The purpose of collaboratories is to ensure that students and faculty have the opportunity to be involved with challenges that exist outside the university. Although the university is already embedded in society, the interplay and transfer of knowledge are not to be taken for granted. The collaboratories are seen as initiatives that will be mutually beneficial for the involved students, faculty, and external actors. The collaboratories are initiatives that ensure outreach, impact and collaboration. They can help external actors change practices and access knowledge of faculty, but they can also invite external actors to participate as co-creators of knowledge. Examples in ERUA are:

University of Konstanz

University of Konstanz Innovation Centre (UKIC)

Descriptionread more about the Centre here
The UKIC provides services related to knowledge and technology transfer to university members and external institutions that are interested in corporations. They offer advice for research cooperations, including legal support for negotiating research contracts. Additionally, they provide consultations regarding patents for new inventions, the management of intellectual property and the potential foundation of new start-ups with the initiative “Kilometer1”. Students are not the direct target group of this initiative, although they are welcome to ask for help in the centre if they want to become entrepreneurs.

Centre for transferable skills

Descriptionread more about the centre here
The centre for transferable skills at UKON is an institution that coordinates events and courses that has the purpose of strengthening the students “interdisciplinary professional qualifications”. External experts from industries and businesses are invited to learn the students practice-oriented skills. In itself the centre is not an initiative outside university, but is a part of the overall structure that enables students to be embedded in the society. This is made possible by the ECTS point allocated for SQ’s. Being involved with local businesses can lead to credit points (see example with The Idea Challenge under Kilometer1).


Descriptionread more about Kilometer1 here
Together with HTWG Konstanz UKon has made up the initiative Kilometer1. The purpose is to support the entrepreneurship culture and realize ideas coming from students, scholars and other staff members at the two universities. It is possible to get proper advice regarding startup projects (e.g. help with applying for funding). Courses, events and workshops focus on different areas of the knowledge transfer from being a regular student to an entrepreneur making a societal impact.


One initiative is Idea Challenge. Here students work together with companies on how to find solutions for real life challenges. The best ideas will be rewarded. Companies can sign up and contribute with their knowledge of challenges they would like to have solved. MA students can get creditpoint for their participation in the Idea Challenge through the SQ’s (Schlüsselqualifikationen).

Roskilde University

The project bank portal

Descriptionread more about the portal here
On this portal companies, NGOs and other organizations that are embedded in societal structure can give expression to challenges they wish to have academically examined. They formulate an immediate understanding of their challenge, suggestions of relevant disciplinary perspectives, as well as contact information and a timeframe for the cooperation.

Students who want to cooperate with companies can go to this portal and search for project-partners and challenges that match their academic interests and capabilities. The students’ task is not to get hired as a free of charge specific problem solver. The overall contract between the students and the partner is that while students gets access to empirical data and real life issue on which they can apply methods and theories, the partners ideally receives academical and critical analysis of their set of problems, and get an idea of which kind of value students with a specific combination of disciplines would be able to provide.

It is of course not the exclusive privilege of the partner to formulate the research question of or to dictate the work process. Students obtain 15 ECTS points for writing and orally defending a semester project.

History of the project bank portal

In 1988 RUC started its first science shop. This was established as a counterbalance to the tendency that still more research was made financially possible by external funding. To avoid that science became the continuation of marked forces by other means the science shop was seen as the place where less privileged groups and grassroot movements could get access to and benefit from research. Students got engaged with local and national actors like schools, sustainability societies and private companies.


Descriptionread more about the project here
This project has the purpose of developing and establishing a new concept for development environments within the area of impact entrepreneurship and innovation. The vision behind the project is to create environments, where researchers, students, private companies and public organizations develop and try out solutions that can support the labour market of the future while creating societal transformations. The point is to give new life and usefulness to new and existing knowledge, information and expertise. Therefore, I’mpACT is meant as a ‘place’ where social economic businesses, non-profit organisations and other actors can come and take part in knowledge sharing, competence development and testing of methods, products and services. The project partners are Roskilde University and two different consulting houses. The project has received financial support from the municipality of Roskilde.


