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Strengthening the CIVIS European University in Research and Innovation

The project “RIS4CIVIS” will support the Research and Innovation dimension of the CIVIS European University in line with its shared, integrated, long-term strategy and in synergy with its education dimension. The 3-year project was awarded a 2 million euros budget by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 "Science with and for Society" programme. 

RIS4CIVIS will enable the CIVIS Alliance and other European universities to pave the way and pool out their expertise to address the 21st-century challenges through world-class R&I.

Integrating a long-term Research and Innovation strategy

For CIVIS to achieve this objective, we will develop an integrated, long-term R&I Strategy, based on our complementary strengths, but also addressing obstacles that stand in the way of deeper R&I cooperation.

Our strategy will:

  • Take into consideration the important roles that academia, industry, government, civil society and the environment play in R&I (Quintuple Helix model);
  • Be fully in line with the CIVIS Mission Statement, including our civic mission and educational dimension;
  • Build on the cooperation and results that have so far been achieved within our Alliance;
  • Address current societal challenges, including contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); the objectives of the European Green Deal to contribute to the achievement of climate neutrality by 2050; the new challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic and the role universities are expected to play in fighting outbreaks and to strengthen societies’ resilience and preparedness; digitalisation, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data; also taking into account the Commission’s other policy priorities and ensuing future regulatory and legal changes (e.g. Communications on Biodiversity, Circular Economy, Hydrogen strategy etc.);
  • Integrate new challenges as they emerge;
  • Integrate the upcoming European Research Area cycle synergistically with the new cycle for the European Higher Education Area;
  • Involve the new EU-Africa partnership, especially its research and innovation dimension;
  • Renew international cooperation and collaboration (and competition) with the other industrialised countries at the international level;

Boosting cooperation between our Research-led Universities through 'transformational modules'

The RIS4CIVIS project will integrate the following dimensions as key conditions for successful cooperation between modern, forward-looking Universities (‘Transformational Modules’):

Module 1: Developing a Common Research and Innovation Strategy

Module 2: Sharing infrastructures

Module 3: Reinforcing Academia-Business R&I Cooperation

Module 4: Strengthening Human Capital

Module 5: Mainstreaming of Open Science

Module 6: Embedding Citizens and Society

Paving the way forward

For each of these six ‘Transformation Modules’, we will:

  1. Establish, through intensive benchmarks, the current situation across our Alliance and define the ideal endpoint;
  2. Identify, through consensus-building, Roadmaps to reach these endpoints and to remove legal, regulatory, financial or other barriers in the short-, medium- and long-term: where the removal of barriers is not in our hands, develop Recommendations to national and European policy-makers on the way forward;
  3. Implement our case studies-based Roadmaps, thereby testing and validating them.

The knowledge gained in each of these activities, across all six Transformation Modules, will nurture the ongoing development of the CIVIS Research & Innovation Strategy. We will synthesise our six Roadmaps, as well as the benchmarking, consensus-building and case studies that went into them, into a CIVIS Institutional Transformation Model to serve as a source of inspiration for other European Universities wishing to engage in R&I cooperation as well as for the European Commission in designing its future programmes and policies.

Contact information

For further information on RIS4CIVIS, please contact:


Co-funded under Horizon2020

The RIS4CIVIS project is co-financed by the European Commission under the Horizon2020 ‘Science with and for Society’ (SWAFS) programme and the CIVIS member universities.

This flagship European programme aims at fostering the cooperation between Science and Society supporting extensive actions in Research and Innovation to tackle European societal challenges. 

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N° 101016691

Mission statement

You can download our mission statement here.