Xavier Gabarrell named Scientific Coordinator of the new SMART-ER project

Xavier Gabarrell

Researcher and director of the ICTA-UAB Xavier Gabarrell has been appointed Scientific Coordinator of the new SMART-ER project, which will create a virtual research institute within the framework of the ECIU University, focused on smart and sustainable regions.


The ECIU University project was created by the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU), made up of a total of twelve European universities, and aims to offer an innovative university educational model reaching across borders and based on the involvement of businesses and institutions, and on the case study model.

In the framework of the ECIU University, the SMART-ER (ECIU University Research Institute for SMART European Regions) will design, develop and implement research; re-evaluate and deliver solutions to the complex societal challenges found under the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal no. 11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable) (SDG11), and identified in participatory processes promoted by the ECIU University.

The goal is to set a new barrier-free research and innovation model, which at the same time fosters dialogue with society, overcoming any limitations in disciplines, sectors and countries, and based mainly on an online collaborative environment. Jointly, the institutions will pilot a capacity-building programme (Seed Programme and SMART-ER Academy) and citizen science initiatives that will be used as a testbed to put into practice all the mechanism and structures built.

For its development, the ECIU University was granted two million euros by the Horizon 2020 programme. Activities will be implemented by bringing together scientific and management research capacities at 12 ECIU University member institutions (Aalborg University, Dublin City University, Kaunas University of Technology, Linköping University, Tampere University, Hamburg University of Technology, Universidade de Aveiro, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, University of Stavanger, Università degli Studi di Trento, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées).

They will jointly address complex societal challenges within the framework of the SDG11. The challenge-based approach adopted by the ECIU University allows engagement of societal stakeholders and learners (from any age and background) in creating and working on challenges and exploiting results. The SMART-ER Research Institute, together with diverse stakeholder groups at a local, national and international level, will work according to a shared Research and Innovation Agenda.

This information is related to the following SDG

  • Quality education
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Partnerships for the goals

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