University Collaboration in Regional Development Spaces
Items filtered by date: April 2014

The third UNICREDS (University Collaboration in Regional Development Spaces) conference recently took place in Scotland to discuss how universities can benefit rural communities.

Located in the beautiful surroundings at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Skye, the conference on 7 June brought together delegates from six European countries to debate and question the role of universities in rural communities, with particular focus on how universities can drive smart specialisation in regional development and boost the local economy.

Norman Sharp OBE, the former director of higher education quality assurance agency QAA Scotland, delivered the keynote speech, reflecting on the direct and indirect ways in which a university can provide the lifeblood of development for rural communities and economies. He said: “This important conference provides a valuable opportunity for experts from across Europe to consider the potentially vital role that universities have in supporting rural development.”

The conference was led by the Combined Universities in Cornwall. As well as keynote speeches and presentations on best practice case studies from Cornwall and the Czech Republic, the event also included a panel debate involving speakers from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Highland Council and UHI principal and vice-chancellor James Fraser, amongst others. 

Nicolas Wallet, Project Manager for UNICREDS, comments: “This conference marks the halfway point for the three-year UNICREDS project and with each event that takes place we collate more ‘best practice’ experiences that will inform policy recommendations to help other regions facing similar issues.”

All the regions involved with UNICREDS share similar characteristics, such as distance from major cities, population demographics, and reliance on declining traditional industries. UNICREDS partners share real life experiences and knowledge of how the challenges of an underperforming economy can be overcome and how deprived or peripheral regions can be transformed into centres of excellence in research and innovation. The project includes partners at different stages of the journey towards solving these problems.

This is the third UNICREDS conference and the findings and case studies presented at the event will feed into policy recommendations that will be submitted to the European Commission. Each of the conferences has looked at a different element under the overarching theme of developing high value, knowledge-based economies in peripheral regions, through partnerships between universities, business and the public sector.

UNICREDS is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund along with each of the 15 partners from Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Hungary and the UK. It is made possible by the INTERREG IVC programme.

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Film footage available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/UNICREDSEU

Notes to editors:

  • UNICREDS stands for University Collaboration in Regional Development Spaces.
  • UNICREDS is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and made possible by the INTERREG IVC programme.
  • UNICREDS is a partnership of 15 partners from 7 EU regions who share the belief that decentralized universities can help transform deprived regional economies into centres of excellence in research and innovation.
  • The ‘triple helix’ model is based on a multi-sited university and its integration with the private and public sectors.
  • The aim of the UNICREDS programme is to share knowledge between the member partners, to further develop the triple helix model, and to ultimately lobby EU policy makers to adopt the model across Europe.
  • Country-specific versions and translations of this press release will be available in the document library
  • UNICREDS logos and brand guidelines are available in the document library
  • Additional images of the conference are available in the photo gallery
Published in Press Room

The third UNICREDS (University Collaboration in Regional Development Spaces) conference recently took place in Scotland to discuss how universities can benefit rural communities.

Located in the beautiful surroundings at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Skye, the conference on 7 June brought together delegates from six European countries to debate and question the role of universities in rural communities, with particular focus on how universities can drive smart specialisation in regional development and boost the local economy.

Professor Norman Sharp OBE (pictured right), the former director of higher education quality assurance agency QAA Scotland, delivered the keynote speech, reflecting on the direct and indirect ways in which a university can provide the lifeblood of development for rural communities and economies. He said: “This important conference provides a valuable opportunity for experts from across Europe to consider the potentially vital role that universities have in supporting rural development.”

The conference was led by the Combined Universities in Cornwall. As well as keynote speeches and presentations on best practice case studies from Cornwall and the Czech Republic, the event also included a panel debate involving speakers from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Highland Council and UHI principal and vice-chancellor James Fraser, amongst others. 

CUC_Nigel_Hewitt_in_discussion_with_UHI_James_Fraser_at_UNICREDS_conference_in_Skye

James Fraser, UHI, and Nigel Hewitt, CUC, talking at the UNICREDS conference

Nicolas Wallet, Project Manager for UNICREDS, comments: “This conference marks the halfway point for the three-year UNICREDS project and with each event that takes place we collate more ‘best practice’ experiences that will inform policy recommendations to help other regions facing similar issues.”

All the regions involved with UNICREDS share similar characteristics, such as distance from major cities, population demographics, and reliance on declining traditional industries. UNICREDS partners share real life experiences and knowledge of how the challenges of an underperforming economy can be overcome and how deprived or peripheral regions can be transformed into centres of excellence in research and innovation. The project includes partners at different stages of the journey towards solving these problems.

This is the third UNICREDS conference and the findings and case studies presented at the event will feed into policy recommendations that will be submitted to the European Commission. Each of the conferences has looked at a different element under the overarching theme of developing high value, knowledge-based economies in peripheral regions, through partnerships between universities, business and the public sector.

Published in Latest News

Nigel Hewitt, Combined Universities in Cornwall, talks from the June 2011 UNICREDS Conference at the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig campus of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), Isle of Skye, about the UNICREDS programme and its next steps.

Published in Video Gallery

James Fraser, Prinicipal and Vice Chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands, talks from the June 2011 UNICREDS Conference at the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig campus of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), Isle of Skye, about the UNICREDS programme.

Published in Video Gallery
Thursday, 23 June 2011 09:58

Professor Norman Sharp OBE

Professor Norman Sharp OBE, Former Director of QAA Scotland and member of the University of the Highlands and Islands court, talks from the June 2011 UNICREDS Conference at the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig campus of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), Isle of Skye, about the UNICREDS programme.

Published in Video Gallery

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Email: info@unicreds.eu

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