The Green European University-UNIgreen- is one of only four European universities to receive the green light from the Commission in the 2022 call. The University of Almeria is the coordinator of this campus, composed of eight international partners specialised in agronomy, biotechnology, environmental and life sciences.
With an excellent score of 89 out of 100 points and the award of all the funding requested, the European Commission has distinguished the consortium led by the University of Almeria as the European University in the field of agriculture, environment, green biotechnology and life sciences. After a very tough competition, the UNIgreen University has received the support for its creation by the European Commission. On Wednesday 27 July, it was added to the list of European Universities in the 2022 call for proposals, becoming one of four consortia approved in this call, out of a total of 31 applications from European universities. The Commission’s decision represents a definitive step towards the materialisation of this European alliance that the UAL promoted in 2020, taking advantage of its potential in the fields of agronomy and biotechnology, with the creation of a consortium made up of eight prestigious European universities in these fields.
The evaluation received from the European Commission highlights the relevance and impact of the proposal, pointing out that UNIgreen has a solid potential to make relevant contributions to achieve the Sustainable Development goals in Europe from the areas of Education and Research. It also highlights UNIgreen’s capacity to make an effective transmission to the sectors involved of the knowledge acquired with a very complete communication plan addressed to an “extremely” wide audience. The latter underlines, once again, the commitment of the UAL in the transfer of knowledge and its involvement with the Almerian society and now, by extension, European. In this sense, the UAL would like to thank its relevant support to the Associate Partners, which include La Caña Group, UNICA, Primaflor, La Unión, Trops, ANECOOP, the Cajamar Foundation, the PITA Technical Science Park, CeiA3, COEXPHAL, TECNOVA, HortiEspaña. And at the institutional level of the Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation, the Provincial Council and the City Council of Almeria, along with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development of the Andalusian Regional Government.
The rector of the University of Almeria, Carmelo Rodriguez, satisfied by the news, has highlighted “the work and personal involvement that during the last two years the representatives of the eight institutions that form UNIgreen have been dedicating to the project”, emphasizing that “the University of Almeria and society in general is in luck because from our campus and for all Europe we will lead the European university UNIgreen, focused on sustainable agronomy, green biotechnology and environmental and life sciences but that in the short term will be extended to other areas”. “UNIgreen will not only meet the expectations of the European Higher Education Area but will increase the opportunities for new research and teaching collaborations for our teachers and researchers; for exchange of management and language learning experiences for our administrative and service staff; and it will also increase the mobility possibilities for our students who will be able to follow study programmes jointly developed by the educational institutions of the consortium”.
The universities that make up UNIgreen in addition to the UAL are: Agricultural University of Iceland – Iceland-, Agricultural University of Plovdiv – Bulgaria-, Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra – Portugal-, Paris Sup’Biotech – France-, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia – Italy-, Warsaw University of Life Sciences – Poland- Haute École de la Province de Liège – Belgium-.
The UAL team, coordinated by the director of International Strategy, Tomás Lorenzana, with the essential support of the Projects team of the International Relations Service and the consultancy INCOMA, has led the work of the Consortium for two years to achieve this remarkable success that will put the UAL in a new dimension for the benefit of its students, teachers and administrative and services staff. Thus, UNIgreen is already one of 44 European universities, selected by the European Commission to cooperate across borders and disciplines. These higher education institutions are spread across European capitals in all European Union (EU) Member States, as well as Iceland, Norway, Serbia and Turkey will offer jointly delivered curricula on inter-university campuses, through which students, staff and researchers from all parts of Europe can enjoy seamless mobility, so that a student can study, and a professor can teach, in the different member universities of the consortium. Over time, European University Partnerships will increasingly connect faculties, departments, staff and students, offering more innovative pedagogies based on transdisciplinary approaches and challenges, implementing more joint programmes, being even more inclusive and engaging more with their communities.
In autumn 2022, the Commission will launch the fourth Erasmus+ call for proposals, with the aim of providing funding for existing partnerships and creating new ones. The European strategy for universities envisages supporting up to 60 European universities (up from the current 44) involving more than 500 higher education institutions. To this end, a record €1.1 billion is foreseen under the Erasmus+ programme 2021-2027.