The ECIU University has developed a long-term joint research strategy on smart regions, building on the rapid development of digital infrastructures across Europe.
The ECIU University research strategy is aimed at addressing complex research challenges related to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG 11): “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. At ECIU University research is challenge-based, use-inspired. More importantly, it is team-based research, and the universities work closely with partners from industry, government and civil society.
Therefore, to implement the research strategy, the ECIU University is creating a SMART-ER Virtual Research Institute, which is a framework for joint research, enabling all 12 ECIU University members to work together on the topics related to SDG 11.
Moreover, many areas within the broad scope of research, connected to SDG 11 topics, require efforts from many stakeholders – such as digital transformations to low-urbanized areas or implementing different services for mobility and transport.
Therefore, ECIU partners distinguish two cross-cutting concerns that will need to be addressed to make these transformations successful: human capital and co-creation, including interdisciplinarity. These two themes underpin the ECIU University research and innovation agenda and the SMART-ER activities.
The Co-created R&I Agenda has been developed through a co-creative process, with topics of common interest identified by researchers as a source of guidance and inspiration. To support the agenda and facilitate international challenge-based research, SMART-ER is building open, interdisciplinary communities of researchers and stakeholders across the ECIU network working together in addressing societal challenges in each thematic area.
Led by Research Field Coordinators, each community offers the opportunity for networking, sharing best practices, finding partners and developing joint proposals for funding.
Find our shared agenda topics and contact your Research Field Coordinator to join the community using the menu below.
1. Climate-resilient energy sector
2. Encouragement to the producers to decrease the virgin raw materials consumption
3. Renewable sources of energy & integration of renewables in the energy system
4. Decarbonization of the power sector toward net-zero emission by 2020
5. Whole life cycle analysis.
6. The role of civil society and social movements in energy transitions
7. Social sustainability in the logistic sector and resource depletion for manufacturing processes
8. Citizen engagement targeting bringing the public on as a champion of research in this area to help "motivate" political policy
9. Embodied energy of products
10. Smart design of optimal and reliable energy systems
11. Reliability and Safety Study of Energy Systems
12. International provision chains for renewable energies
13. Energy storage
14. Transformative innovation perspectives
15. Resilient any-scenario communication networks
Sustainable energy systems and a focus on heat transfer, nanofluids, CFD and energy system analysis.
Experience and current work:
Portuguese Delegate to the EU Energy Committee and an expert on energy certification systems in buildings and industry; an expert on the International Protocol for the Measurement and Verification of Energy Performance; a senior member of the Portuguese Engineering Society and the Portuguese Metrology Society, the Portuguese Society of Qualified Experts and the International Association of Energy Engineers; teaches subjects in the field of thermal and fluids with a focus on applied thermodynamics, refrigeration, air conditioning and energy management.
1. Reuse (and recycling) of challenging waste fractions, such as multimaterials/composites and critical materials in the European context
2. Development of biological, thermal, physical and chemical technologies for resource recovery.
3. Investigate the impact of consumer behavioural change on the environmental, economic, and social aspects of a product's life-cycle.
4. Circular oriented innovation
5. Disassembling of product at end of life for component reusage
6. Development of products for circular economy
7. Effects of legislation and business models on circular economy solutions and the drivers and barriers regarding legislation at national and EU level.
8. Materials, such as Polymers, Construction materials and critical raw materials
9. Acceptance of different solutions, e.g. markets for nutrient products recovered from waste streams.
10. Execution and implementation of circular economy principles within an organization
11. Recovery of resources, e.g. nutrients, metals, carbon and/or energy, from industrial, municipal and agricultural waste streams
12. How to integrate CE-thinking into the development work (for example C2C innovation and stage-gate innovation work)
13. Circular construction
14. Sustainable exploitation of mineral raw materials (no more mining wastes; integral use of low-grades)
15. Food waste recycling and food waste valorization
Biofuel/biochemical & biopolymer production/valorisation from lignocellulose/organic waste/wastewater and algal biomass via biorefinery (Fermentation, Anaerobic digestion) and Microbial fuel/electrolysis cell (MFC& MEC) technologies.
