PIONEER European University Alliance and Future Cities – Collaboration with knowledge-intensive regional ecosystems in Europe.

The European Universities Initiative by the European Commission aims to strengthen the strategic partnerships in higher education across the European Union. Within this initiative, the Commission has awarded the PIONEER Alliance a significant project grant from the Erasmus+ programme on June 28. The PIONEER Alliance was selected to become a European University Alliance out of 56 proposals for EU funding in this application round.

The PIONEER Alliance brings together 10 impact-driven universities, over 130,000 students and 17,000 faculty and staff across Europe. The PIONEER Alliance is shaped around our shared expertise in cities and ecosystem co-creation. The members of the Alliance will focus on sustainable development and urban planning issues in the project during 2025-2028. The PIONEER Alliance aims to shape the future of inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities providing students and lifelong learners dedicated skills in a European environment with an emphasis on the SDG11 (sustainable cities and communities).

“Universities are key players in Europe’s education, research and innovation landscape as well as in building a responsible future with their regional ecosystems”, says the PIONEER Alliance Coordinator Sylvie Chevrier, Professor of Management and Deputy Vice-President International from the Université Gustave Eiffel in France. According to the PIONEER partners, universities should be seen as hubs that generate new knowledge through scientific research for the benefit of business and industry, and that provide skilled labour force to them. “Therefore, students are at the centre of everything we do within the PIONEER Alliance. Our aim is to build up future leaders and experts who have the skills and competences to thrive in the 21st century and initiate change that is for the collective good of the entire local community or society at large”, Professor Chevrier emphasises. This calls for a pioneering approach to developing new forms of interdisciplinary education and scientific research cooperation across the participating PIONEER universities.

The PIONEER Alliance will bring together researchers, educators, students, innovators, business representatives, city decision-makers and citizens to work on topics related to SDG 11: Questioning urban transitions; Nature in the city; Energy in the city; Vulnerability, inclusion, and health in the city; Mobility; Digital transition; and Sustainable and resilient cities.

Happy reunion in Bern: workshop participants gather for a group photo
“Our vision is to grow together”, the PIONEER partners state.
Author: copyright: BFH

The PIONEER members are:

For more information about the PIONEER Alliance, see the PIONEER website.

For additional information on the European PIONEER Alliance, you may contact Professor Sylvie Chevrier: Email

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