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From sustainable trade policy to stalling cybercrime: How 5 Seed Funding projects are advancing Una Europa's Focus Areas

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Explore the successful projects, each awarded up to €36,000 in Seed Funding to spearhead their research under our new Una Europa Chairs programme.

In May 2022, Una Europa launched a Seed Funding call with a twist. Our new formula combined a focus on international and multidisciplinary research – classic Una Europa ingredients – with a pilot fellowship for senior academics. The result? Five Una Europa Chairs at the helm of this year’s Seed Funding projects, while taking on visiting professorships at the project’s coordinating institution.

The Una Europa Chairs programme aims to consolidate our Focus Areas: Cultural Heritage; Data Science and Artificial Intelligence; Europe and the World; One Health; and Sustainability. Through their fellowships, the Chairs – each a leading academic at an Una Europa institution – will deepen collaborative ties between our partner universities.

Learn more about the successful projects below.

Teams4Her: Cultivating the Una-Her-Doc community

Una Europa Focus Area: Cultural Heritage
Una Europa Chair:
María García-Hernández, Professor of Human Geography, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Project Coordinator: Maria Gravari-Barbas, Chair, Una Europa Self-Steering Committee in Cultural Heritage, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Teams4Her – Transnational Research Teams: Tackling the concept of Heritage in the Urban Peripheries – aims to consolidate Una Europa’s network of Transnational Research Teams (TRTs) working in Cultural Heritage. This vibrant pan-European ecosystem unites 150 academics and doctoral researchers from eight Una Europa universities.

The project’s common research activities will examine ‘cultural heritage of the peripheries’ from the perspective of the four current TRTs: mobility and migration; digitization of society; social capital; and safeguarding cultural heritage. Teams4Her will culminate in a two-day international conference in Paris: Cultural Heritage at the Urban and Metropolitan Peripheries, 5–6 June 2023.

FACE: Fighting the inevitable sophistication of crime

Una Europa Focus Area: Data Science & Artificial Intelligence
Una Europa Chairholder: Carsten Momsen, Professor of Criminal Law, Freie Universität Berlin
Project Coordinator: Michele Panzavolta, Associate Professor of Criminal Law, KU Leuven

Technological transformation is unstoppable and continues to accelerate – and cybercrime is keeping pace. Are crime-fighting forces prepared for this rapidly changing climate? FACE (Future Aspects of Crime and Enforcement) tackles this topical issue.

FACE will initiate a multi-level dialogue between Una Europa partner universities to facilitate discussion and analysis of emerging technologies, the impact they have on the structure of crime and the novel approaches required to combat them. The project will propose new solutions to new criminal patterns – minimising vulnerabilities while simultaneously respecting the balance between freedom and crime control.

FIBRE: Textbooks for the University of the Future

Una Europa Focus Area: Europe and the World
Una Europa Chair:
Jan Wouters, Full Professor of International Law and International Organizations, KU Leuven
Project Coordinator: Federico Casolari, Full Professor of European Union Law, Alma mater studiorum – Università di Bologna

Fostering European Integration through Bachelor Education (FIBRE) is setting out to develop top-tier teaching materials for the Una Europa Joint Bachelor of European Studies (BAES)Europe’s first truly joint Bachelor’s degree. FIBRE will develop two textbooks, ‘European Integration’ and ‘Introduction to EU and International Law’, which will be piloted in BAES classrooms next year. The resulting texts will be published for the benefit of future BAES students and wider students of law and European integration.

The textbooks’ unique selling point is the richly interdisciplinary approach FIBRE will take to their development: academics from seven partner universities will contribute their expertise from the fields of political science and economics, history, law, philosophy and governance studies.

NEXTVET: A holistic approach to veterinary public health

Una Europa Focus Area: One Health
Una Europa Chair:
Alessandro Seguino, Senior Lecturer, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh
Project Coordinator: Alessandra De Cesare, Associate Professor, DIMEVET, Alma mater studiorum – Università di Bologna

Veterinary surgeons working on farms and at food-processing plants play a central role in safeguarding public health, animal health, and animal welfare. With these considerations front of mind, NextVet sets out to enhance veterinary training through a holistic One Health lens. In July 2023, the NextVet Summer School will welcome 20 veterinary students from 20 European universities to Università di Bologna to build their knowledge and hands-on experience of meat hygiene and its fundamental role in public and animal health.

Removing boundaries between the classroom and the real working environment, students will learn by doing and reflect on their practical experience using a ‘complex system’ approach applied to animal food production. They will use the Virtual Slaughterhouse Simulator, which NextVet participating universities have been developing together since 2020 with the support of previous Una Europa Seed Funding.

ImprovEUorGlobe: Balancing free trade with the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Una Europa Focus Area: Sustainability
Una Europa Chair: Filippo Fontanelli, Senior Lecturer in International Law, University of Edinburgh
Project Coordinator: Elisa Baroncini, Full Professor of International Law, Alma mater studiorum – Università di Bologna

By grounding its approach to global economic governance in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the EU is establishing itself at the leading edge of sustainable trade legislation internationally. But it is also facing huge economic challenges such as the invasion of Ukraine, economic sanctions against Russia, and the energy and food crisis. ImprovEUorGlobe – The UN 2030 Agenda in the EU Trade Policy: Improving Global Governance for a Sustainable New World – examines this status quo.

The project will provide a critical and interdisciplinary view of SDGs-oriented EU trade policy, highlighting the central role of civil society participation. International and EU jurists will collaborate with anthropologists, political scientists, economists, physicists and sustainability experts to assess how the EU can further improve and defend sustainability in international economic relations, always seeking transparent and inclusive processes and with the full participation of civil society.

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