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Innovative ICT Solutions for the Societal Challenges
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Fast proliferation of information and communication technologies (ICT) caused certain negative side effects for society (e.g., increased energy usage or CO2 emmisions). However, "innovation in ICT"and especially "innovation with ICT" offer potential solutions for some of the biggest societal challenges (e.g., reports "Smart 2020" and "Smarter 2020" by Global e-Sustainability Initiative). These are reasons why it is of great importance that students understand how ICT can be utilized to tackle societal challenges. The INNOSOC (Innovative ICT Solutions for the Societal Challenges) project is step forward in that direction, taken by consortium of 13 universities from 10 EU countries. The majority of consortium partners previously collaborated through ESM (European Student Meeting) and SUSCOMTEC (Intercultural knowledge transfer in engineering for a sustainable global ICT community) projects. The main objective of the INNOSOC project is to set up a transnational multidisciplinary intensive study program in the field of innovations based on informations and communication technology targeting societal challenges defined by Europe 2020 and Horizon 2020 programs. The INNOSOC curricula, which will be available as multilingual open educatinal resource (OER) as well, consist of four main topic groups: - "Innovation" as a core topic; - intercultural topics, with focus on "Multicultural teams"; - ICT topics, with focus on "Innovative engineering based on ICT"; - student projects, with focus on "Case studies on how ICT can contribute to innovative societal development". „Innovation“ as a core topic of the INNOSOC curricula follows multidisciplinary approach that includes innovation processes, intellectual property, as well as technology policy issues. Intercultural part of curriculum uses interactive approach and focusses on multicultural teambuilding through exchange of practices from different cultures and by analysing societal challenges from local, regional and global perspectives. ICT part explains why ICT is one of Key Enabling Technologies and therefore horizontal technology enabling innovative solutions for societal challenges. It includes practical examples tailored specifically for INNOSOC providing knowledge/insights into hot ICT topics – “innovation in ICT” and “innovation with ICT” (“green”, “smart”, “inclusive”, “disruptive”, …). Student projects elaborate case studies related to the role of ICT in responding to societal challenges defined by Europe 2020 and Horizon 2020 programs: - Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing; - Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy; - Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy; - Smart, Green and Integrated Transport; - Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials; - Europe in a Changing World - Inclusive, Innovative and Reflective Societies; and - Secure Societies – Protecting Freedom and Security of Europe and its Citizens. Student projects will be based on the “blended” mobility approach and organized in two phases: (i) preparatory (virtual mobility); and (ii) execution phase (physical mobility). Physical mobility will be implemented through three two-week workshops hosted by partner universities in 2016 (Zagreb), 2017 (Leipzig) and 2018 (Valencia). Workshop participants will be professors (16 professors from 11 universities from 8 countries) and students (100 students from 11 universities from 8 countries) from partner universities. Multilingual (on 8 EU languages) open course materials on innovation and entrepreneurship including case studies on how ICT can contribute to innovative societal development will be made free to access through the project web site. In that way INNOSOC project will have signifivant impact on national and EU level through serving on the long-term benefit of all citizens, academia and industry.
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