Ecorys continues to support DG EAC to provide University-Business Cooperation

The Ecorys Policy & Research team has been commissioned (2022-2024) to provide expertise and support services to the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport, and Culture (DG EAC), in the areas of innovation and University-Business Cooperation (UBC).

UBC activities involves collaboration between higher education institutions and enterprises across the EU borders, regions, and sectors, with the aim of accelerating innovation, improving the creativity and employability of students, and help solving urgent societal challenges. Through these activities, UBC contributes to the EU strategic priorities and forms a vital part of DG EAC policy in Higher Education, including the current European Strategy for Universities, and the new European Innovation Agenda.

Together, Ecorys and consortium partners, provide expert support to UBC, applying understanding of the policy framework to reflect and consider current challenges, key future trends, opportunities and other factors influencing UBC. In particular, the work highlights issues and questions posed to stakeholders to productively advance debate in the field of university-business cooperation.

During the previous phase of UBC (2018-22), the main activities were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as physical events were cancelled and a series of reflection and case study papers were developed to explore the social, technological, and economic impacts for UBC, particularly in the context of the pandemic. Ecorys supported the transition of the UBC community online platform to MSTeams to build and facilitate reflection and dialogue among the UBC network. The platform on MSTeams is now fully operational, with over 400 members, and continues to grow as hybrid ways of working become the new norm. Please see this info sheet for more information.

All the documents and resources can be found on the MSTeams platform, including meeting reports, reflection papers, case study papers, etc. A selection is:

Reflection papers Series

  1. Reflection Paper (February 2020): Staring, F., Blakemore, M., Andersen, T., Nedergaard, K., Burquel N., Mannsberger-Nidl, S., “University-Business Cooperation (UBC) 2021-2027 Contributing to a Sustainable and Social Europe (beyond COVID-19)”. Can be accessed here.
  2. Reflection note (July 2020) Staring, F., Blakemore, M., Andersen, T., Nedergaard, K., Burquel N., Mannsberger-Nidl, S., “University-Business Cooperation (UBC) in a post-COVID 19 context”. Can be accessed here.
  3. Reflection Paper (April 2021) Calabuig, P., Staring, F., Blakemore, M., “UBC contribution to the Covid-19 recovery”. Can be accessed here.
  4. Reflection Paper (May 2021) Burquel, N., Bacher, T, Humpl, S.,”Unlocking systemic innovation excellence through UBC” . Can be accessed here.
  5. Reflection Paper (December 2021), Humpl, S., Andersen, T., “The Future of digital and online learning in higher education”. Can be accessed here.
  6. Thematic Overview (November 2021) Burquel, N, “UBC funding Guide: Potential EU Funding Opportunities for University-Business Cooperation (UBC) Under the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework of the European Union”. Can be accessed here.
  7. Reflection Paper (May 2022), Calabuig, P., Percival, C., Blakemore, M., “UBC impact – building capacity and knowledge for a sustainable post-pandemic economy and society [forthcoming].


The most recent hybrid University Business Forum took place in Italy in 2022. The meeting report can be accessed here.

Case Study

All case studies were compiled into the UBC Case Study Catalogue that can be accessed here.

For more information about this case study, please contact