One significant event that has taken place within the project framework is a development hackathon. The event took place on two different days in Autumn 2020. Students, educators and researchers joint to concretize ideas about how impact entrepreneurship as sustainable working life can be shaped at RUC. The point of interest was the intersection of social innovation, sustainability and academic development of competences and work life. Participants who wanted to work with developing the concept of I’mpACT further were encouraged to do so–either by joining the I’mpACT team or by writing a master’s thesis or group project within the framework of the concept.



This is a collaboration consisting of more than 50 innovative actors from more than 30 industries. The task is for knowledge institutions, private companies and public organisations to create innovative solutions together for the benefit of the society. On the foundation of common interests knowledge is shared between different professions to ensure that the solutions are coherent. The CORO association has four key action areas: diversity, competencies, social innovation and sustainability. Divided into different clusters these four societal challenges are dealt with through innovative projects.


One project where students from RUC were involved was about anti-terror safeguards. Together with experts and potential customers, the students developed barrier constraints that would have other values and purposes than keeping out vehicles. The students focused on how the barriers could be an integrated part of the urban landscape. They tested prototypes and went back to the drawing board and made corrections. The product is now being used and developed further by the company Zhelt.



Thirdroom is a digital platform that has the purpose of creating connections between students, scholars, startups, organizations, and other external actors in a way that supports their engagement in the formulation and solving of societal challenges. Today Thirdroom mainly serves as a library for student projects, but the platform has recently received 240.000 € for the next phase of development. The hope is to actualize the overall collaboratory thought that complex societal problem areas can only be solved via the involvement of different kinds of knowledge. As a network where students and societal actors easily can find each other, the platform will serve as a support structure for impactful co-operations and mutual learning.


The Thirdroom library contains a lot of interesting student projects regarding societal challenges. One group made a specific design for sustainable urban renewal in Copenhagen, while another group wanted to use Virtual Reality to make people aware of different phobias. In another collaboration, students and members of the military school in Denmark worked together to try out how Virtual Reality could help cadets before their parachute jumping exams. At the current stage of the platform, it therefore mainly serves as a catalogue of inspiration.

New Bulgarian University

The Advertising Academy

The Advertising Academy is organized by NBU, in partnership with the Bulgarian Association of Communication Agencies and the Bulgarian Association of Advertisers, and aims to acquaint students of communication majors and future professionals with the practicalities of the advertising business. Young people are divided into teams, with the task of creating a communication campaign to launch a new product or service in an existing category at a pre-set brief. They could choose to work on a case in various categories, including “Food”, “Drinks”, “Retail”, “Financial Services”, “Cars”, “Telecommunications” and “Pharmacy”. During their work on the campaigns, students received help and advice from nearly 50 representatives of communication agencies and advertisers in the country. People from the winning team will have the opportunity to find an internship or job in an advertiser company or agency.


Winners 2021

Team 9 in the Beer sector, which is traditionally among the most desired by the participants, ranked first. The students developed a campaign for anti-stress soft beer enriched with magnesium. The Meek brand is based on the message “It’s great as it is.” The mentors of the students were Hristina Vucheva from Carlsberg and Maxim Stoimenov from the B + RED agency The second place was taken by team 16 in the sector “Non-banking financial services” with mentors Gergana Georgieva from MFG and Boyan Petrov from All Channels Communication. The students developed a concept for launching the Bialapp mobile application to the White Map. Team 18 from the “Cars” sector with mentors Alexander Grigorov and Samuil Petkov from Noble Graphics also ranked second. The students developed a comprehensive advertising strategy for the launch of the ITUS hydrogen car with the slogan “The familiar is already better”.


Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza”
The Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza”, is a non-governmental non-profit organization. The mission of the school is to support the creation of a community of civic and political leaders with an active stand in national, European and global political and public life, devoted to contemporary democratic values of pluralism, tolerance and informed debate. For more than a decade the school has been sharing an unique experience with other countries in Southeast Europe, North Africa and Ukraine. Through training programs, conferences and initiatives targeting the professional development of young civic leaders the creators of the school aim to encourage the process of democratization in Bulgaria and the countries from the Western Balkans, Black Sea region and the South Mediterranean.


