The ESoA initiative started in 2004 from a group of institutions composed by Universities and industrial research centres of 12 different European countries belonging to ACE. Presently, the group has been enlarged to the 24 institutions, 20 Universities and 4 Research centers, presented in the Table below. The 24 institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in order to implement and develop ESoA with the intention to:
  1. extend and encourage the participation to ESoA to Parties external to the group;
  2. lay down the basis to prolong the ESoA activity even beyond the expire date of the EU project;
  3. establish common rules for the attribution and recognition of doctorate credits;
  4. establish an ESoA board, and setting its competences concerned with the structuring, organization and management of the courses;
  5. state the "excellence of teaching" as a fundamental principle aiming the ESoA activity.