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€2m makes pan-European innovation available to improve regions – including West Midlands

  • European Commission awards EUTOPIA network €2m to open up world-class research and innovation to wider society
  • Combined expertise of six institutions across the continent will be available to business, industry, policy-makers, and the public – more directly improving citizens’ lives in our six regions
  • EUTOPIA was included in the ERASMUS+ ‘European Universities’ pilot project in 2019

€2 million has been awarded by the European Commission to the EUTOPIA community of universities — of which the UK’s University of Warwick is a founding member — with the purpose of opening up academic research to businesses, policy-makers, and the wider public.

The EUTOPIA network, currently comprised of six European universities, exists to develop a new model of internationally connected, inclusive, student-led higher education across the continent.

As well as forging the next generation of teaching and research in Europe, EUTOPIA is dedicated to its six local regions, and to putting its expertise and innovation towards making life better for citizens living near its campuses in Coventry & Warwickshire (UK), Paris (France), Brussels (Belgium), Gothenburg (Sweden), Barcelona (Spain), and Ljubljana (Slovenia).

EUTOPIA map of partner universities

Thanks to the new €2 million EUTOPIA-TRAIN (Transformation on Research and Innovation) initiative, EUTOPIA will be able to do just this: proactively working with partners outside of higher education to face our most pressing challenges, such as making our regions more economically sustainable, more environmentally friendly, and more resilient against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EUTOPIA member institutions will combine their distinct, complementary, Europe-wide research and innovation activities, and will make these accessible to stakeholders in business and industry (examining and testing ways to maximise the commercialisation of university research), as well as to regional and national government organisations.

Furthermore, EUTOPIA will be exploring ways of involving citizens in the design and delivery of research projects.

This will ensure that EUTOPIA’s web of academic expertise across Europe can be more easily and efficiently used to directly transform the lives of the people living in our regions — such as Coventry, Warwickshire, and the wider West Midlands surrounding the University of Warwick.

Professor Seán Hand, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Europe) at the University of Warwick, commented:

“I am delighted by this most recent success. Complementing our alliance’s core activities and the work of our funded Science and Innovation Fellows, EUTOPIA-TRAIN will specifically drive initiatives in knowledge transfer, open science, and human capital development.

“With a common support office, strong dissemination and communication capability, and a brilliant stakeholder network that includes the West Midlands Combined Authority and our Local Enterprise Partnerships, we intend to initiate and support socially transformative innovations that respond to common challenges and empower our youth leadership.”


EUTOPIA unites over 165,000 students and 30,000 members of staff over six countries, with 90,000 international alumni associated with its member universities. Together, the EUTOPIA universities have research centres in 760 areas of knowledge.

Each member already maintains robust links with key stakeholders in enterprise, industry, education, and government, both locally and internationally.

Founded in Brussels in 2019, it is currently comprised of the University of Warwick, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, CY Cergy Paris Université, the University of Gothenburg, the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, and is led by the University of Ljubljana.

In the same year, EUTOPIA was successful in its selection for the ERASMUS+ ‘European Universities’ pilot project.

Funded by the ERASMUS+ programme of the European Union

29 July 2020

For further information, contact:

Luke Walton

International Press Manager

+44 (0) 7823 362 150