2nd TORCH Annual Forum | Context

CHARM-EU is organising its second TORCH Annual Forum titled “Sharing Common R&I Policies and Strategies: Strengthening Collaborations Towards a Transformational Approach”. The event is open to stakeholders engaged in research and innovation as well as university-industry-citizen collaboration. Learn more about the context and the goals of the event and join the discussion!

Context and focus

Within its Research & Innovation dimension (TORCH), the CHARM-EU Alliance is developing its challenge-driven transformative R&I agenda based on a transdisciplinary and intercultural vision to solve complex societal challenges. The TORCH Forum provides the possibility to share results and achievements related to the project and discuss them together with stakeholders, other European University Alliances and Research Performing Organizations. The meeting focuses on five key R&I areas:

  1. Working towards reforming research assessment.
  2. Fostering equality, diversity and inclusivity.
  3. Championing Open Science.
  4. Promoting inter/transdisciplinary research driven by societal challenges.
  5. Intensifying R&I Cooperation Between Universities.

The event encourages reflection on the Alliance’s shared common R&I policies and strategies, discusses pioneering initiatives of universities regarding responsible research and innovation (RRI), and uncovers legal, financial and regulatory barriers to Alliances’ collaborative endeavours. It also includes the outlook of the European Commission and stakeholders interested in research and innovation and university-industry-citizen collaboration.

Exploring synergies and facilitating best practice exchanges with other European University Alliances that are addressing the same challenges will facilitate all HEIs to support innovative solutions and progress in their respective common science agendas. Such sharing of knowledge also supports the values of the ERA policy agenda (1), which lays out a number of priority actions for that period, some of which provide a framework to strengthen future cooperation among Alliances, namely: Action 13 (“Empower Higher Education Institutions to develop in line with the ERA, and in synergy with the European Education Area”), and Action 17 (“Enhance the strategic capacity of Europe’s public research performing organisations”).

Intensifying R&I cooperation between universities involves not only developing aligned policies and transformative actions on strategic areas (research assessment; equality, diversity and inclusivity; Open Science; inter- and transdisciplinary challenge-driven research), but also establishing mutually beneficial partnerships to efficiently share knowledge and competences, exploring efficient governance models that facilitate the sharing of resources and capacities, the streamlining of administrative processes to support research activities, the creation of joint structures, and the establishment of mutual recognition agreements. The European Council and Commission encourage deeper cooperation and the pooling of knowledge and resources to deepen cooperation between HEIs, and invite the Member States to remove obstacles to more compatible higher education systems (2). This provides a framework for a more effective transnational cooperation structure, by which interconnected HEIs are better ready to fulfil all their missions and tackle the great societal challenges. Furthermore, it opens up an “opportunity for HEIs to explore the necessity, benefits, risks and feasibility of setting up institutionalized cooperation instruments, such as a possible legal status for Alliances” (3).


The TORCH Forum is addressed to all university leaders, researchers, innovators, policymakers and actors involved in R&I activities and management.

Impact & Dissemination

The plenary and panel sessions of the Forum will be live streamed (via YouTube), and will remain available for the public on CHARM-EU’s channel. The 2nd Annual Forum will be followed by the publication of a report on the development of the event, presentations and debate around common R&I policies and strategies.

Organizing Committee (in alphabetical order)

  • Doris Alexander (Associate Director of European Engagement, TCD).
  • Brian Broderick (Associate Dean of Research, TCD).
  • Siobhán Callaghan (Research Fellow, TCD).
  • Meritxell Chaves (Secretary General, CHARM-EU).
  • Daniel Griffin (CHARM-EU Teaching Fellow, TCD).
  • Kirsten Hollaender (Project Manager, UU).
  • Jenny Kirkwood (Administrative Officer, TCD).
  • Pia Le Grand (Head of International Cooperation, ÅAU).
  • Jaime Llorca (Project Manager, UB).
  • Gemma Marfany (Rector’s Delegate for Scientific Dissemination, UB).
  • Veronika Peciarova (Project Manager, UM).
  • Conor Spillane (Project Manager, TCD).
  • Mária Szulovszky (Communications Coordinator, ELTE).


(1) European Commission (2021). European Research Policy Agenda: Overview of the actions for the period 2022-2024. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Available at European Research Area Policy Agenda (europa.eu)

(2) European Council (2022). Council conclusions on a European strategy empowering higher education institutions for the future of Europe. Luxembourg: Official Journal of the European Union, 21-4-2022 (2022/C 167/03). Available at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52022XG0421(02)

(3) European Commission (2022b). Proposal for a Council Recommendation on building bridges for effective European higher education cooperation. Strasbourg, 18/1/2022 COM(2022). Available at proposal-council-recommendation-bridges-european-higher-education-cooperation.pdf (europa.eu)