Experience and current work:
>10 years profound knowledge and experience on various sustainable technologies towards circular economy aspect; PI/Co-PI on various projects related to circular economy; working on application of green synthesized activated carbon and Nano particles towards various environmental remediation applications (Lab Site); involved in Sustainability and Circular Economy Research Cluster (ScERC) in University of Stavanger towards an interdisciplinary connection between academy, industry and society.
1. Autonomous Driving and Smart Mobility. Create Methods for Multi-Sensors based Road Scene Analysis.
2. Artificial intelligence to mobility and transport prediction
3. Artificial Intelligence for Logistics Management
4. Urban transport in post covid era
5. Zero-emission public transportation
6. Smart design of optimal and reliable systems
7. Shareconomy in logistics (uberization of trucking, car sharing, crowdsourced logistics, platform, etc.).
8. Fully integrated multi-modal mobility options with transportation delay predictions and mobility apps from public administrations
9. Electric vehicles
10. Better use of travel card data for optimization
11. Sharing and utilization of real-time data in supply chains
12. Development and evaluation of integrated concepts in mobility and land use planning
13. Digitalisation of urban transport (shared mobility, mobility as a service), and its societal impacts
14. Walkability and emotions in urban environments
15. Bikeability – from car-dependency to soft mobility
Green logistics and green supply chain management and its interfaces with related research areas such as consumer behavior, quality management, and vehicle design and configuration.
Experience and current work:
Performs conceptual research, as well as collaborative research with numerous organisations; teaches at master and research levels and is the head of a 5-year master programme in Energy - Environment - Management at Linköping University.
1. Trade-offs between resilience and equity/justice
2. Co-creation of practices facilitating resilient communities
3. Social health of communities & social capital (social networks, social trust, reciprocity norms)
4. Citizen participation
5. Employ scenario-building to stimulate community engagement in community engagement in co-creating sustainable and smart communities.
6. Renewable energy production balanced with consumption in a localised community-focused manner
7. Power relations in a resilient community: between members, between community and authorities, between community and society more in general
8. Urban infrastructures risks due to extreme events => nature-based solutions
9. Building on a broad range of stakeholder/community/professional experiences to ensure dealing with the most difficult problem for sustainability
10. How to promote the reuse and adaptation of the built stock to both climate change and social change
11. Analysis of how city-regions are emerging as key contexts for building resilient urban futures
12. Collective action problems associated with community adaptation and resilience
13. Hybrid governance solutions that involve communities, governments and market-based arrangements
14. Multimodality in urban resilient transport systems (car, cycling, shared mobility, public transport)
15. Citizen science/crowd-sourced science
Climate Change and Summer Energy Poverty; Transport Energy Poverty; Resilience in the Built Environment.
Experience and current work:
An interdisciplinary architect engineer with a focus on sustainable, resilient and affordable housing; currently a postdoctoral researcher at ASUTUT, Tampere University (Finland); teaches the importance of a human-centered lens to achieve sustainable, resilient and affordable housing.
Computer vision and machine learning with a particular focus on medical imaging.
Experience and current work:
Current Elected President of the European Network of Living Labs; awarded with the Spanish Gov. Ramon y Cajal Grant (2010) and Google Academy Award (2014) for his research; led different projects related to the implementation of models of Living Labs in the context of citizen-centric Open Innovation; coordinates Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and ECIU Communities of Citizen Science; gives lectures in “Machine Learning”, “Robotics”, “Urban Open Innovation” and “Models of Open Innovation and Citizen Science”.
The SMART-ER Academy aims to offer a novel approach of training-capacity programmes that goes beyond the conventional praxis and comfort zone. This will involve researchers from all their professional stages (from R1 to R4) in stimulating training, based on the ECIU University challenge-based learning approach (CBL), focusing the activities on relevant topics and addressing genuine local and regional challenges.
