Transformation of the University of Gdansk towards Sustainable Development – Selected Activities and Initiatives.

Today’s societies are confronted with a number of challenges, which are recognised and defined in the United Nations resolution “Transforming our world. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), with the capacity to educate graduates aware of contemporary civilisation challenges, have been involved in supporting the implementation of the Agenda’s goals.

The University of Gdańsk pays particular attention to sustainable development, the social responsibility of the university and its role in social impact. This is reflected in the development strategy and mission of the University of Gdansk, which is to provide education, scientific activity and shape civic attitudes by addressing challenges and problems oriented towards supporting sustainable development, i.e. one that takes into account the well-being of future generations.

As the largest university in the region, it educates more than 21,000 students in 89 fields of study and conducts research in 24 scientific disciplines at 11 faculties and two International Research Agencies, undertaking institutional activities in science, teaching and cooperation with the socio-economic environment in these areas. In 2023, the university maintained its first position in the Times Higher Education Impact ranking among Polish universities.

This article presents the most important activities undertaken by the university in recent years in the field of sustainable development focusing on university-wide activities and those undertaken by the Faculty of Economics of the University of Gdańsk, which has significant achievements in this area.

The Centre for Sustainable Development of the University of Gdańsk (CZRUG)

The institutional transformation of the university towards greater sustainability can be divided into several areas. The first involves the university’s commitment to social engagement. In 2017. The University of Gdańsk was one of the first Polish universities to sign the Declaration on the Social Responsibility of Universities and, as a consequence, has its representation in the working group operating at the Team for Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility – a subsidiary body of the Minister of Funds and Regional Policy. It reports and disseminates its activities in this area in the Catalogue of Good Practices of Universities in ESG areas, which are published annually.

In 2019, the Commission for Social Responsibility was established at the University of Gdansk with the task of pursuing the strategic objective included in the “Strategy of the University of Gdansk for 2020-2025”, formulated as “Openness, social responsibility and engagement of the University”, building an academic community based on an academic culture of equality and developing and implementing a coherent monitoring system for gender equality.

Over the past few years, university-wide units have been established within the organisational structure of the University of Gdansk, which have taken and are taking action for sustainable development within the scope of their competences. On the area of cooperation and development, these include the Office of Analysis and Expertise, the Centre for Sustainable Development, and the Centre for Marine Research. The decisions to establish them have affected not only the university itself, but also its environment, by promoting education and disseminating knowledge for sustainable development through the exchange of scientific knowledge and experience between researchers of social and economic phenomena and strengthening cooperation between representatives of various scientific disciplines with business.

Established in 2017, the Centre for Analysis and Expertise, now the Office of Analysis and Expertise, as part of its activities initiates and builds collaborative networks for the implementation of research and expert opinions on issues such as: good quality education (objective 4), clean water and sanitation (objective 6), clean and accessible energy (objective 7), innovation, industry, infrastructure (objective 9), climate action (objective 13), life under water (objective 14), life on land (objective 15).   An important aspect of the Bureau’s activities is to bring together researchers representing different scientific disciplines of the University of Gdansk and to obtain commissions for research, expert opinions, opinions on topics relevant to sustainable development. Recently, the Office of Analysis and Expertise has managed complex projects concerning pre-investment studies and environmental impacts of the construction and operation of artificial islands in the Baltic Sea. These studies covered a wide range of parameters including: noise, marine mammals, ichthyofauna. The Office of Analysis and Expertise coordinates the CALALISI project on the part of the University of Gdansk, paying particular attention to ESG and SDG issues.

