SAP ‘Game Changing Games’

The complexity of global challenges is constantly rising. Can we change the game with games?

‘Game Changing Games’ is a RUN-EU Short Advanced Programme (SAP) jointly coordinated by Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (FHV) and Polytechnic of Cávado and Ave (IPCA).

It aims to understand how game designers can address the most urgent global challenges and incite change, by fostering the sustainable co-existence of humans and the ecological systems. Creating games that motivate people to engage with social issues in a playful way could be one way of making critical issues easier to perceive.

From 4 October to 1 November 2021, students will approach this through online lectures, cutting-edge workshops and presentations, short-term international mobility and multidisciplinary group work dynamics.

To be able to better discuss this topic, students need to understand:

  • Game cultures
  • Dimensions of sustainability
  • Best practices for project presentations
  • Playful methods in future design (eg speculative design)
  • Formal and dramatic elements of games
  • Games as systems, economics of games
  • Approaches to and methods of game design (playcentric approach)
  • Community-centred design 
  • Designing digital games, urban games, social impact games, serious games, mixed reality games, alternate reality games
  • Interaction design in games
  • Design and implementation of social interaction in games
  • Game content and design considerations to evoke motivation
  • Creation of playful elements in immersive environments and affective infrastructures (eg for exhibitions and/or in the museum context)
  • Motivation to play vs motivation to change beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours
  • Storytelling, dramaturgy and visual design of games

Proposed learning outcomes

At the end of this Short Advanced Programme, students will be able to:

  • Know crucial concepts and approaches of game design, theoretical approaches and indices of ecological, social and economic sustainability
  • Be capable of developing and prototypically realising a concept focussing on future challenges (eg climate change, social segregation, digital divide) using games as a medium or creating playful experience(s)
  • Work in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams
  • Communicate solutions for societal real problems and challenges that demand innovation and various skills

Date: from 4 October to 1 November 2021

Online sessions and remote teamwork: 4 to 22 October

Contact week: 25 to 29 October at Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (Dornbirn, Austria)

Learning assessment: 1 November

Mode of delivery: blended

Location: online and in-person at Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (Dornbirn, Austria)

Language of instruction
: English

ECTS credits: 3

Academic recognition: to be defined by each higher education institution. In general terms, most students will have this RUN-EU SAP certified in their diploma supplement, as a minimal condition

Eligible participants: RUN-EU’s students from any cycle of studies. This SAP is interdisciplinary, but situated in the fields of Information & Communication Technologies and Arts & Design.

How to apply: fill in the application form

Deadline for applications: 10 September 2021

Selection criteria: motivation, learning objectives, wide representation of subject areas/fields and balanced participation of RUN-EU member higher education institutions. A maximum of 40 students will be selected for this programme. The selection team will also take steps towards ensuring diversity and representativity


FHV, Austria

IPCA, Portugal

Read all the details about this programme.
Please send an email to or if you have any further questions.

SAP ‘Circular Design with Plastics’

Circular economy is a hot topic and a trendy term. However, what does it really imply for industry, for society, and for development? What are the existing and the emerging challenges?

‘Circular Design with Plastics’ is a RUN-EU Short Advanced Programme (SAP), jointly coordinated by Polytechnic of Cávado and Ave (IPCA), NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences (NHL Stenden), Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) and Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT).

It aims to present insights into these topics and examine some existing tools that can help designers, engineers, managers and entrepreneurs. From 20 September to 8 October 2021, participants will find answers to these and other questions through online lectures, cutting-edge presentations and multidisciplinary group work dynamics.

Proposed learning outcomes:

This is an introductory programme aimed at those interested in becoming familiar with circular design (specifically with plastics), circular economy, and circularity. Participants will be introduced to the topic of circular design, starting from a variety of concepts, passing through several important approaches and methodologies, and finally covering some specific tools (in terms of their purpose and how they are employed, and not learning to use them in detail).

