European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU)

The RUNIN project was originally proposed by a network of institutions affiliated to the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU). This is a partnership of universities with particular strength in engineering and social sciences, a strong commitment to the encouragement of innovation and entrepreneurship, and close ties to industry and to their regions. The aim of ECIU is to share and build on the member institutions’ successes as entrepreneurial institutions, dedicated to the development of an innovative culture and to playing a catalytic role for innovation in industry and society at large. It has a collective wealth of experience and expertise in innovative education, research and knowledge exchange.

ECIU members collaborate in several activities under the ECIU aegis, including educational programmes, student exchanges, knowledge transfer and innovation. Their history of institutional collaboration provides a solid platform for the establishment of a successful partnership through the RUNIN programme and will ensure the full institutional commitment of all partners to the programme.

All but one of the participating universities belong to ECIU, itself an organisational innovation. ECIU strongly supports the RUNIN network and will work to maximise RUNIN’s impact. The universities all have a strong track record in giving priority to the third mission of universities, which is a requirement for membership in ECIU.

At least one RUNIN training event will be co-ordinated with ECIU activities and used to develop a dialogue between the ECIU’s future leaders (who are users of high-level social sciences skills) and the RUNIN researchers, who are developing high-level knowledge about optimising university contributions to regional economic development. In September 2018 there will be held a RUNIN workshop in collaboration with ECIU at its offices in Brussels. In addition one RUNIN researcher will have its secondments at University of Twente and the ECIU office in Enschede.

ECIU will be using the RUNIN findings to provide more critical inputs as universities to their own regional innovation strategy policy processes, and RUNIN will work closely with its Working Group on Regional Innovation. This is an established working group within the ECIU network, comprising representatives from all the ECIU member institutions with responsibilities for the overall regional innovation strategies at each of the universities. The working group will serve as a reference group for the project to ensure the continuous relevance of the research for these crucial stakeholders.

ECIU also has a member in the RUNIN Supervisory Board