In view of the increasing priority given to sustainable development issues, a unit dedicated to the SDGs  – the Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD) – was established at the University of Gdansk in 2021. In addition to conducting research, the Centre carries out projects to educate and promote the idea of sustainable development among the academic community and in the socio-economic environment. It operates on the basis of 7 substantive programmes: Research and Projects, International Cooperation, Education for Sustainable Development, Green University, Cooperation with the Social Environment, Culturally about Sustainable Development, Conversations about Sustainable Development and one practical one: the Internship Programme. The Centre undertakes specific educational activities for sustainable development by creating or co-creating, among others, postgraduate programmes on sustainable development such as: Education for Sustainable Development: offshore wind energy, Outdoor EducationMitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change. Centre’s activities also focus on raising awareness of sustainability through cultural activities, e.g. through the implementation of projects, a virtual bookshelf; the organisation of meetings on the challenges of the modern world: “Difficult migrations. On the refugee crisis once again’, ‘For Ukraine, with Ukraine. Experiences and perspectives’, “Good education in times of crisis” or active participation in international events: Global Crusade e-culture for all (Latin America-Europe Cultural Ring). The Green University programme, in turn, implements initiatives to reduce the university’s carbon footprint by: using green energy from renewable sources, implementing procedures to reduce electricity and heat consumption and waste generation, applying CSR (cooperate social resposibility) procedures in public procurement.

The Centre coordinates or participates in national and international research, teaching and development projects:

 We zero emissions – knowledge transfer from the University of Gdansk

The project includes activities to popularise anti-emissions, aimed at students and teachers of primary and secondary schools in Pomerania, as well as students and university staff. 

TOWNSHIP – Towards Sustainable Beautiful and Inclusive Cities  

The project will result in three Intensive International Training Programmes (IMPK) to increase the internationalisation of UG’s educational offer

CIR-CO-WAY – Polish-Norwegian way to the circular cooperation in industrial, science and technology parks  

The project is about Polish-Norwegian cooperation to increase the competence and role of science, industry and technology parks in green transformation, especially in the context of a circular economy. 

REGIONS2030: Monitoring the SDGs in EU regions – filling the data gaps

The aim of the project is to develop indicators for monitoring the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the NUTS II level of the European Union.

RE-WIRING – Realising Girls’ and Women’s Inclusion, Representation and Empowerment

The aim of the RE-WIRING project is to analyse the prevailing legal, political, social and cultural and educational approaches that contribute to discrimination against women and girls with a view to change, by redesigning existing legal, policy and institutional approaches. 

The Faculty of Economics at the University of Gdansk is one of 11 faculties at the University of Gdansk that stands out for its SDG and ESG activities. Many departmental initiatives have inspired representatives of academic disciplines other than economics and finance. 

The selected sustainability activities of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Gdansk are:

SDG 1: Individual support in the form of suspension of university fees in special cases, such as a pandemic or war in Ukraine. Participation in activities at local and regional level to combat poverty in all its dimensions.

SDG 2: Actions to disseminate knowledge on food security and rational use of food. Participation in collections organised as part of World Food Day.

SDG 3: Launching the first degree course in Telemedicine and projects in health care Health Care Technology. Participation in the preparation of a study on efficiency problems in the functioning COVID-19 vaccination system. Organisation of a collection of daily necessities for the Hospice House (Student Business Club). Participation in the #StudentsForUkraine campaign.

SDG 4: Organisation of events open to the community environment, including primary and secondary schools. Interactive lectures and workshops, science cafés and competitions for young people as part of the project “Science Clubs at the University of Gdansk – known and unknown faces of science”, Fridays with Logistics, World Entrepreneurship Day, Sustainable Development Day, Open Days of the Faculty of Economics.

SDG 5: There are two public drinking water dispensers in the faculty building. Toilets are installed with water saving valves, mixer taps with water mixers.

SDG 6: Since 2021, the lighting in the faculty has been successively replaced with nergy-efficient lighting (replacement of fixtures and fluorescent lamps with led lamps). Development of study offerings in the field of renewable nergy sources. A specialisation in offshore marine sectors has been launched in the economics faculty, which fits in with the concept of the blue economy and responds to market signals.

SDG 7: Establishment of the HR Excellence in Research Strategy Implementation and Monitoring Team. Its tasks include analysing the needs in relation to the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for Staff Recruitment in the implementation of the HR Strategy and monitoring the needs and corrective actions taken.

