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The origins

How it all started

UniverCities was born out of the original EU funded project named USE EFFICIENCY which ran from July 2009 to January 2012 and was funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) Programme, and deals with energy saving and renewables issues from an educational point of view, rather than a research and application one.

The project solely comprised young people, all under 25, a feature which provided the project with its winning factor and making it such a unique initiative - a project for students, created by students.

The USE Efficiency project has involved ten EU countries, including 9 universities and 4 major companies, and focused on the improvement of energy efficiency in university buildings in a co creative way (before co creation was "cool"), together with the establishment of training programmes for university students.

The programme set out to train students as future leaders in energy efficiency, from the first stages of their technical development.

The core of USE Efficiency has been the organisation of the International summer schools training programme, first in Valencia in 2011, under the IEE frame, and then the Summer School in London during the Olympics in 2012, with the support of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), in the UK.

Both events were a great success, providing important employment opportunities for students and giving market leaders the possibility of gathering fresh ideas together with some highly-skilled CVs from the Summer School students.

USE Efficiency today has been renamed UniverCities and has evolved into a formal, consolidated, non-profit professional organisation - aiming to continue the good work initiated under the EU programme.

As Dr. Daniela Melandri (its founder) adds: “The Association provides a link between universities and organisations. It’s a win-win situation for both sides, who can benefit from the results of R&I; projects and the communication that the involvement guarantees.”

The USE Efficiency Association, now UniverCities, works in close partnership with the IET, the Italian Ministry of Environment, more than 15 EU Universities, the European Commission, several EU cities and global networks, and media players like RTBF, the Guardian and others. 

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