UNI-ECO: practical & collaborative tools for sustainability innovation in the university

Objectives

UNI-ECO aims to promote and increase the adoption of green practices at universities and other higher education institutions (HEIs). To this end, the UNI-ECO project identifies the Living Labs (LLs) as user-centered ecosystem integrating pedagogical tools and innovation practices accessible to the entire HEI community, and will seek to:

  • Raise awareness among the university stakeholders and actively involve staff and students in the adoption of sustainable practices that can greatly contribute to reducing energy costs and improving the quality of life within higher education institutions, eventually facilitating a long-term change at the societal level;
  • Promote effective institutional collaboration between the participating universities and institutions, emphasizing methods and good practices encouraging the efficient use of resources;
  • Expand the concept of open innovation towards the establishment of a common space that allows for the continuous updating of scientific knowledge, the co-creation of concrete project proposals and the fruitful interaction between all the key stakeholders in an innovative and bottom-up approach.

Results

  • State of the art report on sustainable development in partner countries and across the EU;
  • Online platform where information and training materials will be shared and the professional network built;
  • Training package consisting of E-learning units for HEI staff;
  • Online Living Labs for the involvement of students and the promotion of good practices based on sustainability principles, with a focus on waste reduction;
  • Training events (Summer Schools) to increase participants’ knowledge, skills and competences about sustainable development;
  • Evaluation report outlining the necessary adjustments to the online modules and functionalities of Living Labs;
  • Road map for staff empowerment on sustainable development matters;
  • UNI-ECO recommendations to facilitate the replication of the innovative approach to sustainability promoted by the project in other institutional contexts.

Activities

  • Research on the state of the art on innovative models of sustainable development in HEI and their perception by the university community in Europe and selected regional areas;
  • Development of a training programme and related content for the empowerment of HEI staff and the promotion of sustainable development approaches at university;
  • Development, maintenance and update of the dedicated E-learning platform;
  • Selection and piloting of innovative learning, teaching and training activities;
  • Evaluation and improvement of the teaching materials and education methodology;
  • Dissemination of project materials and results to establish key messages, use and future exploitation, eventually ensuring sustainability of the project.

 

Impact

  • Raised awareness among students and university staff of sustainable development issues;
  • Strengthened the capacity for action on environmental sustainability in favour of universities and other higher education institutions participating in the project;
  • Enhanced the collaboration between European institutions and higher education institutions in order to implement green practices;
  • Strengthened and modernised sustainable development strategies adopted within higher education institutions through the implementation of innovative methodology promoted as part of a bottom-up approach. 

Info & contact

Date of the project

01/10/2019 – 31/08/2022

DG of reference

EACEA, Erasmus+, KA2: Strategic Partnerships for higher education

Department and Unit

Contact

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