Digitalisation of water industry by innovative graduate water education (DIGIWATER)
Water professionals often lack information technology skill sets and the perspective to appreciate the opportunities of digitalisation, while technology entrepreneurs rarely grasp the nuances of complex water systems, which is making the water professionals conservative, cautious and/or late adopters.
As global change brings local upheaval to crumbling water infrastructure, water professionals must update their analytic strategies used for planning investments, with constant, real-time observations of water quantity and quality data. The water sector can learn vital lessons from how the digital technologies disrupt other industries by “leapfrogging” and thus it holds enormous potential to solve water challenges and achieve the SDG6.
The project focuses on how to achieve these goals in preparation of the decision makers of tomorrow, and the innovators and engineers by utilizing the collaborations between six universities and six SMEs and one international NGO.
The project aims (1) to develop new, innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning by using multidisciplinary curricula integrated with digital learning tools and virtual facilities with access in cloud systems and Problem Based Learning; (2) to stimulate entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills of higher education teaching staff and company staff using Innovation Camps and (3) to facilitate the exchange, flow and co-creation of knowledge by creating inter-stakeholder courses integrating academic, corporate learning and professional development for external specialists.
The ambitions of the project is to foster digital innovation in the water sector by showcasing in water and parallel sectors (e.g. energy), building IT skill sets to water professionals, mainstreaming technology entrepreneurs into water sector, connecting the water sector with related industries and resource issues, and shift future water leaders from late to early adopters of new innovations and ideas.