Welcome to the ARDENT project! The ARDENT project unites 6 main and 2 associated partners from HEIs, research centres and networks from 5 countries in Europe, who strive to foster entrepreneurship skills development in rural areas as well as promote closer links among community members. In our first series of blog articles, we would like to introduce you to each of consortium partner and highlight their initiatives and aspirations towards creating value and promoting local economies, and contributing to the settlement of the local population.

Univations GmbH was established in 2006 as an associated institute of Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). Both together are responsible for all strategic entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer activities of the University. In addition, the University is the largest and determining shareholder of the Univations GmbH with its 13 full time employees.

Doing so, Univations pursues a holistic approach to innovation and start-up support – from entrepreneurship awareness raising and competence development activities at school- and Higher Education Institution (HEI)-level to management consulting in young as well as experienced Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). It supports young entrepreneurs and HEI spinoffs in all phases of the start-up life cycle as well as innovate enterprises in their efforts to develop new technologies and services. The essential motivation for this systematic support lies in the creation of premium jobs and a top-skilled workforce within the entrepreneurial eco-system of a structurally catching up region.

Univations is partner in the ARDENT Project Consortium and is keen on bringing in its expertise in planning and organizing large events involving a lot of different people and stakeholders. Univations will be responsible for Intellectual Output 2 (IO2) “Rural Consultation Roadmap & Needs Analysis Reports”. In the framework of IO2, Univations will develop a strategy in order to design a roadmap which all project partners can use for the implementation of the Rural Community Consultation Event. During this event, relevant stakeholders will have the opportunity to discuss actual social and economic issues as well as challenges of the target regions. This information will be used for the Need Analysis Reports.

In addition, the Anhalt University of Applied Science (Hochschule Anhalt (FH)) and the Competence-Centre for Social Innovation will support Univations during the lifetime of the project as associated partners. They will contribute their expertise mainly in the frame of the “Entrepreneurship Community-Based Learning Pack” and the implementation of the student projects.

Univations is highly motivated to work in the ARDENT project as a partner in order to foster the development of entrepreneurship skills among adult learners in rural areas and to make rural areas more attractive as a working and living environment. As Univations is situated in Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony-Anhalt will be one of the five rural regions which will be studied. Saxony-Anhalt is one of the Federal states of Germany with the highest unemployment rate and the highest proportion of wide rural areas. With this background, it is a good example region for the ARDENT project. So, the project will work on innovative solutions against rural depopulation and promote rural development through entrepreneurship. The ARDENT project will also help to foster relations between different partners involved in the project as well as university and stakeholders in the rural areas and the local population. Univations and Saxony-Anhalt can create innovative ideas how to overcome the two major demographic challenges in Europe – depopulation in rural areas and ageing.

For more information please visit Univations website