Professional higher education sector calls for more and better internationalization for the future

Last week EURASHE, together with its members CEU Andalucía, organised the webinar “Internationalisation of Research and Innovation: where European and global experiences meet” on 23 June 2020 on Zoom, inviting representatives from the European Commission, professional higher education institutions – hereafter PHE – and the world of work to share opportunities and experiences in the field of international cooperation in R&I.

The discussion was launched by Alejandro Zurita, R&I Counsellor for Brazil at the Delegation of the EU to Brazil who gave an overview of the main cooperation activities between the Union and the Latin American country, underlying the added value that third countries like Brazil bring to European research and innovation. According to him, the next European framework programme for R&I, Horizon Europe, will reiterate its commitment to be open for the cooperation with third countries. In particular, they will have the possibility to be associated to the different clusters of the programme, which entails contributing to the budget and having the same rights as EU Members States.

His presentation was followed by Rita Lecbychova, Head of Unit “International Cooperation I (Europe, Americas and thematic coherence)” of the European Commission who presented Horizon Europe programme and the new features which will be introduced by the next framework programme for R&I such as the European Innovation Council (EIC), Five Missions, Six clusters and New partnerships.

Success stories of international cooperation from the professional higher education and the private sectors

Francisco Cuervas from GHENOVA introduced participants to his company’s experience is participating in several international projects in the field of digital industry, ports energy and fuels and renewables. One of the successful example is the W2POWER project, funded by the H2020 programme, which led to the creation of a floating windmill off the Canary Islands shores. James Clarke, from EURASHE’s member Waterford Institute of Technology, presented the H2020-funded project “EUBrazil Cloud Forum”, which ran from May 2016 to July 2018. The objective of the project was enabling the European Union and Brazil to formulate a common strategy and approach for R&I in the field of cloud computing, aligned with the priorities of each region. Armando Pires, Vice-President of EURASHE and chair of EURASHE’s working group on Applied Research and Regional Development, presented different examples of international cooperation activities between Portuguese Universities of Applied Sciences (called Polytechnics) and Brazilian higher education institutions.

More and better internationalization for the future

The discussion was wrapped by Oscar Gomezo, a Spanish journalist who gave an interesting perspective on the current health crisis, outlining how the uncertain situation has given us the courage to accelerate processes that were halted before, to promote new projects and, most importantly, to grow the seeds of research and innovation in the future generation.

All the speakers agreed that after the COVID-19 crisis, Europe needs to continue to be open to the world. International cooperation in the field of research and innovation remains crucial to find a common response to global challenges. We therefore need to enhance international cooperation opportunities and organise them in a more strategic and focused way, based on common interests and mutual benefits, but always being guided by European principles and values.

The recording of the discussion is here. The report of the event is here.  


Ms Dovile Sandaraite
Communications and European Affairs Manager, EURASHE
Phone: +32 (0)4 986 90 140