GARR President, Maurizio Tira, was elected to the Board of Directors of the European University Association (EUA) on the occasion of the General Assembly of the association, which was held in Gdansk (Poland) on April 20th.
Former rector of the University of Brescia and Head of International Affairs at the Conference of Rectors of Italian Universities, prof. Tira assumed the leadership of GARR in 2022. His appointment to the EUA board with 201 votes is a positive signal for the Italian academic world, and an opportunity to play a leading role in the evolution of European policies related to universities.
The European University Association (EUA) is the largest and most influential of the university associations of the old continent, with over 850 members between universities and Conferences of Rectors and as many as 49 countries covered. Its main objective is to coordinate universities all across Europe and represent them in the discussion with European stakeholders and influence the development of policies related to higher education, research and innovation. Convening various expert groups and steering committees, EUA is also a forum where universities can share experiences and discuss topics and problems of common interest, thus facilitating the exchange of ideas and good practices across Europe.
The value of collaboration and "networking" was the key point in President Tira's candidacy speech: “We have the privilege and the responsibility of working side by side to the future generations, namely the 17 millions students that are entrusted to our member Universities.” Tira declared during his speech “We are driven to action by our students’ ideas and – at the same time – we bear on our shoulders the responsibility to provide them with an ethical and cultural project. No worldwide ranking will be able to measure our students’ degree of maturity of, nor the degree of cooperation among our institutions, like the stimulating experience of the European University Alliances”. According to Tira, EUA has a crucial role to play in the implementation of Europe’s New Innovation Agenda, the strategy adopted by the European Commission on 5 July 2022 and focused on so-called "deep tech" innovations, i.e. innovations characterized by a very high technological content and a disruptive social impact, which combine advances in different scientific fields with those in digital technologies with the aim of offering revolutionary solutions to global problems. “I see this aspect as a natural extension of the GARR presidency experience” added Tira. “A reality that has been creating innovation for 30 years and with its infrastructure and mission supports universities and scientific institutions in their contribution to frontier research.”
Maurizio Tira will be in office until 2027. Elected together with him were Vincent Blondel, Rector of the University of Louvain (Belgium), Marcin Palys, ex-Rector of the University of Warsaw (Poland), Astrid Soderbergh, Rector of the University of Stockholm (Sweden), and Wim van de Donk, Rector of the University of Tilburg (Netherlands).
Graduated with full marks in civil engineering for soil protection and territorial planning, Professor Tira is Full Professor of Urban Planning and Technique at the University of Brescia, of which he became rector in 2016.
Today he teaches Urban planning and risk mitigation and Ethics of environmental sustainability in the master's degree course in Civil and Environmental Engineering, founded as chairman of the council of the aggregate degree course of civil and environmental engineering.
He is a member of the PhD college in Civil, Environmental, International Cooperation and Mathematics Engineering and of the national Doctorate in Sustainable Development and Climate Change.
He has coordinated numerous projects and working groups at European and OECD level on urban planning issues, with particular interest in planning in areas at risk and in urban mobility and safety.
He was part of the New Technical Mission Structure of MIT and is a member of the MIMS Commission for the reform of national legislation on spatial planning and of the MIMS expert group for the Interministerial Committee for Urban Policies.
Author of over 270 scientific publications and speaker at countless conferences in Italy and abroad, he is a Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences of the Institute of Bologna and ordinary member of the University of Sciences, Letters and Arts of Brescia.
From 20 February 2020 he has been a member of the Board of the Conference of Rectors of Italian Universities with responsibility for internationalization.
Since December 2020 he has been Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.