From education to employment

United Startups of Europe Rallied By EU University Alliance

People sat around a table

The European University Alliance E³UDRES² rallies European startups behind the development of smart and sustainable regions. With its first open call, the alliance launches a pan-European network that unites startups across Europe and connects them with higher education institutions and regions. The network called E.I.N.S. provides startups with access to trainings and lectures, consulting and mentoring, shared infrastructure and joint activities at several Innovation Hubs across Europe. Just recently, E³UDRES² demonstrated its power to unite innovation spirit across European nations. With its latest Bootcamp, the alliance succeeded in inspiring young students to co-create innovative solutions for regional challenges.

(E³UDRES²: The Engaged and Entrepreneurial European University as Driver for European Smart and Sustainable Regions)

Networks spawn innovation. Exchanging ideas and sharing ideals in a multi-national setting is a hotbed for developing smart solutions for societal and economical challenges. Now, E³UDRES² takes this idea to a next level and unites startups with universities and European regions across Europe. E.I.N.S. (The E³UDRES² Entrepreneurship and Innovation Network for Smart and Sustainable Regions) co-creates new pathways of interaction and collaboration between all universities, businesses and regional players. In order to support this, E.I.N.S. has just launched its first open call for startups from all over Europe.


E³UDRES² is one of 44 European University Alliances – a flagship initiative by the European Union. Eventually, the E³UDRES² alliance will comprise eight higher education institutions that represent 92.500 students, 10.300 staff and 64 faculties from eight countries. Namely these institutions are:

  • St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences (Austria)
  • Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (Portugal)
  • Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences (Hungary)
  • UC Leuven-Limburg UAS (Belgium)
  • Politehnica University Timișoara (Romania)
  • Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (Latvia)
  • Fulda University of Applied Sciences (Germany) (Associated)
  • Saxion University of Applied Sciences (The Netherlands) (Associated)

Together with UIIN, the University Industry Innovation Network, the alliance developed E.I.N.S.. Hannes Raffaseder, Chief Research and Innovation Officer at St. Pölten UAS and E³UDRES² lead coordinator, on the idea behind this network: “The E.I.N.S. network offers advanced support for innovation and business creation, enhances collaboration and empowers “Ent-r-e-novators”. That is entrepreneurs, researchers, innovators, educators – including young talents, experts, management, SMEs, startups, local authorities and engaged citizens.”


E.I.N.S. now launched an open call for startups from all European countries to join. Applications will be received until the 12 September 2022 and up to 18 startups will be selected. They then benefit from an enormous range of unique opportunities to enrich their individual as well as the group’s innovation process. These benefits include:

  • Collaboration & support for three months (or more)
  • Access to expertise and experience of the full members of E³UDRES²
  • Access to training programmes and lectures
  • Consulting and mentoring
  • Sharing infrastructure
  • Interaction with partners, startups, SMEs, companies, accelerators, administrators etc.
  • Networking with innovation ecosystems
  • Europe-wide networking
  • Collaboration with E.I.N.S. Open Innovation Hubs
  • Co-Ideation of possible further cooperation including e.g. joint research & innovation activities

The focus of E³UDRES² (and hence E.I.N.S.) is on smart and sustainable regions. This is in reference to the importance of driving bottom-up innovation, the major contribution of SMEs to the European economy and labour market. E³UDRES² address these issues in many ways since its beginnings in October 2020. One hugely successful example is the annual Bootcamp, this year’s edition of which was sponsored by the Austria Wirtschaftsservice AWS. This event stretches over the course of several days, during which teams of students from European universities co-create concepts that contribute to a smarter and more sustainable society.


Just recently the first Bootcamp was run in a rural mountain community in Austria. The event connected the E³UDRES² focal points of “Future Universities” and “Smart and Sustainable Regions”: Central to the camp was the development of smart ideas for a range of societal challenges such as lifelong growth (develop your skills on campus throughout your life), living formats (extending campus life beyond education and training), bridging and sharing talents (connecting a campus with the job market) as well regional impact (conncecting a campus with a region). Run as a friendly competition, teams of students co-created inspiring solutions, with the most appealing solution selected by the teams’ peers and an expert jury.

The most convincing solution was one that connects students with regional parties. By providing a virtual platform to the regional community people can raise their voice and request help from anyone (including students) for any kind of task they are facing. This can range from cleaning a beach to helping refugees settle in. An easy solution with a big impact that exemplifies the enormous creative potential of an international group of European students – a potential that E³UDRES² helps to exploit and turn into a powerful base for smart and sustainable regions across Europe.

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