SDG 8: Introduce facilities for people with disabilities. Elimination of architectural barriers.

SDG 10: Implement community education campaigns on climate change risks, mitigation and reduction.

SDG 11: Undertake research and educational activities to support the protection of marine ecosystems.

SDG 12: Conduct research on inland navigation and maritime and road transport that will take into account the protection of ecosystems and their diversity.

SDG 13: Collaborate with local, regional and national authorities by providing their expert support and delivering research results to, among others: Pomeranian Investment Council for Reimbursable Instruments, Task Force for Integrated Development Policy of Poland and Europe of the Committee for Spatial Planning of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Mobility and Transport Council at the President of the City of Gdańsk, Expert Council for Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans at the Minister of Infrastructure.

SDG 14: Involvement in educational activities on sustainable development that are socially relevant and addressed to all students, e.g. an Oxford debate tournament for secondary schools on the topic of social responsibility of science. Organisation of a Congress of Economic and Environmental Student Circles on sustainability with the participation of students, pupils and their parents.

There is an ESG Working Team in the department. This is a research team that has formed at the Pomeranian ESG Forum. The first activity of the team is the creation of an ESG report for one of the Tri-City non-profit organisations. This provides the basis for a research analysis of the problems that small and medium-sized enterprises that have decided to report on sustainability and those in the supply chains of reporting companies may encounter. The Directive requires large companies to review their supply (value) chains for ESG compliance. As a result, ESG reporters will require a lot of data from their collaborators that was not previously required. These relate to issues such as employment or greenhouse gas emissions.

The initiative of the Faculty of Economics also includes the Pomeranian ESG Forum. These are cyclical meetings organised for entrepreneurs with the aim of creating a space for business and academics to jointly exchange experiences in the field of ESG and support each other in implementing sustainability criteria in business practice. The 2nd meeting of the Pomeranian Forum will take place later in 2023. And will be dedicated to raising finance for sustainable business. The first Forum was about an introduction to ESG and attracted a lot of interest from companies – a total of more than 90 people signed up, more than 70 actively participated. Our main success is that businesses want to build such a space together with us and are themselves volunteering to present their concept of ESG action as part of the Forum. We, in turn, get the opportunity to define real economic problems faced by entrepreneurs. 

The department organises the competition, under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Science, which attracts more than 6,000 students from schools across the country every year. One of the main thematic areas is the sustainability of the TSL (transport, forwarding and logistics) sector. This year, the first-level competition (the competition is a three-stage event) took place on 17 November 2023.

In terms of staff training, the postgraduate course in ESG – ESG Manager, which responds to the needs of businesses in relation to non-financial reporting, deserves particular attention.

The activities of the Faculty of Economics in the field of sustainable development are reflected in the coordinated and ongoing international research, development and teaching projects.

CE4CE “Public Transport Infrastructure in Central Europe – facilitate transitioning to circular economy”

The CE4CE project is reducing the environmental footprint of public transport by using circular economy principles. 

SPINE “Smart Public transport Initiatives for Climate-Neutral cities in Europe”  

SPINE’s vision is to accelerate progress towards climate neutrality by strengthening public transport systems through their smart integration with new mobility services, sharing schemes, active transport modes and micromobility. 

SUMPs for BSR “Enhancing effective Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning for supporting active mobility in BSR cities”  

The project supports cities in changing their planning practices towards people-centred sustainable urban mobility planning, promoting active modes of transport and supporting active and healthy lifestyles of citizens, while reducing traffic emissions. 

The CATALISI team from University of Gdansk is involved in many of the above sustainability activities.

