Alliances for Society - Programme

Registration to the CHARM-EU Annual Conference is available here

Venue: Neue Universität, Sanderring 2, 97070 Würzburg - Audimax (216) 

How to arrive:

Some sessions will be live streamed on the CHARM-EU YouTube Channel. More information about these sessions will be updated in the following weeks. 

symbol speech to textSpeech-to-Text Reporters provide real-time captioning. Their expertise is essential to the Conference to cater to the greatest level of attendees' access and participation needs. Inclusion by design means designing the environment from the beginning to the greatest extent of users (preventive) rather than a retrospective approach (fixing the environment afterwards). The hybrid feature is in line with the core values of CHARM-EU. 

This page will be updated with further programme details in due course.

7 November 2023

08:30 – 09:00   Registration 

09:00 – 09:15   Opening ceremony 

Summary: Professor Dr. Pauli, President of Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU), is set to greet the attendees of our conference through a speech focusing on the relationship between JMU and the Würzburg region, along with the prospective role of CHARM-EU. Furthermore, the Mayor of Würzburg will share a brief welcome message for the conference participants.


  • Professor Dr. Pauli, President of Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU)
  • Christian Schuchardt, Mayor of Würzburg

09:15 – 09:45   The European Commission's perspective regarding the societal effects of European University Alliances  

Summary: The effects of the European University Alliances extend beyond the academic realm. Vanessa Debiais-Sainton, Head of Unit Higher Education, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC), will provide us with insights from the European Commission's standpoint, shedding light on how the European University Alliances are influencing societal stakeholders.  


  • Vanessa Debiais-Sainton, Head of Unit Higher Education, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC), European Commission

09:45 – 11:15    European Universities and Service to Society: Conceptualizing the Third Mission of Alliances  

Summary: Introducing the perspectives of four European Universities, the session will reflect on how Alliances and the wider society they are embedded in mutually influence and impact on one another. Focusing on direct examples of working together with local/regional partners, representatives will uncover what they have already learnt from collaborating with societal, industrial and governmental stakeholders through the presentation of the activities and experiences of their Alliance. The speakers will assess the barriers and best practices of identifying and actively engaging relevant stakeholders and discuss their plans for the future, reflecting on the potential European Universities have in terms of promoting university–industry–society collaboration. The session will showcase several examples on how “Service to Society” or the “Third Mission” of universities can be interpreted and implemented in the framework of European University Alliances.  


  • Ludovic Thilly, EC2U Coordinator 
  • Dr. Marjanneke Vijge, CHARM-EU Capstone Coordinator

11:15 – 11:45    Coffee Break

11:45 – 13:00   Collaborating together for a stronger impact 

Summary: CHARM-EU alliance developed an educational concept based on transdisciplinary education with Challenge Based Learning as didactic approach. This concept is used by Knowledge Creation Teams consisting of researchers from the most diverse disciplines of all our institutions in close cooperation with external stakeholders. In this session, we want to discover how we can further expand our cooperation by leveraging the existing regional network/ecosystem of all CHARM-EU partners. Can we connect these regional ecosystems and build an even bigger network at European level? We are excited to see how this collaboration between our existing regional networks can benefit external stakeholders, the regional ecosystem and our alliance and its individual partners. Let's tap into this European ecosystem of business and civil society organizations and improve the support of our transdisciplinary education and research and impact. 


  • Anna-Greta Nyström, Professor in International Business at Business School, Abo Akademi University 


  • Freek van Muiswinkel, Director Entrepreneurship & Regional Partnerships, is committed to increasing the impact of research at Utrecht University 

  • Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer, Deputy manager of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Würzburg and Schweinfurt. He is also employed at the Chair of Econometrics at the Economy department at JMU.

  • Alexandre Pennaneac'h, manager of Blue Thau Lab, the regional innovation platform of the Bassin de Thau

13:00 – 14:00    Lunch break

14:00 – 17:00   Thematic sessions workshop and poster sessions

You will be assigned to group A or B during the registration. 

    Group A

    14:00 - 14:15 Presentation

    14:15 - 15:30 Thematic session workshop

    15:30 - 15:45 Networking break

    15:45 - 17:00 Poster session

    Group B

    14:00 - 14:15 Presentation

    14:15 - 15:30 Poster session

    15:30 - 15:45 Networking break

    15:45 - 17:00 Thematic session workshop

    Thematic areas 

    Thematic area 1: How can challenge-based learning work with external stakeholders to solve grand societal  challenges?

