MED-QUAD in Jordan presents its two living labs and the notion of civic university
On 25 October 2022, a training workshop entitled “Enhancing skills, capacities and competencies of universities and firms’ staff” was held at Al-Balqa Applied University. The workshop aimed to improve universities’ capacity to be catalysts of innovation and, together with enterprises, to achieve the objective of the MED-QUAD project. The project's main aim is to create the conditions for effective interaction between the three essential innovation players - i.e., Higher Education/Research, Government, Firms - and society.
The workshop was attended by forty-nine representatives of universities and firms' staff. The participants showed particular interest in the topics of the seminar. They learned about innovative actions of the project and tools to identify the structures and mechanisms needed for concrete and practical implementation of the role of the civic university. The participants were introduced to the civic university's role, the benefits for the citizens and cooperation with the bodies of the quadruple helix approach. The participants learned about the importance of social research and the connection with education, the critical skills of higher education in producing goods and services and the value of running living labs of cross-border cooperation on water and cultural heritage. Extensive reference was made to the Smart Water Use Applications (SWUAP) and Applied Research for Cultural Heritage Exploitation (ARCHEO) living labs created in Jordan. The two cross-border Living Labs are established in Irbid-Al-Huson university college in the framework of MED-QUAD project. Partners will turn their city into ‘living labs’, as real-life test and development settings, where researchers and/or companies can try out new technologies, products and services, in collaboration with citizens. During the workshop, the representatives of universities and firms visited the two living labs on-site. They were informed about the available equipment, the functions of the tools and the results they would bring to society with a positive impact on the digital economy.
After describing the expected results from the living labs, the scientific staff of Al-Balqa Applied University had the opportunity to develop a thorough discussion with the participants about the possibility of creating a mindset for social responsibility in higher education and its importance for business and society.
Closing the workshop, Prof. Rebhi Damseh from the Al-Balqa Applied University highlighted the importance of building a cross-border cooperation plan to collaborate with the quadruple helix players at local and transnational levels. Finally, the executives of Al-Balqa Applied University pointed out the synergy that has been realized between the MED-QUAD project and U-SOLVE, EMPHASIS and MYSEA projects, where common goals have been identified.