Reaching out to Europe

    Project: Research

    Project Details


    The Hanzehogeschool Groningen (HUAS hereafter) is a University of Applied Sciences that is strongly inspired by the challenges of the North Netherlands region and firmly embedded in the city of Groningen in particular. HUAS has a strong track record in education, and practice-based research, and is dedicated to enhancing innovation and entrepreneurship. HUAS currently has 31,000 students Bachelor and Master students in 70 teaching programs. The 3.000 member of staff forming 17 schools and 7 centres of applied research collaborate to offer a cutting-edge teaching-based research. HUAS took the challenge to develop a strong research capacity with 67 professors, and an increasing number of researchers at various levels, supported by dedicated technical and administration support staff. PhD research thesis are co-supervised in collaboration with various universities in the Netherlands and abroad.

    HUAS positions itself as an Engaged and Versatile university, both in education and research. In line with this, the overall strategic ambitions of HUAS are to develop suitable learning pathways with recognised qualifications; to conduct applied research with a visible impact on education and society; and to be an adaptive, versatile and approachable organisation. HUAS links these strategic ambitions to three strategic research themes: Energy, Healthy Ageing and Entrepreneurship and four societal themes: strengthening a liveable and sustainable North Netherlands; transition to a healthy and active society; digital transformation; and energy transition and circularity. These four challenges define the focus of HUAS education and research.

    One of the societal themes is explicitly linked to the region: strengthening a liveable and sustainable North Netherlands. North Netherlands is a powerful, enterprising region with the city of Groningen as the healthiest city in the Netherlands. The region is a front runner in the energy transition, has a European exemplary role in the field of active and healthy ageing, and as an agricultural region, has many opportunities for the development of the circular economy and consequently the development of biobased construction material to mitigate climate change. Cooperation with different groups and stakeholders in the region is central in HUAS’s strategy. HUAS is part of extensive local and regional networks, including the University of the North and Akkoord van Groningen. As such, HUAS is well- connected to the research ecosystem in North Netherlands.

    HUAS has the ambition to better align, connect & develop on a local as well as a regional, national and international levels. Many of the challenges the North is faced with are also relevant in the EU context. Therefore, HUAS is a strong advocate and actor on engaging in European projects. HUAS monitors regularly the EU’s priorities and aligns its research between these priorities and its immediate societal needs. The EU provides a range of funding opportunities that fulfil our ambition as a research and teaching university and responds directly to our challenges from social, energy, and digital transformation. Indeed, over the last decade, HUAS has been successful in European programmes. In the Horizon 2020 programme, HUAS was part of five approved projects. In Horizon Europe so far two projects were granted. HUAS has performed particular well in the EU societal challenge for a secure, clean and efficient energy system. Examples of this are Making City ( focussing on the developing Positive Energy Districts, and IANOS ( about the decarbonisation of islands. In addition to EU research and innovation schemes, HUAS has a considerable track record in projects funded by the Interreg schemes. In particular, these types of projects have strong links with region, and partners in the region.

    Currently, EU participation and involvement of HUAS is mainly concentrated in one field: sustainability & energy. In order to further disseminate to other parts of the university, only a well-designed strategy will allow the various research centres to better reach European fundings and satisfy the university’s ambitions. However, so far, no structured mechanism is in place internally to guide the research community and regional stakeholders how to reach European collaboration with confidence. Therefore, this pilot project aims to develop a strategic framework to enhance the participation of all parties at HUAS, including a pilot project that will lead to improvement and validation.
    Effective start/end date1/10/231/10/24