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European PIONEER alliance focuses on sustainable development of future cities

Laurea University of Applied Sciences is part of the PIONEER alliance of ten European higher education institutions.

Laurea University of Applied Sciences is part of the PIONEER alliance of ten European higher education institutions. The aim of the alliance is to promote the strategic development of future cities through education, research, development and innovation activities as well as ecosystem cooperation.

The PIONEER universities are multidisciplinary actors. Their development work in multiple fields, carried out together with regional actors and stakeholders, helps cities to find solutions to sustainable development issues. The PIONEER alliance brings together researchers, educators, students, innovators, business leaders, urban decision-makers and citizens to work on the following topics:

  • questioning urban transition
  • nature in the city
  • energy in the city
  • vulnerability, inclusion and health in the city
  • mobility
  • digital transition, and
  • sustainable and resilient cities

In the activities of the PIONEER alliance, EU-funded research, development and innovation projects, staff and student mobility, stakeholder events, joint publications and academic articles are means of promoting cooperation between partner universities and their own regional cooperation on urban development issues. In addition, PIONEER partners develop joint training offerings and learning contents.

The added value of PIONEER activities for Laurea's staff and students

At Laurea, internationality is seen as a key factor in supporting the quality, impact and renewal of all operations as well as the professional development of personnel. This is why, international strategic partnerships such as the PIONEER network are a prerequisite for Laurea to provide competence-based education and produce a skilled workforce for the national and global labour markets. Without international cooperation, there would be no high-quality, competitive, attractive university of applied sciences that creates new knowledge.

In particular, the PIONEER alliance supports students' growth into future leaders and experts so that they have the knowledge and ability to succeed in the 21st century and the professional capacity to support sustainable development regionally, nationally and globally. The aim of the PIONEER universities is to create a pan-European higher education campus that offers students, doctoral candidates and staff opportunities for study and professional development.

The higher education institutions belonging to the PIONEER network represent both research-oriented universities and universities of applied sciences:

Discover the PIONEER partners' InCITIES project, where higher education institutions collaborate on RDI with their local, regional and national networks. The aim is to increase access to science and technology and to support the creation of innovation hubs that strengthen research cooperation. Learn more about the project.


More information about the PIONEER cooperation from Senior Specialist Mika Launikari ( and about the InCITIES project from Project Manager Merja Iiskola (

More information:

  • Mika Launikari
  • Special Advisor
  • Tel
  • At Laurea, Mika is involved in international higher education cooperation, career guidance and competence development.