Integrating education, new technologies and research: a recipe to exit the crisis

30-09-2014

The Chair Mr. Michel Catinat (European Commission) indicated the key points to be addressed for exploiting the potential of key-enabling technologies (KETs), such as nanotechnologies, fotonics and biotechnologies, for the progress of Europe.

In a fast-evolving market, the up-to-date education of professionals is essential.

But how to attract students, identify industry needs, and provide cross-interdisciplinary skills?

For Marta Aymerich (Open University of Catalonia), one of the main challenges we need to face is developing new teaching approaches, such as hands-on training, informal and problem-based learning (PBL), and flipped classrooms, in order to overcome the ‘online disruption’ caused by the spread of information through the web.

 

“If we want to eat strawberries, we need to waste some water to grow them”, said professor Dario Braga (pro-rector of the University of Bologna), meaning that we need to invest in research to be able to provide new ideas to foster innovation. That means providing students with interdisciplinary education and regular exchanges with industry.

Furthermore, as pointed out by Pietro Guindani (Assolombarda), students are often not properly trained for the needs of industry, which need to deliver innovative products with less environmental impact.

 

Are European students ready to deliver eco-friendly products?

“We should let young people follow their curiosity and passions”, added Roger De Keersmaecker (IMAC, Belgium) “This is the best way to attract them toward scientific and technological and to raise awareness of the society, especially politicians, about these themes”.