Horizon Europe

Scope of the Horizon Call

Accelerate Future HEI is Horizon Europe funded under the HORIZON-WIDERA-2022-ERA-01-51 call. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can have a strong positive impact on regional and Europe-wide social and economic development through education, research and engagement. However, they require targeted, methodological and experienced support to enhance their capability to fully realise their potential. Accelerate Future HEI responds to these needs through the development and testing of acceleration services to support HEI institutional transformation involving Higher Education Institutions.​


Acceleration Services in support of the institutional transformation of Higher Education Institutions.

In 2022, the European Commission and EU countries agreed on the European Strategy for Universities, empowering higher education institutions for the future of Europe. The European Strategy for Universities aims at supporting and enabling universities to adapt to changing conditions, to thrive and to contribute to Europe’s resilience and recovery. It is a call to EU countries and higher education institutions across Europe to join forces. It seeks to develop a genuine European dimension in the higher education sector, built on shared values. The strategy recognises excellence and inclusion as a distinctive feature of European higher education, exemplary for our European way of life. 

European Strategies


  • Aim to empower higher education sector in its institutional changes ​
  • Implementing the collective vision on the future of universities​
  • Key synergy initiative between ERA, EEA, DEAP, Skills Agenda

Transformations such as:

  • Creating critical mass, joining forces​
  • Sharing of capacity and resources​
  • Open Science & digitalisation​
  • Researcher careers & assessment reforms​
  • Strengthened knowledge transfer capacity​
  • Reinforced cooperation within ecosystem​
  • Engaging citizens​


  • Development of counselling services for higher education institutions to pursue institutional changes​
  • Facilitate access to support for higher education institutions and surrounding ecosystem to deliver on the institutional changes and transformation​
  • Monitor progress in the transformation efforts​

Expected Outcome

Projects are expected to contribute to:

  • A methodology that can help HEI or alliances/networks of HEIs in pursuing institutional transformations, including a monitoring mechanism to assess quality of the services ​
  • A coaching service with best practice examples and guidance for individual HEIs as well as networks of HEIs, aligned with the European Strategy for Universities​
  • Tested acceleration services with user groups (HEI umbrella organisations, individual HEIs, or networks of HEIs, including partners from surrounding ecosystems)​
  • An investment strategy mechanism, implemented with the user group, facilitating access to funding from national, regional, or EU resources​
  • Progress of the user groups of the acceleration services regarding the implementation of the chosen areas of the transformation agenda​
  • Policy feedback to the European Commission and Member States

Sister Projects

Both of these projects were funded under the same call as Accelerate Future HEI. We look forward to collaborating with them as we undertake a shared vision to support institutional transformation in European Higher Education Institutions.

aUPaEU Logo


The EU-funded aUPaEU project revives the ancient Greek concept of the agora by empowering European university alliances and their Higher Education Institutions with acceleration services, open science practices and gender equality. Through collaboration and knowledge exchange, aUPaEU aims to drive high-impact research and innovation advancements to foster an inclusive and transformative future for Europe.

About the project

Through aUPaEU – A University Partnership for Acceleration of European Universities – we aim to revive the spirit of the agora by fostering collaborative environments that empower stakeholders. This project brings together five academic institutions from EPiCUR and Unite!, European alliances under the European Universities Initiative, to create a shared space for knowledge exchange and capacity sharing.

The core of the aUPaEU vision is to enable integrated, shared and long-term research and innovation transformations. To achieve this, the project will provide methodologies, sustainability plans, coaching services and tangible digital technologies using an acceleration agora. This collaborative approach ensures that all participants can contribute their expertise and benefit from the collective knowledge and resources.

aUPaEU seeks to facilitate breakthroughs, promote innovation and create an ecosystem where creativity can flourish. By supporting research and innovation initiatives, we envision a future where Europe’s potential is fully realised and its global competitiveness strengthened.

Join us in the aUPaEU project and embrace the spirit of the ancient agora to drive research and innovation forward. Together, we can shape a future of collaborative excellence and transformative progress, making Europe a powerhouse of knowledge and ingenuity.

Project Coordinator   

Jesus Alcober: Jesus Alcober | LinkedIn 


About the project 

CATALISI is an EU-funded project that started in January 2023. With the aim to help and support Higher Education Institutions to successfully implement a strategy and individual pathway for institutional transformation, CATALISI will introduce the adoption of acceleration services. The project will analyse how the governance of Higher Education Institutions can be changed, considering the governance as a way in which societal and state actors intentionally interact in order to transform Science Technology and Innovation systems, by regulating issues of societal concern. 

In the 36 months of the project, 11 partners from 8 EU Member States will implement the project dividing its efforts between implementors and facilitators.

CATALISI will offer 7 acceleration services and tackle 3 domains:  

  • Research careers and talent support 
  • Open science and public engagement 
  • Sustainable research and education 

Project Coordinator

Maria Carmela Fiero and Laura Mentini: fierro@apre.itmentini@apre.it