At the end of this programme, students will be able to:

  • Appreciate current driving features for sustainability in a multidisciplinary and international context
  • Understand the concepts of circular design, circular economy, circularity and ecodesign (among others)
  • Recognise the key challenges and opportunities for improving circularity in plastics, and how to quantify it
  • Understand the different perspectives of ecodesign/design for X
  • Understand circular supply chains and sustainable modelling

Date: from 20 September to 8 October 2021 (Lecturing/contact week from 27 September to 1 October)

Mode of delivery: blended; simultaneously co-located with live audience room at the four partner institutions

Language of instruction: English

ECTS credits: 2

Academic recognition: to be defined by each home institution. In general terms, most students will have this RUN-EU SAP certified in the diploma supplement, as a minimal condition

Eligible participants: RUN-EU’s students from any cycle of studies, with a particular emphasis on students from Engineering, Design and Management

How to apply: fill in the application form

Application deadline: 8 September 2021

Selection criteria: a maximum of 40 students will be selected for this programme. A minimum of 5 places are reserved for each of the 4 host institutions. After that, the remaining 20 places will be distributed by all applicants. Selection will always be based on order of submission (first come, first served), although priority will be given to RUN-EU partner students. Only after all RUN-EU partner students are placed will external applicants be selected. The selection team will also take steps towards ensuring diversity and representativity.


IPCA, Portugal

NHL Stenden, The Netherlands

AIT, Ireland

LIT, Ireland

Read all the details about this programme.
Please send an email to or if you have any further questions.

Conference ‘From the Sea to Society’

Hosted by Politécnico de Leiria, the EU conference ‘From the Sea to Society’, held on 25 May, in the city of Peniche (Portugal), highlighted the importance of the ocean and a blue economy in the institutional strategy of higher education institutions.

The President of Politécnico de Leiria and Coordinator of RUN-EU, Mr Rui Pedrosa, opened the event where he noted that Politécnico de Leiria has been – and will continue – investing in marine and maritime research, aligned with the ‘green transformation agenda, included in the 2030 strategic plan of Politécnico de Leiria’.

The first panel debated sustainability supported by knowledge and the importance of European collaborative networks for the blue bioeconomy with representatives from European research and innovation centres. The keynote speaker of this panel was the General Coordinator of the European University of the Seas (SEA-EU), Mr Fidel Echevarría.

The second panel focused on the enhancement of coastal identities in Europe associated with the sustainability of resources and the social resilience of fishing communities with representatives from different marine organisations. In this panel, the keynote speaker was Mr Han Brezet, member of the EU Projects Boosting Team, Innovatiepact Fryslan (NL), and member of the RUN-EU’s Steering Board.

The conference ended with a set of different in-person cultural activities, held at the Politécnico de Leiria’s School of Tourism and Maritime Technology, for those who could attend the event in Peniche.

We are hiring: RUN-EU Project Manager!

  • Job title: RUN-EU Project Manager
  • Location: Politécnico de Leiria
  • Number of posts: 1
  • Length of employment: 1 Year
  • Contract type: Fixed-term Contract (Contrato de Trabalho em Funções Públicas)
  • Professional category: Técnico Superior
  • Grade: 6.ª posição remuneratória, nível 31
  • Working pattern: Full-time
  • Reports to: Project Coordinator
  • Application deadline: 13 May 2021 – 23h59 (Lisbon time)

Job Description:
The postholder will work as a Project Manager of the Regional University Network – European University (RUN-EU). In the next three years, Politécnico de Leiria (Portugal) and the H2020 RUN-EU PLUS Project will be coordinating a network composed of eight higher education institutions in the European Union.

The Project Manager will work on behalf of Politécnico de Leiria, supporting the coordination and management of the project to keep teams on track of their goals and ensure deliverables are completed on time.

This position offers an exciting opportunity to monitor the progress of an international cooperation-based project, communicate with regional and international stakeholders regarding project needs and goals, schedule meetings, and maintain project documents and reports to be submitted to the RUN-EU AG and the European Commission.

The RUN-EU Project Manager will also support the management of the H2020 RUN-EU PLUS Project in the creation of international and multidisciplinary research teams, which will include researchers from Politécnico de Leiria, and in the application to European funding projects, such as the Eramus+ and the Horizon Europe.

Educational requirements
Degree (Bachelor, Master or PhD) in Health Sciences, Life Sciences, Exact Sciences and Engineering, Natural and Environmental Sciences, Business and Management, Economics, or similar fields of study.

Read more about RUN-EU.

As a public service contract, you can find more information at Bolsa de Emprego Público | Aviso n.º 7914/2021 or at the original Diário da República publication – DR 2.ª série n.º 83, de 29 de abril.

Conference ‘European Universities: Pioneering Transformation in Education, Research and Innovation’

The “European Universities: Pioneering Transformation in Education, Research and Innovation” conference held on 14 April demonstrated one thing above all: transnational higher education alliances will not only revolutionise the European education and research spaces, but most importantly they will increase the competitiveness of the regions where they are set in. 