Under this framework, the task aims at generating a knowledge cloud, equipping researchers and other research staff with a combination of training skills, forward-looking competencies, Open Science skills, research integrity, interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial competencies. It also includes further development in non-academic settings with the collaboration of non-academic experts.
The SMART-ER Seed Programme supports research career development and the implementation of a shared R&I agenda through the training, mobility and engagement in international, cross-disciplinary and intersectoral collaboration of ECIU University researchers focused on the UN SDG11.
ECIU University has created an optimal ecosystem for the development of networks to promote collaboration and progress in research, education and innovation closely connected with the design and evaluation of digital services and platforms as tools and solutions for challenges related with SGD11 goals associated with resilient communities. This project will promote the establishment of a network that will foster and increase collaboration in research initiatives as well as joint supervision of PhD students within the field of Digital Media among ECIU University members that will contribute to the improvement of UX, Usability and Accessibility of solutions used to reach the goals established by the UN in the resilient communities context.
Domestic refrigeration equipment, widely used for food preservation, represents 17% of global energy use. The use of renewable energy sources and the arrival of smart grids are at the lead of fighting climate change. To fully deploy their potential, a distributed network of energy-storage facilities is required, and refrigeration systems have massive potential to be it. Integration into refrigeration facilities of enhanced energy-storage ability and innovative control strategies will be an energy efficiency breakthrough.
It has been estimated that in many water distribution networks worldwide, water loss can frequently exceed 30% of the input volume due to leaks or pipe breaks resulting from holes, deterioration, and damages. The doctoral project aims at developing a device, termed seismic camera, which allows to locate the direction of the noise sources generated from water leaks. This is a 2D array of 3-axis geophones distributed on the ground in the vicinity of a suspected leak to localise and quantify water leaks with significantly greater accuracy and reliability than conventional methods.
Considering the importance of raising awareness regarding clean energy transition in the society, we plan to develop a hydrogen powered device prototype and demonstrate it to the important stakeholders of civil society in our locality. Initially, a set of high capacity hydrogen storage materials, “reactive hydride composites (RHC)”, (1-x)MgH2 + xTiH2 +2LiBH4, where x = 0-1 yields 8.1-10.3 wt.% H2 will be tested in the laboratory. From these tests the best RHC sample which satisfies the universal hydrogen storage capacity target (>6.5 wt.%) for commercialization will be optimized.
AI is more and more present in our daily life. The potential of neural networks is exploited in various domains, from physics simulations, stock market prediction, social media, and autonomous vehicles. Despite the tautological benefits of AI, the training and the interference of modern Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) is extremely computational demanding. As a result, a significant amount f energy is required to take advantage of current neural network models. Novel hardware/software approaches are urgently needed to drastically reduce the carbon footprint of AI frameworks. Some existing solutions reduced the power consumption by using low-power accelerators, reducing operation precision, or skipping operations.
The COVID-19 pandemic, increasing chronic diseases prevalence and the climate crisis have set a challenge to address inequalities and rethink the possibilities of promoting solidarity in health at the European level. RN4EUHEALTH will enhance building a research network on the European Health Union (EHU) – a key initiative for health emergency and disaster preparedness.
BrownBin project proposes to develop a household waste bin containing a low-cost biodegradable superabsorbent polymer able to desiccate the wasted organic matter. This allows to prevent further degradation of food waste, reducing the volume and weight of the waste and decreasing the periodicity that the citizens require for its emptiness. The release of off-flavours will be mitigated. For convenience, the bin will have two separated compartments, one for the organic matter and another one for undifferentiated waste.
In its 2021-2027 period, the Erasmus program is expected to move 10 million European students. These students however will have significantly larger carbon footprints during their stay abroad than when studying back at home. On the other hand, most international students will make intensive use of public transportation, bike sharing systems (BSS) or other sustainable travel options on their day-to-day activities during their stays, offsetting some of their carbon emissions.
