The world is now more connected and more global than ever before and the needs of our society are changing accordingly. New technologies are arising and with them new challenges that can only be faced with synergic alliances between different societal actors. European university alliances are now emerging as a means to embody collaborative efforts and provide solutions to our future problems.
TORCH is the research arm of CHARM, a university alliance that aims to explore new venues for the university of the future with a focus on pressing issues: climate change, sustainability, gender gap, inclusion and equity. How do we intend to address these topics that are in the policy agenda of all countries? We aim to provide a flexible and useful channel by not only transferring scientific knowledge from University to society, but also by involving societal partners. To construct this new future we envision, universities have to enable civil engagement, promote citizen science and establish a positive dialogue with stakeholders. This is the mission of TORCH. And as a starting point, in our alliance, we will coalesce forces to address three main impending sustainability global challenges: WATER, FOOD and HEALTH.
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The TORCH Project builds up the CHARM-EU R&I dimension, and has Open Science as one of its primary topics.
A proposal developed in the CHARM-EU R&I dimension has secured funding under the highly competitive Water4All call of the Horizon Europe program. A multidisciplinary team led by Prof. Judit Mádl-Szőnyi (ELTE) will work on a nature-based solution that mitigates the impact of extreme climate events and contributes to securing water supplies.
Water is a precious resource facing global challenges such as scarcity and pollution. To address these issues, the 2023 CHARM-EU R&I Days hosted a co-creation workshop at the Universitat de Barcelona. Researchers and external stakeholders worked together to develop multidisciplinary research proposals focused on water-related challenges. The four main topics that emerged as central themes were water sustainability regulation, coastal sustainability, water reuse, and urban landscape. Participants had the opportunity to pitch their potential solutions and present how their proposal could be developed.