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NOVA hosts representatives of Georgian universities

Project SQUARE aims to improve the quality and relevance of the 3rd mission of universities in Georgia. Besides mentoring, NOVA's contribution involves sharing good practices  



"For a long time, universities engaged in only two missions: teaching and research. But today those who want to make a difference must also be committed to making a difference in society. It is the so-called 3rd mission of universities: applying the knowledge of academia to the ecosystem around us. And it is what defines our mission as a 21st-century university, which wants to be civic and global", underlined the Rector of NOVA, João Sàágua, this Monday, 14th, in the opening session of of the working week with the SQUARE project representatives at NOVA rectorate. 


Acronym for "Strengthening the Quality and Relevance of the Third Mission in Georgian Universities", this consortium is led by the public higher education institutions of Georgia, in Eastern Europe, and its representatives will be in Lisbon until the 19th to get to know NOVA and its schools better.   


"We have more than 2,000 professors involved in research and more than 2,000 PhD students. And I stress this because for us talking about research is talking about innovation and value creation", said Vice-Rector Isabel Rocha, who is in charge of these areas, reminding that this was the year in which NOVA was consecrated as the most enterprising young university in Europe and also, since last week, the one that officially launched more start-ups in Portugal.    


Vice-Rector João Amaro de Matos specified the strategic axes of NOVA's internationalisation, stressing the equal importance of its Atlantic, Mediterranean and European facets. "Only by understanding what we are can we think about what we want to achieve", he highlighted.

At the end of the morning, Pro-Rector Júlia Seixas presented the university's strategy for sustainability and the NOVA 4 the Globe project.


Expected to last two and a half years, SQUARE started in January 2021 and aims to strengthen the quality and relevance of the 3rd mission in Georgian universities, which seek to empower themselves and create a strategic plan. Launched using Erasmus+ funding, the project also involves the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in France, the Belgian non-governmental development management organisation EFMD, and the University of Turku in Finland.   


Traditionally, the two main missions of universities have been considered to be teaching and research. However, in recent years, they have been recognised for another function, the 3rd mission, which aims to create value in society through innovation. That is, in applying the knowledge created in universities in products or services that benefit society - or the community where they are located.   


Besides mentoring, NOVA has contributed to the project by sharing good practices, such as the interactions that the organic units have with the various municipalities where they are located (Lisbon, Almada, Oeiras and Cascais); the collaborative laboratories that involve the university and companies; the rehabilitation of the space where the current Nova SBE campus grew or even the future Innovation District, which aims to create a new global city in Almada - various examples that the SQUARE partners will be able to see in loco during this week.