Our consortium aims to develop cost-efficient HTMs and investigate the fundamental and applied aspects of perovskite/HTM/metal interfaces in relation to device stability. The overall aim of T-i-PSCer project is to boost the scientific excellence and innovation capacity of three ECIU universities and their non-academic partner in developing interface-friendly HTMs for stable PSCs with the commercial potential.
This project brings together academic and societal partners from 4 ECIU institutes, building on established collaboration with focus on societal transformation, citizen engagement, viable and smart cities. ECIU-UTC is drawing on a palette of local and regional challenges that are jointly defined with societal partners in Norrköping/Linköping, Stavanger, Enschede, and Barcelona, aiming to achieve SDG11 – sustainable cities and communities, and to the ECIU ‘SuperBlock of Covadonga’ challenge.
The RESILIENT project aims at building a Research Network on Resilient Communities through i) the development of a collaborative net of researchers for knowledge exchange and capacity building between network partners; ii) forge new multi- and interdisciplinary research and training initiatives on critical aspects of resilient communities undertaken by the network members in collaboration; iii) encourage the dialogue between academia and civil society through citizen science approaches, which is needed to enhance the resilience of localcommunities in practice.
Peter Drucker (1909-2005) once stated that “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” The circular economy is a concept that has been shown to have great merits in mobilizing many different actors and professional groups to contribute to a more effective and resource-efficient, sustainable and circular society. Thus, the vision of this project is to create an interdisciplinary network for a sustainable and circular economy focusing on effective solutions and how to make them efficient from a societal perspective.
Departing from Internet of Things (IoT) approaches, our work aims at narrowing down this gap, leveraging Machine Learning (ML) for pattern recognition and data analytics, towards more informed decision-making on buildings’ energy optimization. Our goal is to join expertise and expand availability of infrastructure, enabling case studies in both Lithuania and Sweden where we will demonstrate the effective application of our tools.
To reduce environmental impact of flue gases, efficient purification technologies are widely adopted and some of them transfer the pollutants to water phase. The liquid effluents from gas cleaning may thus result in water pollution requiring new management processes. This research aims at developing a specific process for the purification of these effluents, focusing on the removal of nitrogen originated by NOx removal via optimized biological denitrification.
The ECIU University is committed to ensuring that its researchers are connected across all member institutions.
A researcher at any member institution of the ECIU University may apply a grant for travels and associated costs to visit researchers at other member institutions to establish and extend scientific collaboration.
Citizen Science, together with the integration of the stakeholders in the different processes of the research cycle, is a fundamental pillar of the SMART-ER project.
Particularly, SMART-ER devotes a whole work package (WP5), which defines specific actions to develop a strong community of Citizen Science in the ECIU University. These actions are distributed in 3 tasks:
In order to help consolidating a strong Community of Citizen Science, the ECIU Consortium organized a number of open webinars from September 2021. These webinars showcase the state-of-the-art of Citizen Science projects in the different Universities of the ECIU Consortium, and it well contribute to approach common challenges and topics of interest with the view on the identification of potential joint efforts for the pilots.
In addition, with the aim of co-designing the pilots with the ECIU's Community of Citizen Science, a CO-CREATION WORKSHOP was organized in FEBRUARY, 2022.
SMART-ER aims to integrate public engagement in all the activities led by the VRI and to facilitate processes related to engaging all the different stakeholders of society in the research process.
We define public engagement as participatory multi actor dialogues and exchanges to foster mutual understanding, co-create research and innovation outcomes, and provide input to policy agendas.
Engaging with its various publics is of increasing importance to higher education in Europe and globally. It allows the sector to strengthen relevance, responsiveness and accountability in a sustainable manner.
The areas of intervention include:
You are a researcher or staff member of an ECIU university and you have first-hand experience or interest in engagement methods and in developing further methods for doing research? Join the community and participate to our future events by filling this registration form.
These are examples of activities that you can engage in by participating in this ECIUPublic Engagement Community of Practice: