Alliance 4-Universities

Alliance 4-Universities

The Alliance 4-Universities (Alianza 4 Universidades, A4U) is a strategic partnership between four Spanish public and research-intensive universities:

The A4U’s objectives include promoting the research conducted at the partner universities, primarily in Europe; raising their profiles and enhancing their international reputations by encouraging contacts in countries and areas considered to be strategic priorities; improving mobility options for students, teaching staff and researchers; and promoting quality teaching, with a clear commitment to inter-university degree programmes, programmes in English and online training.

The Brussels office, called OPERA (Office for the Promotion of European Research Activities), works closely with the European Projects Offices at each of the A4U universities and focuses on:

  • Supporting the A4U and its researchers in their efforts to make their research more competitive at the European and international level.
  • Identifying new policies and funding opportunities of interest to the A4U universities and their researchers.
  • Participating in and influence European R&D and innovation policymaking.
  • Providing personalised assistance and working spaces in Brussels to researchers participating in or preparing European projects.

In addition, OPERA maintains close ties with Spanish institutions and other informal networks in Brussels operating in the field of R&D and innovation. All the universities are members of relevant university networks, such as the European University Association (EUA), YERUN, The Guild, and are each part of the following European University Alliances: ECIU (UAB), CIVIS (UAM), YUFE (UC3M) and EUTOPIA (UPF).

A4U are strong players in the EU Research Framework Programme (in areas such as Life Sciences, Biomedicine and Animal Health, Engineering and ICT, and Social Sciences and Humanities, both in terms of fundamental and applied research), but are also active in other EU-funded programmes such as Erasmus+, Connecting Europe Facility, Justice, and Rights and Equality.

Their main focus for 2021-2027 will be individual and collaborative projects under Horizon Europe, Digital Europe, Connecting Europe Facility and Erasmus+ programmes.

As of February 2022, participation of A4U in H2020 and Horizon Europe accounted for 596 projects (277 out of which corresponds to Pilar I – Excellent Science, with 91 ERC grants) and an economic return of more than 270 million euros since 2014.

Rectors and vice-rectors of the Alliance 4 Universities gathered during the General Assembly to discuss joint projects
A delegation of the vice-rectors for Research, heads of Research Support Services and heads of European Projects Offices visited OPERA  in October 2018