INFINITY - INternational Fellowship IN transdisciplinarITY
INFINITY project intends to become an INternational Fellowship IN transdisciplinarITY; its main theme is “Urban Agriculture”. INFINITY is about sustainability, and aims to strengthen a viable partnership of EU and all of lot 5 countries - aligning the Lisbon Strategy with the EM programme’s objectives. INFINITY is set in a transdisciplinary framework in the following thematic fields:
01 Agriculture Sciences
02 Architecture/Urban Planning
04 Business Studies/Management Science
13 Natural Sciences
14 Social Sciences
INFINITY has a good geographical coverage; it includes HEIs of the EU (Czech Republic, Estonia, Portugal, Slovenia) and all lot 5 countries - from large and peripheral cities. In the partnership 9 HEIs have had EM experience and 11 HEIs without EM experience.
• Start the assimilation of the EU’s Higher Education System into the lot 5 countries by increasing these countries’ awareness toward the advantages of being part of the wider continental European educational system.
• Offer an equal opportunity for students/staff - through systematic mobility - to enrich their knowledge, skills, and to carry the concept of urban sustainability to their own countries.
• Encourage the promotion common values of respect for gender equity, human rights, fundamental freedoms, peace, democracy, good governance, the rule of law, solidarity.
• Share research resources as to attain educational standards/management capacities between the EU’s partners’ and their Third countries’ partners.
• Raise the employability at the Third Countries to contribute in their undergoing process of diversification of their economies.
• Develop international programs for future strategic collaboration in terms of research and business.
• Strive to reach the objectives set by the United Nations, the EU and the EM such as smart growth, environmental protection and sustainable development for the countries covered by the INFINITY.
Baltic Landscape in Change – Innovative Approaches Towards Sustainable Forested Landscapes Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013
Forests in the Baltic Sea Region are either dominating in the landscape (Finland, Norway, Russia, Sweden) or are its important part (Poland, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia). The long-term goal of the project is to foster good governance in forested landscapes. These landscapes are facing new challenges caused by i.e. globalization, climate change, demands of both more intensive use of natural resources and enhanced protection, international conventions and recreation development. These new challenges override local communities and institutions, cornering them into conflicts, temporary solutions and unsustainable practices.
By using the Model Forest approach new solutions will be developed and demonstrated as functioning on the ground. New challenges can be met by creating innovative capacity, transnational, cross-sectoral cooperation and empowerment of the societies in the Baltic Sea Region in sustainable governance of forest landscape. The project has two main objectives:
1. “To equip the Baltic Sea Region with a network of Baltic Landscapes (BL sites), combining innovative capacity, cooperative partnership and program of activities to deal with new challenges of sustainable development.” The main role of BLs will be to function as long-term landscape laboratories and neutral platforms for cooperation in solving landscape problems. They are also expected to fulfill a gap between strategies and their implementation on the ground. BLs should combine knowledge from international and regional applied research, local experience, administrative and NGOs approaches. A network of partnerships will be built for innovations to be demonstrated on the ground. The BL sites will be established in Belarus (1), Finland (2), Poland (2) and Sweden (3). The BL sites will be prepared for international cooperation to produce overall results and to disseminate experience locally, nationally and internationally.
2. “To define and analyze main landscape problems; to develop innovative approaches and first proposals for policy, planning and management”. Within this objective a new approach to balance values and interests in natural resources in forested landscapes will be developed and demonstrated in practice with special attention on the European Landscape Convention and the Water Framework Directive, economical and social interests. New approaches and components for landscape planning will be developed and proposed.
Network of BL sites will produce:
- General analysis of roots of current problems and search for ways to address them,
- General agreed approaches towards management aiming to change the situation positively
- Proposals for influence of the local, regional and national policies, governance and practice
- Impact of EU and international conventions on local level.
- Support to the implementation of EUSBSR flagship 9.7
- Contribution to policy proposals to CBSS activities on integrated management of natural resources.
The 15 Project Partners (PPs) from 7 countries have been selected due to direct motivation to participate in the Project in its international dimension: Sweden, Poland, Belarus, Norway, Latvia, Estonia and Finland. They are representing state forest services, self governments, foundation and universities interested in forested landscapes and sustainable development.
