On 31 January – 1 February, in Poznan, Poland, an international meeting of the partners of the Erasmus+ project “Enhancing Capacity of Universities to Initiate and to Participate in Clusters Development on Innovation and Sustainability Principles” (UniClaD) coordinated by Kauno kolegija Higher Education Institution took place. Kauno kolegija was represented by Vytautė Giedraitienė, Senior Specialist of the Project Management Unit, UniClaD Project Coordinator, and Giedrius Gecevicius, PhD, Head of the Unit for Applied Sciences and Commercialization, Project’s Researcher.
During the international meeting, partners from 23 European and Asian institutions discussed the activities implemented and the challenges faced, as well as planned further activities to be implemented in order to achieve the project’s foreseen outcomes and to contribute to addressing national, international and global challenges.
In following spring, 60 master’s and doctoral students from the Eastern Partnership countries (Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan) are scheduled to arrive for a month-long mobility to the higher education institutions of the project partners from the European Union, including Kauno kolegija. In March, Kauno kolegija is also planning to host one of the project’s activities – “Study Tour”, when representatives of the Eastern Partnership countries will visit Lithuanian-based business enterprises, higher education institutions and research centres, where they will learn about the best practices in the agricultural and IT sectors. Giedrius Gecevičius, PhD, the UniClaD project researcher, explains that during the Study Tour, the foreign guests will visit different companies in the above-mentioned sectors to learn about the peculiarities of the organization of work, cooperation in the field of research and development of the new products, and to find out about the functioning of clusters in Lithuania. Vytautė Giedraitienė, UniClaD’s coordinator, is glad that Lithuania is a role model for the Eastern Partnership countries in terms of clustering and knowledge transfer between the higher education and business sectors.
The UniClaD project aims to build on innovation and sustainable development principles to strengthen the potential of higher education institutions to create and successfully develop agro-industrial clusters. UniClaD is the first project of its kind to be implemented at Kauno kolegija, bringing together higher education institutions and agribusiness companies from Lithuania, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova and Azerbaijan. The project is worth almost one million euros.