University-Business Cooperation Opportunities

Within the Erasmus+  programme, companies and research organisations can cooperate with universities and institutions to develop partnership projects in the fields of education, training or youth under the Key Action 2 (Erasmus+ support for cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices).

These projects encourage collaboration across borders and sectors, within and across the fields of education, training, youth and with the world of work. Their aims include innovating and modernising practices, strengthening cooperation and transferring knowledge at organisational, local, regional, national and European levels. In the area of higher education, they also cover capacity-building projects that bring together higher education institutions from programme and partner countries.

By becoming involved in partnership projects, participating organisations are expected to develop more modern, dynamic and professional environments, an increased capacity to work at EU/international level and more innovative approaches to addressing their target groups.

  Strategic Partnerships with the world of work

Strategic Partnerships seek to develop, transfer and implement innovative education, training and youth practices through cross-border cooperation among organisations of different kinds.
Projects are supported which can involve organisations from different economic and social sectors working together through partnerships with enterprises, public authorities and civil society organisations.
Strategic Partnerships may range from fairly simple cooperation projects between small scale organisations to large scale projects focussing on the development and exchange of innovative outputs in the education, training and youth fields.
They may address a specific field, but they also seek to promote cooperation across the education, training and youth fields and establish links with the world of work.
For example, projects may aim at networking and peer learning to allow students and staff to study real-life cases with enterprises aiming to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and creative thinking; structured and long-term cooperation among institutions and with stakeholders (e.g. private enterprises, social partners, local/regional authorities, NGOs); transnational initiatives fostering entrepreneurial mindsets and skills, to encourage active citizenship and new social enterprises. In order to apply, please refer to the National Agency of the applicant organisation.

More about the requirements and conditions to apply

  Large scale cooperation projects

Knowledge Alliances: Cooperation between higher education institutions and enterprises
The involvement of enterprises enables to improve the quality and relevance of Higher Education programmes in line with the requirements of the labour market.
To this end, the new Erasmus+ programme (2014-2020) funds Knowledge Alliances. These structured partnerships contribute to bridging the gap between the world of academia and the world of work in order to stimulate innovation in both higher education and enterprise.
Knowledge Alliances also help to equip people (students, teaching and company staff ) with more entrepreneurial skills and mindsets, making higher education institutions and enterprises more entrepreneurial and innovative, with all that this entails for the socio-economic environment in which they operate.
Knowledge Alliances can support several activities aimed, among the others, at:
- Developing and implementing new learning and teaching methods
- Organising continuing educational programmes and activities, both with and within companies.
- Developing joint solutions for challenging issues, product and process innovation (students, professors and practitioners together).
- Creating structures for the learning of transversal skills and their application throughout higher education programmes. These should be developed in cooperation with enterprises, thereby strengthening employability, creativity and new professional pathways.
- Introducing entrepreneurship education into any discipline to provide students, researchers, staff and educators with the knowledge, skills and motivation to engage in entrepreneurial activities across a variety of sectors.
- Opening up new learning opportunities through the practical application of entrepreneurial skills, which can involve and/or lead to the commercialisation of new services, products and prototypes.

Sector Skills Alliances: Cooperation between VET providers and the world of work
Sector Skills Alliances are cross-border projects focussed on national and European challenges related to the skills workers need for employment in different sectors.
They may support activities (non-exhaustive) aimed at:
Defining skills and training provision needs in a given specific economic sector (e.g. gathering and interpreting evidence of skill needs on the labour market in a given economic sector).
Designing EU sector-specific curricula, VET programmes and integrating innovative approaches to teaching and learning, notably through more strategic and integrated use of ICTs and Open Educational Resources.
Opportunities to apply knowledge in practical projects/”real life” workplace situations should also be included, along with the chance to develop entrepreneurial mindsets.


In order to apply, please refer to the European Agency website.
More about the requirements and conditions