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2023 INUAS annual meeting in Winterthur: entrepreneurship, COIL and funding for research and transfer projects

The 2023 INUAS annual meeting took place on 21 and 22 November in Winterthur. Jean-Marc Piveteau, President of the ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, and Dirk Wilhelm, Dean of the ZHAW School of Engineering and Head of International Affairs, welcomed a delegation from FH Campus Wien University of Applied Sciences and Hochschule München University of Applied Sciences to the School of Engineering.

To kick off the meeting, the three INUAS universities discussed strategic developments in the universities of applied sciences sector in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Wilhelm Behensky, Chief Executive Officer of FH Campus Wien University of Applied Sciences, Martin Leitner, President of Hochschule München University of Applied Sciences, and Jean-Marc Piveteau subsequently gave short presentations on current developments at their respective universities.

Entrepreneurship at INUAS universities

In addition to the key focus topic of “urban and regional quality of life”, the cooperation also involves the exchanging of experiences and the transfer of knowledge as well activities in the fields of sustainability, staff recruitment and entrepreneurship and innovation. The 2023 annual meeting placed a spotlight on entrepreneurship, an important subject at all three universities. Anita Buchli, Head of the ZHAW entrepreneurship strategic initiative, introduced the initiative, which promotes entrepreneurial thinking and actions as well as the community within the ZHAW. Elisabeth Haslinger-Baumann, Vice Rector for Research and Development, explained the framework in place for entrepreneurship at FH Campus Wien University of Applied Sciences in the area of research and development. Heimo Sandtner, Rector of FH Campus Wien University of Applied Sciences, presented the Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Career Center (EICC), which supports and oversees students and graduates interested in founding their own companies as they embark on the road to self-employment. Thomas Stumpp, Vice President for Business at Hochschule München University of Applied Sciences, where entrepreneurship has been anchored as an interdisciplinary topic since 2002, spoke about developments and objectives for the years ahead. Pavlina Vujovic, Head of Internationalisation at the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE), introduced Start for Future (SFF), an open alliance comprising representatives from the scientific community, start-ups, industry and public organisations that serves as an open hub for entrepreneurship and drives systemic innovation at an international level.

INUAS COIL Days in June 2024

A further area in which INUAS exploits the potential for collaboration and the exchange of experiences is the field of digitisation. The network is organising the INUAS COIL Days, which will be held in Vienna in June 2024. The programme is being put together with experts from the INUAS universities as well as external experts who specialise in COIL (collaborative online international learning). The goal of this initiative is to promote the internationalisation of teaching and joint COIL projects.

Funding for research and transfer projects on the key focus topic

In autumn 2023, a call for applications for funding for research and transfer projects on the key focus topic of “urban and regional quality of life” was issued for the first time at the INUAS partner universities. The aim of the funding is to support the initiation of bilateral and trilateral research projects with a transdisciplinary approach and to promote the development of cross-university transfer projects involving external partners. Researchers from all disciplines have the opportunity to submit project proposals, with preference being given to international projects and collaborations between the INUAS universities. The deadline for submissions is 15 January 2024. Further information on the call for applications will be made available or is already available internally at each university.