Munich Meet Up

By Samantha Carty, Momentum 

The 3rd Transnational Project Meeting for Accelerate Future HEI held in Spring 2024 was a sharing of ideas, workshops for innovation, and the next step towards redefining higher education. The two-day meeting brought together the nine testing partners and three acceleration partners to reflect on their first year of collaboration and envision the next steps in supporting future-focused higher education institutions (HEIs).

Our TUM International hosts greeted us on arrival with Kathrin Albrecht leading a tour of the Munich Urban Colab, Munich’s latest innovation hub. Project leaders UIIN presented an overview of the methodologies and outcomes of the key activities of the first year, specifically the Current State Analysis and the Roadmap Workshops facilitated by Despina Kortesidou, Rimante Rusaite and Dr. Sarah Jaber from UIIN, and Samantha Carty from Momentum for the HEIs to share their insights and feedback on the methodologies, events and communication strategies used during Year 1. This was important to review the key findings that have informed the first-year deliverables.

Project management and administrative aspects were covered, including a review of the first reporting period. The morning concluded with a mini-reflection workshop, allowing participants to share their views and feedback on Year 1 progress and the communication and dissemination strategies employed by partners.

After lunch and networking, the focus was on the development of Individual Transformation Action Projects (ITAPs), coaching sessions, and the schedule of training programmes available. TUM Int. reminded everyone of the importance of impact and evaluation as the ITAPs develop, highlighting the resources available to support the process.

Lab tour at TUMint Energy Research GmbH

A key element of the partner meeting was the Cohort Knowledge Exchange Event, which took the form of a lively interactive session facilitated by UIIN, to ideate and co-create the framework for the ITAPs. Each testing partner presented their strategic vision statements and roadmaps they have developed so far, after which everyone engaged in the co-creation of ITAP templates, fostering a collaborative atmosphere before an enjoyable partner dinner.

For day two, the consortium was based at the TUM Campus Garching, where participants had the opportunity to explore the frontiers of technology and research. The group was treated to an engaging session with Christian Heckemann, CEO of GATE, who discussed the role of business incubators in supporting tech startups. The group then transferred to TUMint Energy Research GmbH for a session on living technology transfer and commercialising research results.

The goggle-wearing, lab tour, underscored the importance of bridging the gap between academic research and practical application, a vital component of future-focused higher education.

The meeting wrapped with a moment for reflection on the insights gained and connections made over the two days. The journey of institutional transformation ahead is about to bring many great ideas to fruition, thanks to the dedication and innovation of all those involved in the Accelerate Future HEI project. On behalf of the project, we would like to thank Dr. Georgeta Auktor, Kathrin Albrecht and Cara Knott from TUM International, for their expert hosting in Munich.

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