For information about the ongoing projects, you can find here:

The official webpage of the school is on the link below:

University of Paris 8

EXPERICE – Territories in experience
The aim is to approach the territories from the experience that the inhabitants and citizens develop and from the collective initiatives they take to contribute to their production. The territory is therefore mainly approached as a space for experimentation and learning, conducive to the development of a critical citizen capacity. In a line of research-action, the Territoires en expérience(s) theme aims to contribute to the development of “research centres” in working-class urban and rural areas, i.e. a cooperative, long-term research approach that encourages citizens to take initiatives and the emergence of common ground. The aim is to: 1/ to see how, conceptually and methodologically, specialised knowledge (art, architecture, social sciences, education, etc.) contributes to citizen power, in collaboration with the knowledge of experience present in the territories and the knowledge of use carried by the mobilised collectives; 2/ to reflect on how to pool the knowledge gained from these experiences, which are always highly contextualised, in order to contribute to their growth as citizens; 3/ to explore and discuss the “equality methods” implemented within these experiences, in order to avoid gender, class, ethno-racial and knowledge-based discrimination from being replayed within the cooperations and experiments.

Examples /
EXPERICE cooperates with the population of working-class neighborhoods, but also with artists, street educators, architects, over long periods of time (3, 4, 5 years…), to re-equip public spaces and improve the living environment of the neighborhood, by relying on the know-how and practices of the inhabitants and by privileging the reuse of materials and decommissioned urban objects.

So skilled

So Skilled, “Soft skills, student experiences and lifelong prerequisites” aims above all to work on the acquisition of transversal skills and on the valorisation of student experience. This issue of transversal competences (soft skills), particularly developed in the humanities and social sciences but often unknown or poorly identified, concerns both initial training and lifelong learning.



The mission of this Third-Place is to promote synergies between the territory, the academic world and the socio-economic actors, by orienting its action towards the construction of sustainable and inclusive solutions.


University of the Aegean

The Blue Aegean Initiative

The main problem faced by the islands is the monoculture of the local economy, which in most cases is dependent on tourism as well as the undifferentiated island product. At the same time, the islands due to their handicap and geographical discontinuity are not considered attractive destinations for settlement resulting in stagnation and / or reduction of their population over time, while further the local population has limited opportunities and training options unless moving to the mainland. Under these conditions, the Shipping and Research in Shipping and Ports (ReSHIP), the Laboratory of Island and Local Development (ETNA) and the Information for Management Laboratory (i4M Lab) of the University of the Aegean created the “Blue Aegean” initiative that aims through a mix of activities to educate, raise awareness and mobilize students, youth, local government, professionals and islanders on the challenges and opportunities of the blue economy, green growth and sustainable entrepreneurship. “Blue Aegean” consists of two pillars and several activities, the Aegean Living Labs and the Blue Hackathon. The Blue Aegean was selected as national winner for introducing entrepreneurial skills for European Enterprise Promotion Awards in 2020.


The Aegean Living Labs
This is weekly training programs in blue entrepreneurship, which combines traditional educational methods (lectures) and at the same time experiential methodologies-learning by doing games, workshops, field research with understanding of theoretical knowledge through practical application, while enabling participants and stakeholders (speakers, guest speakers and local actors) through “experiments”, to co-create new ideas and innovative business solutions, inspired by the challenges and opportunities creates locality / insularity.
Example1 in Sxoinousa island
Example 2

Blue Hackathons
Blue Hackathon is a students’ competition that focuses on the blue economy and growth. The main topics are the transports in the Aegean and their connection with the tourist development of the islands, the creation of attractions for settlement and living in the Greek islands, the different treatment of the problems of the public interest services, the identification of the refugee issue as well as the cultural identity and the experiences of the islands.

  • 1ο Blue Hackathon 2015 Piraeus -Open data for passenger transport and maritime tourism in the Aegean “
  • 2ο Blue Hackathon 2016-Piraeus “The way to Blue Growth passes by the Aegean islands.
  • 3ο Blue Hackathon” 2017 Piraeus “Multimodal Island transports of passengers & cargos
  • 4ο Blue Hackathon 2018 Piraeus «Maritime & Coastal Tourism and Transport: Technological Transformation and Social Innovation – From Ship to Land
  • 5ο Blue Hackathon2019 Chios “Chios Blue Hackathon”
  • NAVS Blue Hackathon 2021 Digital “The way to Blue Growth passes through maritime history and shipbuilding tradition”

Blue A.I.M
The Blue A.I.M is an academic group for innovation with members of the academic community of Chios, in particular students, young scientists and professors at the School of Business and the Polytechnic School of the University of the Aegean. The group is active in the development of innovative business plans and coaching. The members of the Group hold regular working meetings, at least once a week, with invited entrepreneurs and scientists who instill in their plans their experience and knowledge.

