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A competition calling for visionary contributions, open to early-stage researchers at the University of Edinburgh.

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Una Europa: A European Renaissance in the Making

Una Europa is calling for visionary contributions from early-stage researchers on the next European Renaissance. Participate in this competition and get featured in the Spring 2022 ICE publication on how culture and creative industries can fuel societal change. Join our vibrant research community in the field of culture, heritage and creative industries.

The aim

Challenging as they are, crises such as the current pandemic can also be an opportunity to reimagine established ways of doing things and provide a gateway from one world to the next.

This competition is looking for innovative and visionary contributions that give us a glimpse of this emerging Renaissance, especially focused on contributions of the cultural and creative sectors and industries responding to a specific recent crisis.
We call for academically and/or creatively inspiring responses to this competition that can be shared with a large and diverse audience. They should contribute to the creation of the narrative on the 21st Century Renaissance, in Europe, illustrating its (possible) contribution to Europeans and to the global community.

The top three contributions will be included in the ICE Publication in Spring 2022, which will include print and online. In recognition of the work involved and in expectation of the high quality and range of creative and visionary submissions we fully anticipate we will receive, it is our ambition to showcase the winners and top shortlisted entries through the network of Una Europa partner universities and to share your visions of the future with the public in our European cities.

Eligibility and requirements

The author of the work must be an early stage researcher (PhD-level or up to 8 years of experience after completion of the PhD) registered at or employed by one of the Una Europa universities (Freie Universität Berlin, Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna, University of Edinburgh, Helsingin Yliopisto, Uniwersytet Jagielloński w Krakowie, KU Leuven, Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne). Co-authorship is encouraged where relevant, but co-authors must then also be early stage researchers of any of the Una Europa universities.

The contribution should be unpublished so far.

The contributions may be in according to the following types of media and forms of expressions:

  • Written Text
  • Drawings, comics, photos and other artistic visuals
  • Films, reels, podcasts, games, digital creative production and other forms of artistic multimedia
  • or a mix of the above artistic forms.

Overall Length:

  • For texts – 12.000 characters including spaces
  • For films, reels, podcasts and games – maximum of 3 minutes in length
  • For drawings, visuals – maximum of 5 pages.

Evaluation of contributions

A diverse selection committee consisting of members of different Una Europa universities and the ICE consortium will evaluate contributions on a competitive basis. Particular attention will be given to the following criteria:

  • Quality (in academic and/or creative terms)
  • Innovative and/or creative way(s) to contribute to, to support or to express what Renaissance stands for;
  • Potential to inspire a wide and diverse community.

Submission and deadlines

Contributions should be submitted by the main author in English through the application form.

The deadline is 5 October 2021 at 17:00 CET.

In case selected for publication, authors may translate the final contribution to the book to their native language.


A new Knowledge and Innovation Community, 2023-38

As an alliance of eight large research-intensive universities across Europe, Una Europa is preparing for the imminent EU call for a new Knowledge and Innovation Community around the Cultural and Creative Industries Sector. The call will be published in autumn 2021, with the successful consortium winning an initial total seed funding of EUR 150 million for the first seven years. In preparation for this call, we are working together with the ICE Consortium to develop a Europe-wide publication on European Renaissance in the making.

European Renaissance in the Making

The world stands at the cusp of a crucial moment. Our crises, often dark and gloomy, can also be an opportunity to reimagine, redesign and provide a gateway from one world to the next as new agendas are coming together in unprecedented ways. There is a mood and a movement emerging. We are seeing the possibility of creating a different world driven by other principles. Think eco-principles and the green transition, the circular economy, a drive for ethical use of our data, to harness AI for good, to eradicate bias, a call for equality, inclusion, and democracy, new concepts like resilience or co-creation and the participatory imperative and not to forget a digitizing world that allows the cultural and creative economy to run through systems like electricity in its inventiveness. Together it is all transformative. This magic mix of tech and creativity, of business and society can become a rebirth – a European Renaissance.

Time is short to make the big difference and there are many voices driving for this change from communities, politicians, activists, civil society, researchers, inventors, artists, entrepreneurs, business, writers and more. We need to harness their collective talents, will, energy, intelligence and resources to create a more human centered world based on one planet living.

We are in the midst of a dramatic crisis, yet the world stands at the cusp of a rare opportunity to shift our systems dramatically. It cannot be grasped by a business-as-usual approach. Our challenge is clear – shifting our economic order and way of life that is materially expansive, socially divisive and environmentally hostile as well as our increasingly polarized political climate. But a mood is emerging that transformation is possible as solutions are in the air and renewal might be in the making. All are mainstreaming at dramatic speed as we realize there is an urgency to act and in that process we see an astonishing boost of creativity with vast numbers of innovations already in the offing often driven by digital potentials that allow us to communicate without boundaries in immersive ways.

Now is the time to act and to turn ideas into reality. Europe is not exhausted – it is alive as never before! Crises always provide a gateway from one world to the next. The former Renaissance of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries was equally a time of great turmoil and transformation which lead to a rebirth – can this transformation happen again? Perhaps we are at the cusp of another rebirth – a new Renaissance (constructing the future on the wisdom of the past). There can be a rebirth; there should be a rebirth and if not now and if not all of us, who then?

We are looking for bold ideas from the early stage research community across the eight Una Europa universities to contribute to the debate on this European Renaissance!

About Una Europa

Una Europa mission

Una Europa brings together eight leading research universities with global reputation and reach. Our mission is to create a truly European inter-university environment, where outstanding research is continuously linked to transnational learning and innovative, critical thinking.

Una Europa partners

The Una Europa partners are Freie Universität Berlin, Alma Mater Studiorum – Universitá di Bologna, University of Edinburgh, Helsingin Yliopisto, Uniwersytet Jagielloński w Krakowie, KU Leuven, Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Together, we will create a university of the future, where our students, researchers and staff will address the challenges of the future.

Una Europa projects

Una Europa was selected among the first prestigious ‘European Universities’ pilots funded by the Erasmus+ programme. Our 1Europe pilot was launched in December 2019 and aims to create a single education eco-system through the development of more than 20 Joint Innovative Formats for education and mobility, covering Bachelor, Master, Doctorate and Continuous Education.

Through top-up funding from the Horizon 2020 programme, Una Europa has launched Una.Resin in February 2021, a new pilot to take the first steps towards creating a single research and innovation eco-system.