Adamczuk Monika, MSc; Director of the Cooperation and Development Office

Borkowski Przemysław, PhD, DSc; Vice Dean for Science ans Internationalization, Faculty of Economics

Czerepko Joanna, PhD; Assistant Professor, Department of Transport Market, Faculty of Economics, Member of the ESG Working Team, Organiser of Pomeranian ESF Forum, Member of SPINE project

Disterheft Izabela, MSc; Employee of the Office for Analysis and Experice,

Markiewicz Katarzyna, PhD; CATALISI technical manager, Employee of the Office for Analysis and Experice,

Mrozowska Sylwia, PhD, DSc; Vice-Rector for Cooperation and Development

Susmarski Sebastian, PhD; CATALISI project manager, Director of the Office for Analysis and Experice,

Szmelter-Jarosz Agnieszka, PhD; Assistant Professor, Department of Logistic, Faculty of Economics, Member of C4CE project, SPINE project, SUMPs for BSR project

Tłoczyński Dariusz, PhD, DSc; Head, Department of Transport Market, Faculty of Economics

First CATALISI webinar: Gender and Inclusion in Higher Education

First webinar held on November 23, 2023

The Webinar on Gender and Inclusion in Higher Education aimed to achieve several key goals, including the dissemination of best practices and research findings in the realm of gender and inclusion within higher education. 

Additionally, the webinar sought to pinpoint actionable strategies to advance gender equality and promote inclusion within the higher education landscape. The success of the event can be attributed to the insightful contributions of two distinguished speakers who are experts in the field of Gender and Inclusion in Higher Education. Namely:

Sabina Pellizzoni a technologist at INFN (National Institute for Nuclear Physics), and she is the coordinator Gender Mentoring programme INFN: the first gender mentoring in an Italian research institution. Sabina is an INFN Team member for GENERA Network and she is external expert of the GETA Observatory CNR IRPPS: for updating and analysing data and monitoring gender balance issues.

Magdalena Zadkowska an Assistant professor in Sociology Institute at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Gdańsk, Principal Investigator, Academic Teacher, Expert, focused on women and men carriers in STEM, diversity management, intimate relations and gender studies. Cooperates in international research projects with Norway, USA, Canada, UK, Italy, Romania, Chile and France.

Their diverse backgrounds in physics and sociology brought a multifaceted perspective to the topic, enriching the discussions. Notably, the speakers presented best practices in advancing gender equality and fostering inclusion om higher education contexts, providing valuable insights for the audience. The engaged audience demonstrated a profound interest in the subject matter, creating a dynamic space for mutual learning. This collaborative environment facilitated the exchange of research results, personal insights, and backgrounds, ultimately strengthening cooperation among European universities and institutions.

Check out the Learning Hub for materials and recordings of all upcoming workshops!

In case you missed the first wbinar, you can watch the recording also here:

First CoP Workshop: A Leap Towards Transformative Research and Innovation

First CoP workshop held on November 7, 2023

The aim of the first CoP Mobilization and Mutual Learning (MML) workshop was to share key insights from previous EU-funded projects and successful experiences on institutional transformation in Research and Innovation that can be of inspiration to the Community of Practice. This also contributed to accelerating the transformation of universities in different areas of intervention.

After an insightful introduction on the CATALSI policy context by Stijn Delaure, from DG RTD, the four speakers illustrated their projects, stories and experiences followed by an engaging session of questions and answers. . The contribution of three H2020-funded project representatives (TIMES4SC, GRACE, Co-Change) was enormously beneficial to share with participants processes and challenges linked to institutional transformation implementation. The event was opened and closed by the coordinator of CATALISI, APRE.  

In the words of Laura Mentini, the workshop was proven to be successful in gathering a wide pool of experts and professionals in the field of institutional transformation of higher Education Institutions around the priorities of the European Research Agenda. 

The variety of participants attending the event, the engaging presentations and questions from the audience illustrates the profound interest on the topic as well as the urgent need to continue creating mutual learning spaces to share tools, advice and knowledge on how to promote and consolidate Research and Innovation transformations at university level as well as strengthening European Universities collaborations and alliances.
Laura Mentini
Project Manager, APRE

Our event speakers were:

Stijn Delaure, Policy Officer, ERA, Spreading Excellence, Research Careers DG for Research and Innovation – European Commission, Belgium; responsible for policy development in support of higher education sector, research management and research careers, in the context of the new European Research Area (ERA). 

Eugenia Vilarchao, Science Officer, Inclusive Science cluster, European Science Foundation; works on EC-funded projects with a primary focus on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) such as SUPPORTER and TIME4CS, where her expertise centres on Gender Equality, Citizen Science, and Public Engagement. She also significantly contributes to integrating RRI principles into various research projects (RESIST, ENFIELD, MOBI-TWIN). In the frame of the GRACE-RRI project, she was part of the coordination team and lead the implementation of Institutional Changes on RRI within the ESF. 

Ciro Franco, Head of National Research Support Office and Coordinator of HRS4R Management Committee at Sapienza Università di Roma. The National Research Support Office promotes the participation of Sapienza researchers to research funding opportunities at national and regional level, including PNRR funds. He has a long experience as expert and vice-chair within evaluation panels for R&I projects in the context of Horizon funding programme. 

Mila Grahovac, Associate Professor, University of Novi Sad; an associate professor at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Novi Sad. Although her main field of expertise is phytopathology and biological and other alternative tools for plant disease management, from 2018 she is actively involved in RRI, particularly in gender equality and public engagement in RPO. She is working on integrating GE and PE at institutional level at Faculty of Agriculture and she was leader of the RRIzing lab in the Horizon 2020 project Co-Change.  

Claudia Iasillo, Project Manager, APRE focusing on science and society relationship. She has been involved in several EU funded projects (e.g. RURITAGE, SISCODE, QUEST, FETFX, HOLiFOOD) and she is coordinating the H2020 project TIME4CS and the HE project BlueRev.   

Next action steps:  

The Community of Practice members will be involved in the CATALISI project activities and events at both national and European level, according to their geographical focus and expertise, to continue sharing their methods, tools and stories.  An online platform has been created to stimulate participants in common discussions. The second MML online event will be organized by APRE for the Community of Practice members, and further details will be shared soon. 

Learn more about joining the Community of Practice on our dedicated page and check out the Learning Hub for materials and recordings of all upcoming workshops!

In case you missed the first CoP, you can watch the recording also here:

First CATALISI Community of Practice (CoP) workshop!

Institutional changes are needed to reform the most important priorities and challenges for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) regarding institutional transformations towards the future.

With this in mind, the CATALISI supports seven European HEIs to pursue institutional transformation by intervening in specific domains through the adoption of targeted acceleration services. The CATALISI Community of Practice (CoP) is one of the acceleration services provided within the project. The CoP is composed of a group of people who share common interests, valuable expertise and experience in institutional transformation in HEIs, and that can feed the project activities with relevant expertise, methods, stories, tools, for the transformation of Higher Education Institution’s governance.

First CoP workshop will be held on November 7, 2023 (15:00-17:00 CET). The aim of this first CoP workshop is to share knowledge and experience between professionals and experts of the field of institutional transformation with the objective to: 

1) build collective knowledge around the topic of institutional transformation of HEIs in shared domains of interest 

2) provide advice, guidance and new ideas to CATALISI Higher Education Institutions, ultimately contributing to the acceleration of transformation in the governance of HEIs in different areas of intervention.

Selected speakers will focus on sharing their experiences and inspirational stories in institutional transformations of HEIs, by focusing on the following aspects:

  • Introduction to their project and domain of intervention
  • Good practices, approaches and strategies adopted to achieve institutional transformations in the R&I area
  • Obstacles and challenges faced to achieve transformative actions, how were these solved?
  • Recommendations to HEIs when facing institutional transformations.

Interested to join the first Community of Practice workshop? 
Sign up here!

How to boost open science in Spain: the new National Open Science Strategy (ENCA)

In 2023 the National Open Science Strategy (ENCA) was published in Spain. This strategy sets a series of measures and goals (promotion and strengthening of transparency, quality and reproducibility of research results) that have been promoted in the European Union for years, most recently through the European Research and Innovation Area. These issues are addressed by the ENCA with the aim of facilitating and promoting the creation of a national open science policy in Spain, also adapted to the international context. The ENCA has been developed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation through the General Secretary for Research, which created the Open Science Commission (OSC) at the end of 2018, coordinated by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT).

