In July 2022 the EIT HEI Initiative invited participants from all of the projects that received funding in 2021 and 2022 to join in on the IVAP workshop at the World Trade Center in Barcelona, Spain. We, Erik Klevar and Ingrid Fabrello, from NTNU in Trondheim, Norway, travelled to Barcelona to represent the CHIC project at the event. Over the course of two days we learned about other projects successes and failures, we reflected on our own projects development, we listened to inspirational speeches and above all; met other likeminded project participants from all over Europe, who also strive to foment innovation in their higher educational institutions.
Day one started with welcome by the EIT Urban Mobility Education Director, Martin Vendel, followed by remarks by Milena Stoycheva and a panel discussion from select projects that started receiving funding in 2021. After lunch it was time to move into collaborative sessions, and groups ranging from six to ten team members were given different tasks such as; finding our projects “seeds”, “roots”, “leaves”, “trunk”, “soil”, “water” and “bugs”, and write these onto a poster with the image of a tree. Then, after a coffee break, new group constellations were made the groups were given the task to finding arguments to a statement regarding innovation. After, each group had to present their arguments in a debate-like setting. Day one ended at the restaurant Xalet de Montjuic in Miramar, which included a delicious three course dinner and an amazing view of the city.
Day two kicked off with some remarks about outcomes and reflections from the group sessions of day one, and then all the projects from cohort 1 that started in 2021 were given the opportunity to present their projects in an interactive World café setting with individual stands. This gave project participants from cohort 2 the opportunity to approach different project members from cohort 1 and learn from these projects’ successes and failures. Day two ended with closing remarks by Paola Fantini, the director of education of EIT Manufacturing, and a delicious tapas lunch.
We had a great time getting to know the other participants and projects of the EIT HEI’s Initiative, and to be able to visit the beautiful city of Barcelona during the summer season, with sunny weather and hospitable Catalonians. It was a pleasant experience and a great opportunity to both learn from other projects and to expand our network. A special thanks to the staff of EIT HEI Initiative for hosting the event and for having us!