Aegean Sailing Lab
In the same context the Aegean Sailing Lab (3rd Aegean Living Lab) was held which was organized by the Foundation “Maria Tsakos – International Foundation for Marine Research and Tradition” and ReSHIP during AEGEAN REGATTA 2018, with the aim of measuring the impact of a nautical event on island economies.

The Aegean Observatory of the Refugee and Migration Crisis

The objective of the Observatory is the systematic and comprehensive recording of multiple dimensions of the refugee and migration crisis, both historically and on a daily basis: demographic, economic, institutional, political, religious, and cultural. We are particularly interested in highlighting “from below” the perspectives of the diverse parties involved: migrants and refugees, local communities, and humanitarian actors.

The Observatory monitors the evolution of the refugee and migratory phenomena on the Aegean islands and the areas that are the main gateways for refugees and immigrants to the European area, such as Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros. The Observatory collects, saves, processes, and analyzes primary and secondary data produced by various entities as well as by itself.

The Repository – see the website here
The Observatory maintains a digital repository. The main goals of the Repository are to collect, organize, and preserve documents related to the refugee and migratory crisis in the Aegean Sea, and to record and promote relevant studies by members of the Greek and international academic communities. The Repository also has a dynamic website. Its main functions are to disseminate information on the refugee crisis on a regular, recurrent basis; to make publicly available some of the material collected by the Observatory; and to promote academic debate at the level of the international academic community. The Observatory’s repository is supported by the Greek National Documentation Center, and its website is maintained by the Information Technology Unit of the University of the Aegean.

A space of dialogue
The Observatory of the Refugee and Migration Crisis is a space of reference and dialogue for those studying the refugee and migratory phenomena in the wider Mediterranean. As such, we collaborate with academic and research institutions, humanitarian organizations and migrant and refugee collectivities in Greece and abroad; organize scientific meetings; and strive to provide better organization of research and scientific dialogue on the migration and refugee issue. The Observatory also offers a liable medium for information and a forum for communication and dialogue with displaced people themselves, public administration, humanitarian authorities, as well as local and international publics.

Aegean Startups
Aegean Startups is a business accelerator distributed among the 6 islands where University of the Aegean holds campuses and is connected with 10 other facilities / cities in Greece and in Europe. This business accelerator is demand oriented since it is working along the needs of businesses and administrations from several sectors of the economy, while utilizing the “powers” of the Aegean such as tourism, shipping, culture, agriculture, food, and beverage, etc. It is an initiative to stimulate students and young people in creating innovative, scale-able, society-rewarding businesses, in islands of the Aegean Sea.

Aegean Startups started in 2011 in Samos, Greece and is now an international competition, for anyone that wants to develop supply-chain driven, demand-oriented entrepreneurship at the Aegean Archipelago and beyond. Aegean Startups have invested more than 200,000 euro in training mentoring, teaching, supporting, and rewarding innovative teams. Up to now more than 200 innovative plans have been evaluated, more than 15 awarded and supported, and several are in different stages of operation.

Through the relevant Aegean University Summer Schools, more than 300 international students have been trained and assessed. Among them, many are now owners of the own businesses. Aegean Startups collaboration network includes business mentors, judges, incubators, accelerators, financing organizations, research centers and more from Europe and around the World.
An Aegean Startups “round” includes four stages:
1. An international launch of call for new entrepreneurial ideas tackling specific needs per sector.
2. Evaluation and Selection of Top-3 ideas.
3. Seed financing and market support for the establishment and operation of the Startup with the involvement of several stakeholders such as Local Businesses, Chambers of Commerce, Municipalities and District Officials, Individual Companies, NGOs, Business Mentors, other Incubators, etc.; and finally
4. The Go to Market stage. The Platform of Aegean Startups supports a digital submission and screening system, a team enhancement and collaboration system, as well as crowd like and crowd funding possibilities, a remote mentoring and digital training system, and information on the market status, stories and needs.

Entrepreneurial Ideas
Needs submitted by local bodies and business organizations