ECIU Consortium

ECIU is the leading international consortium of research intensive universities, with collective emphasis on innovation, creativity and societal impact, driving the development of a knowledge-based economy.

The Kaunas university of technology is a proud member of the ECIU consortium, the leading international consortium of research intensive universities, with collective emphasis on innovation, creativity and societal impact, driving the development of a knowledge-based economy. KTU joined ECIU in 2016 and is the only Lithuanian university in the Consortium.

ECIU University Initiative

The ECIU University is an EU-funded European University that will create a completely new educational model on a European scale. The ECIU University gathers together learners, teachers, and researchers to cooperate with cities and businesses and solve real-life challenges.

ECIU University it is a new model of University based on the needs of society and industry. It is European-wide ecosystem based upon open and inclusive collaboration, providing an opportunity to work together as an open agora for solving multi-disciplinary societal challenges.

The long-term goal and ambition of this initiative is to establish an officially registered European university that would not only provide a competency-based European diploma to its students, but also ensure coherent support from the European Commission for study, research and administration activities.

Kristina Ukvalbergienė
Local Ambassador
ph:+370 650 59832


ECIU initiative 

Key elements of ECIU University:

  • Open community. ECIU University is a European wide ecosystem where demands for innovation unite seamlessly with motivate individuals and teams contributing to Europe and its regions and practice flourish around urgent and relevant societal topics, such as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to help Europe achieve sustainability.
  • European education and research. ECIU University offers a unified approach to challenge-based higher education at the European level. At the core of our educational pathways are European micro-credentials, fundamental building blocks for challenge-based life-long learning pathways.
  • Innovative co-creation model. ECIU University is about co-creation. We work and create value empowering our learners and partnerships.
  • Cutting-edge technologies. Digital transformation is at the core of ECIU University, enabling innovations in education and research.

The creation of the new model of the European University
The ECIU University is an entirely new model of the European University based on the needs of the public, the citizens, the business and public sector organisations. The university provides opportunities of cooperation across Europe in search of solutions for the implementation of the sustainable development goals (UN SDG). It is one of the largest alliances of the European universities uniting 12 universities from 12 European countries.

The ECIU University is an ambitious initiative creating the framework for a new educational model and distinguished by unique characteristics:

Need to meet the societal challenges
The students, researchers and employees of the universities, enterprises and public organisations who study at the ECIU University join their forces in search of solutions to the interdisciplinary problems – challenges.
in the pilot stage, the ECIU University focuses on the challenges related to Goal 11 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11: “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.

Participation in challenges provides the opportunities for the students and lecturers to work in interdisciplinary and international teams with public authorities, business and public sector organisations, develop their teamwork skills in international teams and expand their network of experts and like-minded partners in the area.

Flexible and challenge-based learning
The ECIU University is a European university in which challenge-based learning includes all the areas of activities: teaching and learning, scientific activities and research and innovation development.

The ECIU University will have operating Innovation of Education Labs – physical and virtual space for the lecturers to introduce the challenge-based teaching innovations, give lectures and share their experience. The educational innovations are developed in cooperation with students, representatives of industry and public organisations.

The flexible, open and inclusive micro modules of high academic level are also developed in cooperation with private enterprises and public organisations. They are recognised as an integral part of the study process (micro qualifications). These micro modules help the students of the ECIU University acquire knowledge and skills on the topics related to challenge-solving and strengthen various interdisciplinary competencies as well as give them a chance to learn other European languages.

Challenge-based research and innovations
The Innovation Centres of the ECIU University will be used as physical and virtual locations combining open innovation methods and inviting the individual of various disciplines and professions with various knowledge, skills and experience.
At the Innovation Labs, the university’s researchers will directly cooperate with enterprises and institutions while implementing various research and technology transfer projects.

The joint initiatives of the researchers of the ECIU University will be united by the Virtual Research Institute SMART-ER.


Members and Partners

University of Twente

The Netherlands

Linköping University


Hamburg University of Technology


Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona


Aalborg University


University of Aveiro


Dublin City University


Kaunas University of Technology


University of Stavanger


University of Trento


Tampere University


Institut National des Sciences Appliquées


Associated member: Tecnológico de Monterrey


Politechnice Łódzka



  • Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy
  • Barcelona City Council, Spain
  • Cerdanyola del Vallès City, Spain
  • City of Enschede, The Netherlands
  • City of Hamburg, Germany
  • City of Stavanger, Norway
  • City of Tampere, Finland
  • Danish Ministry of Higher Education, Denmark
  • Fingal County Council, Ireland
  • Inter-Municipal Community of the Region of Aveiro, Portugal
  • Kaunas City Region, Lithuania
  • Kaunas District Municipality, Lithuania
  • Municipality of Trento, Italy
  • Region Östergötland, Sweden
  • Tampere Region, Finland
  • Confindustria Trento, Italy
  • Oost NL, The Netherlands
  • Hub Innovazione Trentino, Italy
  • PIMEC 2030, Spain



SMART-ER – Virtual Research Institute

SMART-ER – Virtual Research Institute, which enables dialogue among different disciplines, business sectors and citizens.

The new model of research and innovation, based on a virtual collaborative environment. It will call scientists and researchers of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU) for joint research initiatives and project activities.

SMART-ER project has started on February 2021. It has been implemented under the EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 part “Science with and for Society“ (SwafS).