ELECTRA - enhancing mobility between the EU and South Caucasus
Strengthen research and teaching at universities in the Caucasus region in the areas of renewable energy and sustainable development – this is the aim of the ELECTRA project. It is funded with nearly four million euros through Erasmus Mundus, the excellence program of the European Union.
The leading role for ELECTRA is taken over by Prof. Dr. Jorge Marx Gómez, computer scientist at the University of Oldenburg. The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research (COAST
) at the University of Oldenburg is responsible for the implementation of the project.
"Enhancing Learning in ENPI Countries Through Clean Technologies and Research-Related Activites" is the official title of the project, which targets Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia
. A total of 18 universities and ten research institutes in the target countries will be involved in this the large-scale EU project. It aims to enhance the quality of teaching and research in cutting-edge topics through research collaboration and reasearch stays.
"The high-profile support from Erasmus Mundus impressively underlines the increasing internationalization of the University of Oldenburg. Being part of a network of excellent and closely cooperating universities in the EU, we can make a positive contribution to local and regional development in the Caucasus with ELECTRA, " says Prof. Dr. Katharina Al-Shamery, Vice President for Research at the University of Oldenburg.
"The international visibility of our university in the field of sustainability, environmental and energy research is particularly being confirmed though this second Erasmus Mundus project," emphasizes Dr. Joachim Peinke, Director of COAST.
"ELECTRA escpecially targets countries that are in transition politically, economically and culturally. Therefore, issues such as renewable energy and sustainability are of the utmost importance for higher education institutions in these countries, " explains Marx-Gómez. ELECTRA will help to strengthen the knowledge and expertise of engineers, environmentalists and policy makers in energy, soil and water management. The exodus of experts from those areas should be stopped and employability should be fostered locally.
ELECTRA is characterized by an intense interaction between students, PhD students, postdocs and university staff as well as by networking activities among scientists. Over the next four years, the universities in the target countries, together with their EU partners, will generate a close-knit fellowship program. It provides for the exchange of students and scientists and enables many new research collaborations on environmental and sustainability issues. Also on the agenda: the development of a concept of lifelong learning, an extensive internship program, and the intensification of cooperation between universities and industry.
ELECTRA is scientifically monitored by the Centre for Environment and Sustainability Research (COAST). "Together with COAST we can ideally support our partner universities in the Caucasus," stresses Marx-Gómez. The interdisciplinary nature of the research center and close cooperation with European partner universities guarantee fruitful research visits. Exchange, support and advice to students and scholars will take place in close collaboration with the International Student Office (ISO) and the International Relations Office (IRO) of the University.
ELECTRA (COAST website)
Prof. Dr. Jorge Marx Gómez
is another of the awarded Erasmus Mundus Action 2 projects that promotes exchange mobility in the South Caucasus region. The beneficiary countries are Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The eligibility period of the project is from 15th July 2011 until 14th July 2015. ALRAKIS places an emphasis on recognition of studies, QA and transfer of knowledge through research and cooperation bringing opportunities to 11 Higher Education Institutions from the South Caucasus and participants from non partner universities and people in vulnerable situation within these regions.
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen offers a wide scope of actvities under Erasmus Mundus Action 2.
Dr. Carlos Machado
Erasmus Mundus Action 2 is a higher education mobility scheme launched by Europe Aid and run by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency. It aims to enhance the mobility of researchers, students and academic staff between Higher Education Institutions in EU MS/AC and Third Countries.
Sources: Kooperation International, University of Oldenburg website,University of Goettingen website, ALRAKIS website