ATHENA European University
The ZESS engages in the ATHENA European University
The "European Universities Initiative" is a flagship project of the European Union in the field of higher education and research that aims to make European universities more open, efficient, and inclusive on an international level. The Advanced Technology Higher Education Network Alliance (ATHENA) is one of the pilot projects of this initiative that were selected by the European Commission in 2020. ATHENA brings together the Polytechnic Institute of Porto (Portugal, coordination), the Universities of Maribor (Slovenia), Orléans (France) and Siegen (Germany), Hellenic Mediterranean University (Greece), Niccolò Cusano University (Italy) and Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (Lithuania). The ZESS is actively involved in the implementation of ATHENA's offer, with a special focus on the areas of Research & Development and involvement of regional industry.
International Cooperation in Research & Development
Along with the promotion of internationalised study programmes, mobility offers, and digital learning, one of ATHENA's focal points is international cooperation in the field of Research & Development. Based on the latest technological findings, innovative methods are developed to enable cross-border research and to establish it in a European higher education framework. International research cooperations increase the exchange of doctoral students and lecturers at the participating universities and strengthen the quality of European research.
Practice-oriented research projects in collaboration with industrial partners ensure a consistent alignment with global market needs. Students, teachers, and representatives of industry tackle social and ecological tasks together. A central point of ATHENA's vision is to actively share the research results with society and to always direct them towards social benefits.
Strengthening Cooperation with Industrial Partners
Through its involvement in ATHENA, the University of Siegen is developing innovative solutions to address trend-setting challenges in the European labour market. These include, on the one hand, advancing digitalisation and automation, and, on the other hand, the increasing demand for highly qualified employees. ATHENA offers companies access to help shape curricula and keep pace with the rapidly changing demands of the labour market. Together with industry partners, ATHENA develops strategies so that expertise can be pooled in Europe and existing resources can be used in the best possible way.
Close cooperation between industry, teaching, and research enables research results to be exchanged sustainably between companies and the universities involved. Students have a wide range of opportunities for practice-oriented learning within the framework of doctoral projects, student research projects, or working as student trainees and benefit from the best possible opportunities on the international labour market and a successful transition from studies to work.
Further information is available on the website of the ATHENA European University and on the website of the CICD/ZEW. You can find a brief description of ATHENA's goals and offers in German in the project flyer.