Kick-off of first Horizon-funded project in Faculty of Technology
On the 21st of November 2022, at the Campus Gambelas of the University of Algarve in Faro, Portugal, the kick-off of the “Sustainable Horizons” project was held, which is going to last for two years.
The "Sustainability Horizons" project aim to present a hybrid model of research and higher education, supported by the institutional transformation of the European universities involved. This model, based on open science, the FAIR principles, Gender Equality actions and on sustainability pilots, establishes bridges between Sustainable Horizons’ project partners, associate partners and non-academic institutions. In addition to the University of the Algarve, which it coordinates, the project has partners from higher education institutions in countries classified as “high performing”, with regard to indicators associated with research, such as Finland, Germany and Spain (LAB, Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society and University of Huelva respectively) and countries classified as “widening”, such as Portugal, Czech Republic and Romania (University of Thomas Bata and Banat Life Sciences University). As associated partners of the project in Africa and South America, the consortium has the University of Namibe and the Agostinho Neto University (Angola), the Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique) and the Andrés Bello University (Chile).
LAB’s representative delegation included: Anne-Marie Tuomala (project manager), Susanna Vanhamäki, Marjut Villanen, Eeva Aarrevaara, Reijo Heikkinen and Alexandra Maksheeva. LAB University of Applied Sciences will contribute to supporting sustainable campus development projects with student cooperation as well as to enhance more cooperation between education and businesses, regional councils and societies (Aarrevaara & Maksheeva 2022).
Research topics are multidisciplinary, as the area of sustainability requires, and include STEM, natural, social and economic sciences. It is also intended to introduce complex scientific thinking, already at the bachelor degree level, through mentoring by the doctoral students. The project also aims at citizen science actions for society in general, internships in companies and the involvement of PhD candidates in distance learning, with an impact on the sustainability of the planet.
At the end of the kick-off, the project team toured the natural route of safeguarding the seahorse, as an example of sustainable activity within the University of Algarve campuses, where science, art and physical activity unite the academy and society.
Aarrevaara, E. & Maksheeva, A. 2022. Expanding academic horizons sustainably – a new project starting. LAB Focus Blog. Cited 13 Dec 2022. Available at https://blogit.lab.fi/labfocus/en/expanding-academic-horizons-sustainably-a-new-project-starting/