By Belarus in the project involved Belarusian State Technological University (BSTU), Republican Forest Inventory Enterprise “Belgosles”, Novogrudok Forestry Enterprise.
Project implementation period: 33 months (29.09.2011 – 28.03.2014)
The BSTU University is especially interested in management of natural resources, in sustainable development, in education and training. Role within the project is to:
- support establishment of BL Neman in the Neman river valley;
- organization of research groups to support activity in BL Neman;
- organization of transnational working groups;
- development of new approaches for landscape use;
- special contribution to WP4 and WP5;
- application of international conventions in Belarus;
- coordinator of activities within WP4 and WP5 in Belarus, and of activities research and working groups;
- English translator-international contacts, translation of project documents and results.
Environmental Governance for Environmental Curricula
The key objective of the project is to increase the competitiveness of environmental professional and research education in partner country universities in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine using principles and methods of the Bologna process.
Specific project objectives:
- to revise and upgrade curricula of three major areas of environmental education in partner countries (PC) universities in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine (environmental policy, management and science)
- to transfer the best Bologna practices from EU to PC universities and advocating Bologna principles in Belarus
- o build capacity for pro-active, innovative and competitive universities, including the development of an interactive platform for educators and employers, exchange teachers and teaching expertise
- to channel the transfer of EU best practice to PC universities and to strengthen professional networks
The lead partner is Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia). In total, the project consortium consists of 17 partners from 9 countries (Slovakia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Austria, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Spain). The project involved the following organizations from Belarus:
- Belarusian State Technological University;
- International Sakharov Environmental University;
- Joint University of Belarus and Russia;
- Central Research Institute for Water Resources;
- NGO Ecoproject.
Reformation of the Curricula on Built Environment in the Eastern Neighbouring Area – CENEAST
Fourteen organisations (universities and associations) from seven countries will implement the Project, which overall objective is to upgrade the curricula on built environment in the universities of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine according to Bologna practices in order to increase their capacity to continually modernise, enhance the quality and relevance of education of the building and civil engineering students to the labour market needs and to ensure international cooperation. The long-lasting experience in the sphere of the energetically and ecologically sustainable, affordable and healthy built environment and a mix of experienced and less experienced organizations in the above integrated approach were the reason for selecting the partners.
The main Project objectives are:
- to upgrade curricula of BSc/specialists, MSc and PhD programmes with new modules;
- to transfer the Bologna practices in education;
- to develop a virtual interuniversity networked educational system (intelligent library, intelligent tutoring system, intelligent knowledge assessment system, access to the e-sources of the research and educational information) in order to ensure cooperation among the EU and PC universities in education and research.
The project coordinator VGTU is very well experienced and skilled in field of development of intelligent systems and energetically and ecologically sustainable, affordable and healthy built environment. He has participated in more than 40 international projects in EU, USA, Africa and Asia. Currently, the development of intelligent systems and energetically and ecologically sustainable, affordable and healthy built environment is a subject of BSc, MSc and PhD studies, national and international projects at VGTU.
During the Project implementation modules for 9 BSc/specialists, 5 MSc and 2 PhD (in total 16 modules) will be developed, including frameworks and teaching materials. Among them: development of communication infrastructure; carrying out reports for teaching and training; development of modules and training programs; development electronic interuniversity network system; development of the virtual environment of researches; training, lectures and mutual visits; training of students according to again developed programs and modules; distribution of data on the reached results through the branch organizations, the Internet, the international conferences and printing materials.
The specific objectives which the project shall achieve:
- to upgrade curricula of BSc/specialists, MSc and PhD programmes with modules on energetically and ecologically sustainable, affordable and healthy built environment in PC universities in order to enhance quality and relevance of education to labour market needs;
- to transfer the Bologna practices in education from EU universities to PC universities;
- to develop a virtual interuniversity networked educational system in order to ensure cooperation among EU and PC universities in education and research;
- to assist the competence development of staff within the PC universities;
- to train at least 240 students during the pilot project.