Hosted by Politécnico de Leiria, the EU videoconference brought together representatives from European Universities and the European Commission, as well as relevant stakeholders from business and society to discuss the main topics on the European Universities Initiative’s agenda.

Opening Session

The opening session of the conference was chaired by the Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education of Portugal, Manuel Heitor, and the Director-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission, Themis Christophidou.

Panel 1 – The Transformation Potential of European Universities

Keynote Speaker

  • Sophia Eriksson-Waterschoot, Director for Youth, Education and Erasmus+ of the European Commission


  • Màrius Martinez, Vice-President for International Relations of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, and President of ECIU European University
  • Daniela Trani, University of Maastricht, Netherlands, Director of YUFE Alliance
  • João Rocha, President of the Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal, and Coordinator of ATHENA European University
  • Rui Pedrosa, President of Politécnico de Leiria, Portugal, and Coordinator of Regional University Network – European University
  • Anna-Lena Claeys-Kulik, European University Association
  • Stéphane Lauwick, President of the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education

Panel 2 – How can European Universities Foster Skills for a Green, Digital and Inclusive Society

Keynote Speaker

  • Thomas Weko, Head of Higher Education Unit in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)


  • Mark Brown, Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (Ireland)
  • Célia Reis, Chair of the Board Altran (Portugal)
  • Timea Csanaki, HR-Representative – Academic Cooperations of Audi Hungaria, Hungary.
  • Juha Haukka, Managing Director of Suomen Yrittäjät in Häme (The Regional Association of Entrepreneurs in Hame), Finland
  • Jimmy Heinzl, CEO of WISTO – Wirtschafts-Standort Vorarlberg GmbH (Austria)

Panel 3 – Future and Advanced Skills for Societal Transformation

Keynote Speaker

  • Nuno Rodrigues, Vice-President for Research of the Polytechnic of Leiria, Portugal, RUN-EU European University


  • Joan Guàrdia Olmos, Rector of the University of Barcelona, Spain, and Coordinator of CHARM European University
  • Manuel José Damásio, Lusófona University, Portugal and Coordinator of FILMEU European University
  • António Cunha, President of the Norte Portugal Regional Coordination and Development Commission
  • Eduardo Anselmo Castro, Vice-President of the Centro Portugal Regional Coordination and Development Commission
  • Hans-Paul van der Snee, Director of Innovatiepact Fryslân, Netherlands

Panel 4 – The Role of European Universities in Leading Regional Innovation Ecosystems

Keynote Speakers

  • Ruaidhri Neavyn , Special Advisor to the Higher Education Authority of Ireland, and member of the Steering Board of the RUN-EU European University
  • Han Brezet, EU Projects Boosting Team – Innovatiepact Fryslan, Netherlands, and member of the Steering Board of the RUN-EU European University


  • Pat Daly, CEO of Limerick City and County Council, Ireland
  • Pat Gallagher, Chief Executive Westmeath County Council, Ireland
  • Anna-Mari Ahonen, Region Mayor – Regional Council of Häme, Finland
  • Arno Brok, King’s Commissioner of the Province of Friesland, Netherlands
  • Gabriela Dür, Head of the Department of Science and Continuing Education of the Federal State of Vorarlberg, Austria
  • Emile Boc, Rapporteur of the European Comittee of the Regions

Signing Ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding

Agreement of RUN-EU members with Regional Government representatives about the long-term vision and the construction of the EZ-ID – European Zone for Inter-regional Development.

Closing Session

The closing session of the conference was chaired by the President of Politécnico de Leiria and Coordinator of the Regional University Network – European University, Rui Pedrosa, and the State Secretary for Science, Technology and Higher Education of Portugal, Manuel Sobrinho Teixeira.

Webinar ‘RUN-EU Kick-off Meeting and Launch Event’

The RUN-EU will organize the Kick-Off Meeting and Launch Event, on 25 November, at 14h30 (Central European Time – CET) and will be carried out in an online session.

The presidents and rectors of the higher education institutions that make up the RUN-EU together with the representatives of the governments of each country, as well as the students and staff members, will present this new European University and discuss the importance of RUN-EU in the transformation of the higher education and its regions.