The importance of this strategy lies in the current way the scientific publication system functions. Currently, an important part of the gold open-access journals in which researchers have been encouraged to publish offer the possibility to do so in open access on the condition that researchers pay up to EUR 9,500. Money that has been generally covered by public funding. In addition to this, peer reviews are done by the researchers themselves for free. This way, researchers, and ultimately universities, have been moved to participate in a system where private entities are paid to allow access to knowledge that universities themselves produce, often, at least in Spain, with public funding. However, it is increasingly common for universities to have their own repositories where researchers upload their articles in open access.

The way in which scientific journals are being financed makes access to academic knowledge difficult. The ENCA seeks to alleviate these problems through a multidimensional approach to open science. Thus, six dimensions are distinguished around the concept of open science and its strategic implementation: open access to research results; open data, protocols and methodology; the creation of open source platforms; open peer review; the promotion of citizen science and the creation of new indicators for research assessment.

This way, the aim of ENCA is to address the question of researchers’ access to previous results and reflections so they can contrast and enrich their own studies. The actions promoted through this strategy can also derive into a transformation in the logics governing the assessment system within the research community: not only will it matter the journal’s impact factor when evaluating the worth of an article, but also how the reflections and results provided can contribute to generating knowledge with a positive impact on society.

The CATALISI project, in its implementation at Universitat Jaume I, seeks to develop interventions along the lines of ENCA. In addition to the funding of diamond journals[1] already being done at UJI, CATALISI aims to: promote the recognition of the use of public repositories as a good research practice and add peer reviewing in open access journals as a good practice in researcher assessment. Here it is worth highlighting the importance of mutual learning in the promotion of a sustainable open science, something promoted among CATALISI partners.


By: Carlota Carretero García, UJI



[1] Journals where all papers are open access and neither the readers or the authors need to pay for the publication.

Towards Sustainability of Research and Innovation – CATALISI workshop at UCC

Over 40 stakeholders from across the quadruple helix come together in Cork for a full day workshop to examine what’s needed to support sustainable and best practice research and innovation in the City and region.  

Aligned to the University College Corks Institutional Strategy, the EU Horizon Europe CATALISI initiative (Collaboration, Action, Transformation, Adaptation, Learning, Innovation, Sustainability, and Impact) invited stakeholders to deliberate on the topic of ‘Financial Sustainability for Research & Innovation’ 

University College Cork (UCC) is committed to delivering impactful R&I that addresses societal challenges; transforming research into meaningful policy; and delivering a highly skilled workforce as key enablers of future economic development and national competitiveness.  

This workshop initiated dialogue with internal and external stakeholders to explore what’s needed to accelerate transformation towards a more financially sustainable research and innovation ecosystem that enhances excellence and world-class research.  

Held on August 2nd 2023, the workshop kick starts a longer-term process for collaborating with stakeholders in Cork, listening to their needs, experience and expertise to understand the current landscape and explore issues, challenges, barriers and the conditions that affect and inform this critical area of university operations and external partnerships.  

The UCC CATALISI intervention area ‘Financial Sustainability for Research & Innovation’ directly spans two of the three CATALASI Intervention Domains: namely ‘Research Modus Operandi’ and ‘Finance’, with a strong relationship to the ‘Human Capital’ Domain.  

Framing the intervention area, UCC recognize that financial sustainability is integral and related to realizing sustainability in broader terms and within the context of a research and innovation eco-system that interacts at local, regional, national and international levels.    

In the morning, a committed and passionate group of internal UCC stakeholders focussed on university operations, while the afternoon provided an opportunity to listen deeply to the diverse perspectives of our external stakeholders.  

All participants considered (i) the local context and framework conditions for sustainable research and innovation, (ii) barriers to financial sustainability and (iii) stakeholders needs, values concerns and expectations.   