    Summary: Challenge based learning (CBL) is a pedagogical approach where students address global societal challenges using disciplinary knowledge and 21st century competencies by collaborating with businesses, societal organizations, and NGOs. Many European University Alliances, including CHARM-EU are using aspects of this approach in their teaching and learning. This session will explore the alignment between external stakeholders and Challenge Based Learning, and how this pedagogical approach can be a means for stakeholder engagement, teaching innovation, and fostering collaboration. It will also explore the nexus of external stakeholders and experiential pedagogy to solve complex societal challenges.  

    Questions regarding the topic for discussion:  

    • How can Challenge Based Learning improve collaborations between universities and stakeholders?  

    • How can universities integrate Challenge Based Learning into their teaching to improve stakeholder collaborations? 

    • How can stakeholders actively engage in the design and implementation of Challenge-Based Learning (CBL) initiatives within the CHARM-EU alliance/other EU alliances? 

    • What are some successful examples of stakeholder engagement in Challenge Based Learning initiatives from other contexts or regions?  


    • Roland Thaler, University of Montpellier 


    • Heleen Van  Ravenswaaij, Utrecht University

    Thematic area 2: Setting common research agendas to foster research impact

    Summary: Societal impact of research is determined by the response that researchers give to specific societal challenges. For that reason, the establishment of transdisciplinary common research agendas would be an essential first step. In this session, we will explore methods and stakeholders to establish common research agendas within European Universities that respond to their close societal context needs.

    Questions regarding the topic for discussion: 

    • Which methods can we use to stablish common research agendas? Sectorial or General research agendas?
    • Which stakeholders should participate in the definition of research agendas?
    • How do we introduce general public voice in the process?


    • Sergio Villanueva Baselga, CHARM-EU Director at Universitat de Barcelona 


    • Jaime Llorca, TORCH Project Manager, Universitat de Barcelona
    • Anne-Sophie Gresle, Hospital Clinic Barcelona 

    Thematic area 3: Alliances’ impact on cultural exchange, intercultural understanding

    Summary: Since their establishment, European University Alliances have necessarily been operating in an intercultural atmosphere. This session will explore how European University Alliances have fostered, could or should foster intercultural understanding and the opportunities for collaboration between them on this field. It will seek answers for the questions what are the obvious added values of their collaboration that do not require extra effort and, more importantly, what are the potentials that alliances have not utilised yet. 

    Questions regarding the topic for discussion:  

    • What are the central cultural factors linked with the work of European University Alliances?  

    • Are there tensions of cultural nature that alliances are struggling with?  

    • Are there tensions the solution of which the collaboration of alliances could contribute to?  

    • What are the achievements of alliances in terms of multilingualism? How can alliances continue their cooperation on that field? 


    • Dr. Orsolya Réthelyi, Vice-Dean for International Affairs and Head of the Department of Netherlandic Studies, Eötvös Loránd University


    • Dr. Ferenc Takó, Head of the Rector’s Cabinet CHARM-EU Office, Eötvös Loránd University

    Thematic area 4: Creating Innovation Networks across the Alliance  

    Summary: Universities work closely with local and regional networks of stakeholders to further innovation. Alliances allow to broaden and internationalize these networks and tap into the knowledge pool of researchers, teaching staff, students, and external partners of the respective partner institutions. However, there is little experience in how to initiate and perpetuate cross border/cross institutional stakeholder networks through alliances. 

    Questions regarding the topic for discussion: 

    • How can external partners approach each other through Alliances? 

    • How can Alliances and the individual universities function as multipliers in an innovation process? 

    • How do cross border, inter institutional and international alliances enrich regional innovation? 

    • What mechanisms can be established to foster effective collaboration and knowledge exchange between higher education institutions and local/regional stakeholders through regional incubator hubs at different locations? 

    • What are the specific needs of regional start up support systems and regional political as well as economic actors that can be met through a systematized exchange with the alliance? 


    • Simone Roth, CHARM-EU Director at Hochschule Ruhr West


    • Julia Reimer, Chair of Industrial Economics, Speaker of “Women@WiWi” 

    Poster sessions

    Summary: The poster sessions will be a space were members of European University Alliances and external stakeholders can exchange ideas and discuss about practical cases. Posters should reflect case studies and best practices that have been developed by European University Alliances and have a positive societal impact. The main goal is to show how these practical cases have been implemented and the positive results they had in society.  

    The call is open to educational and research case studies and is also open to all the members of a European University Alliance. More information about the call here

    17:00 - 17:30 Networking break

    17:30 - 18:00  Conclusions and final speech 

    18:00 - 19:00 Cultural event & networking