14h30 – Welcome/Opening Session
14h40 – The RUN-EU European University
14h50 – ‘The transformation potential of European Universities
Round table discussion with the Presidents and Rectors from RUN-EU
15h30 – ‘Student engagement and involvement in European Universities
Presentation and round table discussion with the Students from RUN-EU
16h00 – ‘Member states in Support of European Universities
Round table discussion with Government representatives
16h40 – ‘RUN-EU in the transformation of our HEI and Regions’
Questions from participants, students, staff and associated partners
17h00 – Closing Session

RUN-EU is a network of like-minded and regionally focused Higher Education Institutions committed to societal transformation in their regions in the context of both new and emerging regional and global challenges but in particular sustainable regional development.  It is proposed to achieve this collective mission through the delivery of collaborative, future and advanced skills-based teaching, learning, and research and engagement activities across the network.

The higher education institutions, corresponding countries and associated regions which compose the RUN-EU alliance are: Politécnico de Leiria – Portugal (Centre Region); Polytechnic of Cavado and Ave – Portugal (Northern Region);  Athlone IT – Ireland (Midlands Region); Limerick IT – Ireland (Mid-West Region); HAMK – Finland (Southern Region); Széchenyi István University – Hungary (Győr-Moson-Sopron County); NHL Stenden – Holland (Friesland Province); and FH Vorarlberg – Austria (Vorarlberg).

RUN-EU aims to implement training programs that include the promotion of future and advanced skills for social transformation in the regions of the European Union. higher education institutions will jointly develop a diverse range of teaching and learning actions, providing students with different international programs (short-term and e-learning), while international cooperation projects in the area of research and development are also implemented. In the future, students will also have the opportunity to obtain European double/multiple degrees within the framework of joint training programs.

RUN-EU will also have the mission of promoting the economic, social, cultural and sustainable development of the regions covered by the network, providing the necessary skills so that students, researchers and regional agents can successfully face the challenges of the future. This new consortium intends to be an active agent in the social transformation of the regions, promoting active citizenship and leading the creation of a new multinational interregional alliance (European Zone for Interregional Development – EZ-ID).

Webinar ‘Interactive Online Learning Environments – Good Examples’ – Part 2

Monday, 16 November 2020


11h00 – 11h05
Welcome to the webinar

11h05 – 11h40
Inspiring and engaging working and learning in digital environments – HAMK’s experiences (Irma Kunnari & Kirsi Korkealehto, HAMK; Kirsi Jaakkola & Leena Koskimäki, HAMK; Jonna Niemelä)

11h40 – 12h00 
Using padlet to intensify interaction in the classroom (Tanja Eiselen, FHV)

12h00 – 12h20 
Pedagogical challenges: reinventing some practices (António Moreira, IPCA)

12h20 – 12h40 
University lecturers’ distance learning experiences gained during the covid-19 pandemic period (Viktória Gősi, SZE)

12h40 – 13h00 
Implementing active learning in online classrooms (Sarah O’Toole, LIT)

Webinar ‘Designing Student-centred Online Teaching and Learning – Basic Principles’ – Part 1

Friday, 13 November 2020


09h00 – 09h10
Welcome and orientation to the webinars (Liisa Postareff, HAMK)

09h10 – 09h40 
Designing student-centered online teaching and learning – basic principles (Liisa Postareff & Viivi Virtanen, HAMK)

09h40 – 10h00  
Covid 19 – Time for new learning opportunities (Manuela Francisco, IPL)

10h00 – 10h20 
The connectedness of our students – Changing the nature and format of student induction (Michael Tobin, AIT)

10h20 – 10h40 
Working online during Covid (Johan Postema, NHL Stenden)

10h40 – 11h00
Enhancing interaction and engagement – case HAMK Design Factory (Jari Jussila, HAMK)

Webinar ‘Applying Virtual Environments in Distance Learning of Product Development’

On 5 June, the management team of the HAMK’s Design Factory organised the webinar ‘Applying Virtual Environments in Distance Learning of Product Development’.  

Hosted by Jari Jussila, Director of HAMK Design Factory, the webinar presented a case study of Glue Collaboration Platform in product development and prototyping products, and an overview of how virtual environments can be used in distance learning.

The online session was attended by academic staff and students of the RUN-EU alliance members, as well as members of the distance learning units, interested in learning how to use new virtual and augmented reality techniques for online teaching and different online and virtual environments for joint product development and prototyping. 

Watch the video of the webinar.

Learn more about HAMK’s Design Factory.