Queen’s University Belfast to lead new EIT funded project to boost entrepreneurship and innovation
£1.2m Horizon Europe funding secured through the EntreUnity project, the first competitive European funding awarded to Queen’s University Belfast since the launch of Horizon Europe.
EntreUnity is a network of aspiring entrepreneurial universities that share a passion and a responsibility to tackle global food security, ageing populations and climate change by educating and training the next generation of agri-food, health and green-tech students in entrepreneurship and leadership.
The project is funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) HEI Initiative: Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education, a Horizon Europe programme which aims to boost the entrepreneurial and innovation capacity of higher education institutions (HEIs).
Queen’s University, which was ranked 1st in the UK as the most entrepreneurial university in 2019 and 2020 by an independent report, will lead the efforts of the project partners in the EntreUnity consortium, which is comprised of the following institutions:
- Queen’s University Belfast – project lead
- Aarhus University
- Helix Research and Enterprise
- Lancaster University
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs Denmark
- Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
- University of Crete
- University of Food Technologies – Plovdiv
- University Of Manchester
- University of the West of Scotland
The project’s objectives are to:
- build a network of world class entrepreneurial higher education innovation leaders, that support outstanding students and staff;
- engage in cutting-edge innovation programmes across their campuses and regions;
- develop world class solutions to global societal challenges that foster sustainable growth, create high-quality jobs and improve the quality of life of citizens;
- transform young people and create professionals able to tackle societal challenges and needs.
EntreUnity’ results and outcomes will be successfully translated into real world impact aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to validate its success as an impactful intervention within HEIs.
Dr Kerri Crossey, Programmes Manager at Queen’s said: “We’re delighted to lead the EntreUnity project and use our position as the UK’s most entrepreneurial university to help boost the entrepreneurial capabilities within the consortium. Queen’s has an extremely strong reputation in fostering entrepreneurship and delivering innovation training, in particular through innovation programmes including Innovate UK ICURe and EIT Food Seedbed , which have helped researchers across Europe explore commercialisation and deliver impact for the agri-food, heath and digital sectors.”
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said: "Universities have a critical role to play in the development and growth of local and regional innovation ecosystems. This new initiative will help them boost their entrepreneurial capabilities at all levels and unlock their innovation potential. I congratulate the selected consortia for putting bold and promising ideas on the table, and now it’s time to step into action and make them a reality!"