Throughout, facilitated discussions invited critical reflection on the research ecosystem and explored what’s needed to strengthen how it contributes to long-term development of Cork and the wider region, to address climate change, sustainable growth and ensure social cohesion.  

Additionally, stakeholders who were unable to attend on the day provided written inputs and many others expressed interest to engage with the ongoing work of the project, reflecting the strong local interest in the CATALISI initiative.  

As an output from the workshop, the Cork CATALASI team has collated inputs and feedback into a summary report which includes a high-level SWOT and snapshot of the current context for internal and external conditions.  This will be used as a launchpad for further engagement in Autumn 2023, where discussions will begin to ideate and co-create possible solutions and activities to respond to the challenges identified and support transformation towards more sustainable research and innovation.  

The workshop was co-led by the UCC CATALASI team, Dr Martin Galvin, Dr David O’Connell, David Hogan and Ciara O’Halloran, together with Joanna Karas from the European Network of Living Labs (ENOLL).  

Recognition of qualifications, role of the society and sustainability on campus – CATALISI workshop at UG

The workshop on “Transformational Changes with CATALISI Stakeholders” at the University of Gdańsk (UG) aimed to explore and discuss the concept of catalyzing transformative changes through stakeholder engagement. This workshop recognized the importance of collaboration, innovation, and shared responsibility in driving positive societal and environmental impact.

With the acronym CATALISI representing Collaboration, Action, Transformation, Adaptation, Learning, Innovation, Sustainability, and Impact, this workshop brings together diverse stakeholders from academia, industry, government, civil society, and the local community. The University of Gdańsk serves as a dynamic platform for fostering dialogue, exchange of ideas, and collective action towards achieving sustainable and transformative outcomes.

All key stakeholders, both internal and external, were invited to participate in a workshop, co-led together by UG team – prof. Sylwia Mrozowska, Phd Sebastian Susmarski and Phd Katarzyna Markiewicz – and Joanna Karas (ENoLL) on June 16th 2023 at University of Gdańsk (UG).

During this workshop, participants have engaged in interactive sessions, presentations, and discussions to explore the potential of collaboration and stakeholder engagement in driving transformative changes. The focus was be on addressing pressing the three major intervention areas:

– Human Capital;

– Research Modus Operandi;

– Finance.

By convening stakeholders with various perspectives, expertise, and experiences, this workshop aimed to facilitate knowledge sharing, to inspire innovative approaches, and foster partnerships that can lead to actionable solutions and impactful outcomes. Participants had the opportunity to exchange best practices, learn from success stories, and identify pathways for transformative changes within universities main intervention areas include:

– the recognition of qualifications and research careers;

– the public engagement with and outreach to society to solve social challenges;

– the sustainability in campus.

The outcomes of the workshop will serve as the primary contribution towards advancing the strategy for addressing the three challenges. These challenges will be tackled through concrete actions and bolstered by acceleration services. The workshop results will provide valuable insights and recommendations that will guide the development of the strategy, ensuring a comprehensive and effective approach to overcoming the identified obstacles. The aim is to create a framework that integrates targeted actions with the necessary support services to successfully tackle these challenges and drive meaningful progress.

Open science, IP sharing and researchers’ qualifications – CATALISI Workshop at AUTH

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki convened a stakeholder event on July 12th, gathering representatives from academia, business, the public sector, and civil society. The event focused on addressing the university’s current challenges and needs, particularly in areas such as IP sharing, researcher qualification, and open science adoption.

During the event, stakeholders delved into the obstacles faced by Aristotle University, including limited cross-sector collaboration, research silos, and a gap between academic knowledge and practical applications. These challenges were acknowledged as hindrances to the university’s transformational journey.

Effective IP sharing mechanisms emerged as a key priority, with stakeholders stressing the importance of fostering an environment that encourages researchers to share intellectual assets, collaborate with industry, and translate their findings into tangible outcomes. Improving IP sharing frameworks would enable collaborative research and development, resulting in innovative solutions and greater societal impact.

