UNITE.H2020: the future of European Universities in Research & Innovation

Title of the research project

UNITE.H2020 - Planning the Future of Research & Innovation in the European University Alliance Unite!

Scientific area 

Academic cooperation, Research, Innovation


The overall objective of UNITE.H2020 is to develop a shared, integrated, long-term R&I strategy for the seven universities of the Unite! European University Alliance. This strategy will focus specifically on the Green Deal, social impact, the Sustainable Development Goals and the “Clusters” and “Missions” of the Horizon Europe research and innovation framework programme. 

Description of the research project 

The European Commission invited the European universities to create transnational alliances that will become the universities of the future, promoting European values and identity, and revolutionizing the quality and competitiveness of European higher education and research. Unite! is one of the first 17 European University Alliances. It is composed by 7 universities in the STEM field that decided to develop a long-term joint strategy for education addressing societal challenges and offering inter-university ‘campus’ curricula where students, doctoral candidates, faculty and staff are mobile at all levels. Through this UNITE.H2020 project, the Alliance takes up the challenge launched by the European Commission to develop, in synergy with its education dimension, a shared, integrated, long-term research and innovation strategy. During the 3 years of the project, several pilot initiatives will be developed in the field of Energy, with special reference to the Green Deal, Industry 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence.

The project will also make possible planning common strategies for human resources, sharing research infrastructures, enhancing cooperation with non-academic actors in research and innovation, integrating Open Science, engaging citizens, civil society and public institutions, aiming also at exploring the collaboration potential with other European University Alliances.

Impact on society

The actions proposed in this project will allow Unite! universities to address together grand societal challenges in an effective way and, consequently, produce a larger impact than separately.

Working group @Polito 

WP1 - Project management

Roberto Zanino, Full Professor, Vice Rector for European Relations, project coordinator

Giorgia Novajra, Research Support Department

Valentina Romano, Research Support Department

Antonella Castellani, Research Support Department

WP2 - Common Research and Innovation Agenda

Gianmario Pellegrino, Full Professor, Rector’s Advisor for the Interdepartmental Centers

Valentina Romano, Research Support Department

Elisa Ambrosio, Research Support Department

WP3 - Sharing infrastructures and resources

Stefano Corgnati, Full Professor, Vice Rector for Research

Francesca Spinazzola, Research Support Department

Valeria Di Caro, Research Support Department

WP4 - Reinforcing academia-business cooperation

Alessandra Colombelli, Associate Professor

Shiva Loccisano, Technology Transfer Department

Ilenia Bertorello, Research Support Department

WP5 - Strengthening human capital

Claudia De Giorgi, Full Professor, Vice Rector for Quality, Welfare and Equal Opportunities

Arianna Montorsi, Associate Professor, Rector's Advisor for Gender Equality and Diversity

Chiara Biglia, Research Support Department

Elisa Pasquini, Research Support Department

WP6 - Creating a High Impact European Open Science and Innovation University

Federica Cappelluti, Associate Professor

Sara Rollino, Research Support Department

Silvia Tabotta, Research Support Department

Shalini Kurapati, Research Fellow

Paola Ferrero, Culture and Communication Department

WP7 - A UNITE! strategy for societal outreach and involvement of citizens in R&I

Juan Carlos De Martin, Full Professor, Vice Rector for Culture and Communication

Elisa Tinozzi, Culture and Communication Department

Isabella Susa, Research Support Department

WP8 - Exploring collaboration potential and joint structures of European University Alliances

Roberto Zanino, Full Professor, Vice Rector for European Relations, project coordinator

Giorgia Novajra, Research Support Department

WP9 - Disseminating and communicating Unite!

Elena Foglia Franke, Culture and Communication Department

Arianna Armao, Culture and Communication Department

Agnieszka Furman, Research Support Department

Mattia Plazio, Culture and Communication Department


National and International partners

Politecnico di Torino, Italy

Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble/Universite’ Grenoble Alpes, France

Universitat Politecnica De Catalunya, Spain

Universidade de Lisboa/ Instituto Superior tecnico, Portugal

Aalto Korkeakoulusaatio Sr, Finland

Kungliga Tekniska Hoegskolan Sweden

Technische Universitat Darmstadt, Germany


UNITE.H2020 project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No. 101017408

  • Budget: 2.000.000 euro
  • Start date: 1/01/2021
  • End date: 31/12/2023