IMPACT, a new proposal to increase the university impact on the society

Jul 15, 2011

IMPACT project is a partnership between universities from France, Belgium and Portugal and companies such as Gas Natural Fenosa and Iberdrola.

The UPC BarcelonaTech coordinates this EU project proposal titled IMPACT "A new and comprehensive approach for the effective cooperation of education, research and innovation", that has been recently submitted to the call for Pilot projects for the develoment of "Knowledge Partnerships" launched by the Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Union.

The reason of the project is the development of a cooperation between universities, industry, research centers and business schools, enhancing the impact on the society. The proposal is supported by the Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble (INPG), the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), as well as by Gas Natural Fenosa i Iberdrola. 

The partnership of this proposal is based on previous cooperation experiences leaded by the university, e.g. the Knowledge Innovation Community KIC InnoEnergy (CC Iberia), a network of universities, research centres and business aimed at boosting the innovation on renewable energies in Europe; and Campus Energia, a project managed by UPC BarcelonaTech and recognised as Campus of International Excellence last year.

IMPACT is going to build a new model for the graduate programmes (MSc and PhD) in order to achieve an efficient connection with the industry. The idea is to analyse the strengths of the existing models and to take the best of them for developing a new model for an European consortium with universities, industry, research centers and business schools as KIC InnoEnergy. The model will define the scenario for a latter development wihin the frame of KIC InnoEnergy and Campus Energia, including new programmes, educational tools: new electronic spaces for the knowledge sharing in educational programmes, specialized labs with remote advanced access, new materials for eLearning, etc.

The output of the project is the design of MSc and PhD programmes with a strong alignment within the knowledge triangle: education, research and innovation. The MSc and PhD thesis are going to be integrated into research projects and are going to be co-advisored by professors and staff in industry and research centers.

The students are trained on different transversal concepts, besides of the technical skills, amongst them the skills on innovation and entrepreneurship. The concept of mobility is also a must in such educational programmes, with stays of at least 6 months in another institution of the partnership.

The budget allocated to this proposal is 533.000 Euros to be spent in 18 months.