Training for Energy Efficient Operations
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015,
Date de fin: 31 août 2018
Enabling energy efficient operations (EEO) is a target priority for policy-makers as 23% of CO2 emissions globally is attributed to business operations. However, SMEs lack the knowledge to implement such practices and achieve EEO due to lack of proper market oriented curricula offered by higher education institutions (HEI) that will enable the emergence of graduates suitable to tackle EEO concepts. Still, scientific/academic knowledge by HEI can provide solutions for this matter. Alternatively, the industry provides the realistic setting where scientific knowledge can be applied. However, to be effective, Industry-Academia collaborations should be based on mutual trust, commitment and knowledge exchange/sharing. One way of achieving this ‘open communication’ between academics and the industry, is through co-creation which is the cornerstone of open innovation practices in today’s industry. For example, through co-creation, academia can gain useful input from industry, that will eventually lead to more market oriented curriculum and better prepared graduates capable to implement EEO. Hence, open innovation and co-creation between academia and industry/SMEs will highly increase HEI's capacity of producing graduates capable of being next generation leaders in EEO.
To this end, the proposed project (Training for Energy Efficient Operations or TrainERGY) responds to this need by aiming to develop an innovative, evidence-based transnational training framework that will markedly improve the knowledge and skills of HEIs to produce more marked oriented EEO curricula, reducing the barriers in this field. The specific objectives of TrainERGY are to:
• Establish transnational open collaboration between HEIs and SMEs across EU in order to address existing training needs in EEO.
• Define an open-innovation and co-creation framework that will enable a proper development of EEO curricula.
• Co-create EEO curricula with input from the industry/SMEs.
• Develop, implement and validate an innovative, evidence-based virtual learning environment (VLE) based on an already developed energy efficiency training tool where feedback from multiple stakeholders (academics, students, industry) will be evaluated and incorporated into the EEO curriculum in an open innovation and co-creation manner.
The project consortium comprises 8 key partners (3 universities, 1 academic research centre, 2 SMEs, 1 chamber of commerce and 1 SME association) from different sectors and countries (UK, Greece, Italy, Poland) who will co-create the envisaged EEO curriculum and will pilot it through an open innovation and co-creation VLE. The four academic partners from the consortium have been previously engaged into a project (PrESS) which delivered a training needs analysis (TNA) for SMEs as well as an online decision making/training tool for SMEs, both related to energy efficiency. In TrainERGY, the consortium will use its transnational, cross-sectoral, wide expertise and findings from PrESS in order to develop the following activities: Specialize the needs emerged from PrESS to the current context; Co-create with industry ECTS accredited EEO curriculum; Develop a VLE where feedback from stakeholders will be used to enhance the EEO curriculum; Implement transnational co-creation/training sessions and pilot the VLE; and ensure high quality of the outputs as well as a targeted dissemination and impact of the project.
The expected impact for HEIs is the following: Enhancement of university-industry collaboration and better alignment of the curriculum to fit the EU market through co-creation with industry in an open innovation framework; Internationalization of higher education; Development of new cutting-edge (ECTS accredited) EEO curriculum and course delivery mechanisms (based on the latest technologies- VLE) increasing the value delivered to the students; Transnational mobility that will lead to opportunities for capacity building capitalized through high quality publications and strong networking for possible fund/grant applications. Similarly, industry/SMEs and other stakeholders will benefit from access to EEO strategies and skills, enhanced R&D capacities, transnational synergies and enhanced environmental policy compliance.
On the long term, TrainERGY will lead to enhanced homogeneity of university-industry co-creation with more market oriented curricula and more skilled and EEO aware graduates. Additionally, enhanced homogeneity of EEO skills through transnational sessions and enhanced homogeneity of EEO innovation and know-how among the involved countries will be enabled which will lead to capitalized input for achieving EU2020, EU Digital Agenda and EU Higher Education Modernisation Agenda (in terms of achieving EEO and overall energy efficiency, digitalization of HEIs, new and innovative teaching and learning methods, internationalization, etc). Social awareness/cohesion through the open VLE in relation to EEO practices will also be enabled.
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