BI4E: A Boost to the INGENIUM Alliance

Looking to enhance inter-university cooperation and address societal challenges, the Boosting Ingenium for Excellence (BI4E) project brings together leading higher education institutions from eight different European Member States.

By collaborating, sharing experiences, and supporting one another, we seek to transform our institutions and increase their global competitiveness, making them more attractive to international talent. The project also focuses on research and innovation missions and aims to enhance the strategic and operational capacities of partners in the widening countries (Romania and Bulgaria)



The journey of the INGENIUM Alliance began in 2020. Ten institutions of higher education from ten European countries joined forces to become a single and completely integrated University with ten campuses distributed throughout the Union. In a nutshell: they aimed to develop a mini-European Union of universities. In addition to this final goal, the consortium sought to strengthen inter-university cooperation, foster an integrated academic offer where students can build an interdisciplinary curriculum, promote research cooperation and enhance entrepreneurship.


The consortium was born as part of the European Universities Initiative launched by the European Commission to enhance the global competitiveness and appeal of European Education and Research. The Alliance was awarded funding after submitting a successful application under the 2022 Erasmus+ call and began implementing its working plan.


In 2021, even before succeeding in the Erasmus + call, eight out of the ten existing and working INGENIUM Alliance members decided to send an application to the HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ACCESS-05 call within the Horizon Europe Framework Program.

They were: Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (Germany), Medical University of Sofia (Bulgaria), Munster Technological University (Ireland), University of Oviedo (Spain), University of Rouen-Normandy (France), Gheorghe Asachi Technical University of Iasi (Romania), University G. d’Annunzio Chieti-Pescara (Italy) and University of Skövde (Sweden).

Geographical location of BI4E Partner Universities

This call aimed at transforming the higher education sector and its surrounding ecosystems, including non-university research centers, with a particular emphasis on widening countries.

It had three main goals: enhancing the scientific and technological capacity of linked institutions, raising the excellence profile of partner HEIs and their staff, and strengthening networks to promote integrated cooperation between participating entities in research and innovation. By achieving these goals, the call aimed to foster a more dynamic and competitive European education and research landscape.

Given those objectives, the Boosting Ingenium for Excellence project was introduced to deepen the following action areas and thereby strengthen the INGENUM Alliance as a whole:

Strategic planning. Our project works on improving the legal framework that allows universities to tighten cooperation in research and innovation to contribute to the  2030 SDGs, among other purposes.

Governance and institutional capacities. In the context of digital transformation, it is essential to change the strict and sometimes outdated regulations that often prevent universities from addressing social challenges. Among them is the transition to open science, open access, and open education.

Excellence and cooperation in research. BI4E works to make partner HEIs attractive to their counterparts and to raise their international profile and interdisciplinary curricula. The project also ensures that trust and integrity are the foundation of all research activities.

Interaction with industry. One of the priorities of BI4E is to enable knowledge transfer and collaboration between academia and non-academic sectors through the development of local and regional ecosystems around partner universities.

Research careers. BI4E aims to prevent brain drain for partner universities by improving policies and structures to ensure the attraction and retention of talent.

Once the project was approved in the Horizon Widera call in March 2022, everything was ready to start working for a better European university. A couple of months later, in October 2022, the BI4E project kicked off and began to build its path, always in close partnership with INGENIUM and keeping its strategy, action plan, and objectives.

BI4E kick-off meeting in Rouen, October 2022. Photo by Maxime Angot.

BI4E goals:


Develop the strategic planning capacities in the Widening countries partner HEIs


Support institutional transformation and stronger governance structures in the Widening countries partner HEIs


Enhance research capacity and performance in the Widening countries partner HEIs


Promote closer and durable cooperation between research groups from the partner Universities


Improve the partner HEIs ability to liaise with the industry, to transfer knowledge and to commercialise research results


Modernise and make more attractive the scientific career for all

This project has received funding from the European Union’s HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ACCESS-05-01-European Excellence Initiative under Grant Agreement No. 101071321 -BI4E

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