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The project COLOURS connects four of the 17 Sustainable Development Objectives

The UCLM will build a unique campus with nine European universities and the support of regional agents for innovation

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The UCLM will build a unique campus with nine European universities and the support of regional agents for innovation


The University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) joins the European Alliance of Universities with the COLOURS project which will build a unique campus aligned with four SDO and involves nine universities in six countries, 126,000 students, 12,300 staff and 55 participating companies and institutions. The initiative, presented this Monday by the chancellor, Julián Garde, and the Vice-chancellor for Internationalization, Raúl Martín, is supported by the regional government, the National Centre for Hydrogen, the Higher Committee of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Eurocaja Rural, Incarlopsa, the Castilla-La Mancha Scientific and Technology Park and Telefónica.

With the award of COLOURS, (COLlaborative innOvative sUstainable Regional UniverSities), driven by the European Union from the Erasmus+ programme with the European Alliance of Universities, “the EU certifies that we are a leading institution for the development and future of this region", the chancellor remarked during the presentation. The initiative, as Garde explained, responds to various concerns among institutions that make up the consortium, among which are " contributing from within to the transformation of the higher education model in Europe, to nurture economic development in our region and to address common, not just academic, daily issues in the EU".

In his speech, Garde stressed the participation of “associated partners”, whose institutional representatives have helped it to present the project on the Toledo campus, and remarked that out of the 13,800 European universities registered by uniRank, only 2.9 % are in the European Alliance of Universities.  "This is great news for the UCLM and the region because what we will achieve is to boost all our missions, especially our international dimension" the chancellor stated. 

Finally, he said COLOURS is "a dream come true from the partnership which will attract more funds". Within the initiative, out of 14.3 million euros, the UCLM will receive 1.6 million euros to fund different initiatives related to a work package linked to sustainable structures and spaces for research and innovation in regional ecosystems. Moreover, and like the universities in Germany, Croatia, North Macedonia, Poland, Sweden, Latvia, Italy and France, which make up part of the consortium, it will hire staff and create an office for project management.

Moreover, the Vice-chancellor´s office for Internationalization, explained that the general aim of COLOURS is to "design an applicable model so that European universities transform their education and research models so they are ones driven by challenges and impacts in close partnership with their regional innovation ecosystems". Raúl Martín stated five specific objectives: "to turn students into agents for change and innovation; to make them partners in university management; to create an educational setting based on equality, diversity and inclusion; to promote internationalization experiences; and to link academic transformation to regional innovation.

To create this "large network of universities" along with different regional agents, the UCLM has proposed a model linked to four of the 17 Sustainable Development Objectives (SDO): health and welfare, food production, the green transition and information and digitalisation technologies. "We analysed areas of intelligent specialisation in the region and their importance for all partners" said Martin, in order to respond to the challenges the future sets, also among which are specific regional challenges for tackling depopulation.

The Vice-chancellor, who expressed his "hope" for participating in a university alliance which spans 21 million people, stated ,with the COLOURS project "the UCLM is placed in a leading group for European transformation". 

UCLM Communication Office Toledo, 10th of July  2023.

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