The qualification of researchers was also highlighted as a critical area of focus. Stakeholders recognized the significance of attracting and nurturing highly qualified individuals capable of addressing complex challenges. They emphasized the need for comprehensive support systems, including opportunities for continuous learning, interdisciplinary collaboration, and professional development. Empowering researchers with the necessary qualifications and skills will drive meaningful change and advancements in various fields.

Additionally, the adoption of open science practices was discussed as a transformative pathway for Aristotle University. Stakeholders acknowledged the benefits of open science in enhancing transparency, reproducibility, and collective learning. Embracing open science would foster a collaborative ecosystem where research data, methodologies, and findings are openly shared, facilitating increased innovation, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and societal relevance.

By recognizing the challenges and discussing the critical needs related to IP sharing, researcher qualification, and open science adoption, stakeholders initiated a fruitful dialogue. Aristotle University can now leverage the insights gained from the event to shape its strategic direction, policies, and collaborations. With a collective commitment to collaboration and shared aspirations, the university aims to drive positive change and create a lasting impact on society and the global community.

Discussing 4 intervention areas for institutional transformation – CATALISI Workshop at LUISS

On 11th of July, LUISS University CATALISI team, together with project partners APRE, EY and ENoLL, organised a workshop to discuss its path to institutional transformation.

The event gathered all stakeholders among LUISS academic community as key actors playing a major role in implementing foreseen transformations in the University. The workshop goal was to identify, jointly with LUISS stakeholders, all barriers, needs, expectations and framework conditions that can influence the institutional transformations.

In the CATALISI context, LUISS has decided to focus on four major intervention areas:

  • Mainstreaming of open science and digitisation of research
  • Public engagement with and outreach to society to solve social challenges
  • Supporting talent circulation – mobility
  • Sustainability in Research

The discussions were focused around identified short-, medium- and long-term goals foreseen in the 4 areas. In particular:

  • How to raise awareness about Open Science among the Faculty and on a governance level, to improve the quality of publications in Open Access and develop innovative tools for Open Science.
  • How to support public engagement, as the University Third Mission, increasing the internal awareness towards Third Mission, the quality of public engagement activities done in LUISS with the active involvement of the Faculty, and ultimately enhance Luiss’ role in the national and international debate on Third Mission.
  • How to promote and improve LUISS’ policies to attract ERC an MSCA researchers, promoting talent circulation.
  • How to promote research funding opportunities on sustainability issues at large and increase the number of quality researchers through external funding and tools which support financial sustainability.

Gathering experiences, thoughts and propositions from LUISS community, the results of the workshop will contribute greatly to the action plan for institutional transformation to be developed in 2023, together with the help and support of facilitating partners and innovative acceleration services foreseen in CATALISI.

Reform of research assessment & culture: CATALISI workshop at AUMC

As part of the CATALISI project and series of workshops conducted with universities, AUMC & VU institutions, with stakeholders from both  AmsterdamUMC (location VUMC) and VU (Amsterdam Free University) organized a workshop on June 30th.

CATALISI gathers stakeholders from quadruple helix (academia, public sector, business and civil society representatives). In this workshop, the first of more to come, stakeholders were invited to think along about two main intervention areas that will be the focus for institutional transformation: 

1) Recognition of qualifications and research careers and

2) Reform of research assessment.

Topics related to both areas can be connected to a focus on improving Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). Related topics are for example: Research culture; research integrity; open science and RCR education.

The group of stakeholders was, based on expertise, divided into two thematical sub groups; the first focusing on research culture, and the second on embedding sustainably RCR education. The stakeholders contributed in lively sessions, sharing their expertise on these topics. Policy makers, researchers in RCR, and experts in specific topics all had valuable ideas about specifying the goals for CATALISI, analyzing potential barriers for the implementation of institutional transformation and highlighting needs and expectations, values, and concerns for different stakeholders perspectives.

This workshop provides a great starting point for the launch of CATALISI at AUMC and VU, engaging stakeholders, and gathering their expertise and feedback to inquire possible interventions, and make sure these interventions will be useful and feasible.