study and research offerings and fewer bureaucratic hurdles will make it easier for students, doctoral candidates, researchers, and staff to pursue their educational and career paths. The current health crisis has shown clearly how important cooperation and coordinated action are and what a great difference sharing innovative and creative ideas and solutions can make.

"We have had a dream for many years: sharing people, competences, resources, and infrastructures with our key partners in Europe overcoming national borders. ENHANCE will make this dream true. Even more, not expected before, joining forces with other technical universities in this crucial period will contribute to sustain the European recovery after Covid-19", says Professor Stefano Ronchi, Rector's delegate for international affairs at Politecnico di Milano.

The ENHANCE partner universities’ vision is to "drive responsible societal transformation by enhancing a strong alliance of European universities of technology that empowers people to develop, use science and technology responsibly, and turn global challenges into opportunities". They aim to use the three-year funding period to lay the foundation for structures that enable the seamless mobility of their students, researchers, and employees. The seven partners have approximately 245,000 students and have exchanged more than 4,400 students and staff over the last five years.

The instruments envisioned by the alliance will first be tested in selected bachelor's and master's programs. The implementation of innovative teaching and learning formats will enable all students to profit from international ENHANCE offerings, such as online courses; virtual student communities; and projects, workshops, and summer schools.

Value-based teaching, offered in collaboration with societal stakeholders, will ensure that students learn to think critically - and develop and apply knowledge and technologies - for the benefit of society. As an alliance of universities of technology, an important focus of ENHANCE is also on sustainable innovation and entrepreneurship.

The second round of the European Universities initiative attracted applications from 62 university alliances. ENHANCE is one of 24 university networks, comprising on average seven higher education institutions, which was selected in the second call for creating a European Education Area by 2025.

Politecnico di Milano is a scientific-technological university that trains engineers, architects, and industrial designers. The University has always focused on the quality and innovation of its teaching and research, developing a fruitful relationship with the worlds of business and production by means of experimental research and technological transfer. Research has always been linked to didactics, and it is a priority commitment that has allowed Politecnico Milano to achieve high-quality results at an international level, linking the university to the business world. Research constitutes a parallel path to that formed by cooperation and alliances with the industrial system.

Knowing the world in which they are going to work is a vital requirement for training students meaningfully. By referring to the needs of the industrial world and public administration, research is facilitated in following new paths and dealing with the need for constant and rapid innovation. The alliance with the industrial world, in many cases favored by Fondazione Politecnico and consortiums to which Politecnico belongs, allows the University to keep up with the business and industrial trends in the territories in which it operates and to be a stimulus for their development.

The challenge being met today projects this tradition, which is strongly rooted in the territory beyond the country’s borders, into a relationship that is primarily developing at the European level with the objective of contributing to the creation of a single professional training market. Politecnico takes part in several research efforts, sites, and training projects, collaborating with the most qualified European universities.

Furthermore, Politecnico's contribution is increasingly being extended to other countries, from North America to Southeast Asia to Eastern Europe. Today, the drive to internationalization sees Politecnico Milano taking part in the European and world network of leading technical universities, and it offers many courses taught entirely in English.