In a pivotal online event titled “Horizon Europe Programme: Opportunities for the Outermost Regions,” the EXPER project took centre stage, unveiling its ambitious goals for the institutional transformation of universities in the EU Outermost Regions. The showcase, presented by Sebastián López, Director of Innovation and Technology Transfer at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and a member of the project’s coordination team, provided a comprehensive overview of the project’s key milestones and its role in the broader context of the Horizon Europe programme.
Sebastián López delved into the intricacies of Work Packages 1, 2, and 6 (WP1, WP2, WP6), offering valuable insights into the EXPER Project’s objectives. This project, a part of the Widening Actions of the EU, aims to facilitate the institutional transformation of two universities in the EU Outermost Regions—the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Azores. Through capacity building and international cooperation with leading universities in Rostock (Germany) and Calabria (Italy), the project seeks to enhance research excellence and collaboration.
The EXPER Project’s pillars include promoting:
- Excellent and Responsible Research: Fostering the exchange of capabilities, resources, and Open Science abilities, along with networking activities
- Enhancing the Appeal of Research Careers: Supporting diversity and gender equality and improving career evaluation and researcher conditions
- Cooperation with Surrounding Ecosystem Actors: Facilitating collaboration with the business sector and civil society and supporting the creation or reinforcement of technology transfer and spin-off offices
The outermost regions, characterised by unique potential and assets, offer a European presence in strategic areas of the world. Their geographical and geological characteristics make them ideal laboratories for research and innovation in various scientific domains, including biodiversity, renewable energies, and space sciences.
Despite their potential, the outermost regions face constraints such as remoteness, insularity, and small size. Horizon Europe aims to address these challenges by providing support for research and innovation (R&I) in key sectors, including the circular economy, blue economy, agroeconomy, biotechnology, climate change mitigation, and more.
Horizon Europe’s Widening component specifically caters to the outermost regions, offering funding, advisory services, and international collaboration opportunities. With their recent inclusion in the list of eligible parties, these regions can participate in all competitive calls under each programme pillar and EU missions.
The programme reflects the specificities of the outermost regions, ensuring their inclusion in multiannual work programmes. This strategic approach aligns with Horizon Europe’s goal to unlock the full potential of these regions, turning challenges into opportunities for research and innovation. The event served as a platform to highlight the EXPER Project’s role in this transformative journey, emphasising its significance in shaping the future of research and education in the EU Outermost Regions.