Friday 27 April 2018

Erasmus+: Building bridges of knowledge globally

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Significant funding is available for collaborative work between higher education and/or the business/voluntary sectors. This year, colleges in Ireland are sharing nearly €11m for such collaborations.

Waterford IT and NUI Galway were recently awarded almost €1m each for Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliances, beating off competition from nearly 170 other applications to become two of 20 approved this year. Knowledge alliances are transnational and result-driven activities between higher education institutions and businesses.

WIT will lead a project entitled "Enabling SMEs to gain competitive advantage from the use of High Performance Computing", while NUIG will receive support for a project called "Startup skills for Researchers and Innovators in Entrepreneurship Development".

Previous recipients are DIT for "HubLinked: Strengthening Europe's Software Innovation Capacity" and Louth County Enterprise Board for its project "SME and Higher Education Institutes in Innovation Partnerships".

Under Key Action 2, the EU encourages emerging countries to expand the capacity of their higher education systems. In 2017, UCD, UCC, DCU, TCD, GMIT and DIT will share their expertise as part of collaborative bids worth more than €8m for projects in Jordan, India, Georgia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Egypt and Indonesia. Under the EU Jean Monnet Action, UL, UCC, and TCD were awarded a total of nearly €115,000 to promote excellence in teaching and research in the field of EU studies.

While applications relating to Knowledge Alliances and Capacity Building measures are made directly to the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency in Brussels, submissions for Strategic Partnerships are made directly to the HEA. Such projects can be from within higher education or across the education sectors with partners drawn from at least three E+ countries.

Since 2014, over €3m has been allocated to UCC, DCU, TCD, NUIM, IT Sligo and IT Tralee. Projects supported cover a broad spectrum, including gifted youth, digital humanities, medical device design, language learning and bullying. The D-days for these actions will be on various dates in February and March 2018.

Irish Independent

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