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September 25, 2022

Innovation Watch

The most innovative element of this project is not only the fact that is addresses a highly technologically innovative and urgent paradigm (Industry 4.0) but also the approach of developing a twin-track programme, oriented to two different targets (postgraduates and experienced practitioners/lifelong learners) but oriented also to foster interaction between them so that both targets may be able to benefit one from each other taking advantage of the synergies that will be created. Even though, Universities are normally seeking to involve practitioners in their programmes inviting them to lecture some hours in postgraduate courses, up to now the approach proposed in this project has not been tested widely in the target countries for Industry 4.0. Partner Institutions postgraduate programmes are somewhat isolated from executive or VET programmes. The twin-track programme proposed will bring together junior profiles (postgraduates that will be future Industry 4.0 workers) with experienced ones (practitioners already experienced in Industry 4.0 technologies and/or target sector industry processes), enabling the exchange of knowledge between them and stimulating so the flow and exchange of knowledge between higher education and Industry in 4 critical sectors. The key innovative differentiator of this proposal has to do with combining different learning approaches:

  • the creation of “formal” hard skills courses and resources involving HE Institutions and the key industry sectorial stakeholders,
  • peer-to-peer learning opportunities, such as the “action learning” approach,
  • in-presence and online permanent support, lifelong learning services and mentoring programs,
  • a hub of digital resources and knowledge exchange and conferences addressing new opportunities and concerns for Industry 4.0, creating networking opportunities.
    The results of this combined approach shall provide specific solutions for specific situations and contexts throughout Europe and also a common ground of expertise and networking that today doesn’t exist.

The ASEAN region exhibits robust and continuously growing trade and investment relationship with EU. According to the 4th annual Business Sentiment Survey conducted by the EU-ASEAN Business Council in 2018, the EU continues to be ASEAN’s largest trade partner (after China) with a share of around 13% of its market, while ASEAN is the EU’s third largest trade partner outside Europe. A more impressive fact is that the EU is by far the largest investor in ASEAN countries with European businesses being highly optimistic in the growth opportunities throughout the ASEAN Region.

These and other facts led EU to acknowledge the need to maintain stability, security and prosperity in this region and deploy a series of initiatives and actions to support them while reinforcing its relationship with ASEAN. Among others, capacity building consists a fundamental factor to promote economic growth, self-confidence and a healthy environment for investment, job and wealth creation in ASEAN. In this context, this project offers the ability to some top European HEIs and relevant ICT companies to support their Asian peers in Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia built their capacity, by developing specialized curricula on industry 4.0 that takes into account the major economic sectors of these countries. By creating a transnational consortium, the project aims at facilitating the transfer of knowledge from leading EU research-intensive universities to Asian Universities.

Considering the low availability of skilled labour, a main target is to promote EU technologies and services through close collaboration of universities and major local EU industrial players and produce well-trained professionals to staff EU industries increasing their productivity and competitiveness. In addition, the project will enhance connectivity, facilitate strategic alliances and create strong ties between academic institutions and people, students, academics and scientists from the partner-countries enlarging the European community spirit in the Asian HEIs.
Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia currently do not provide specific funds to develop innovative curriculums or degree programs, such as for Industry 4.0.