Lack of scientists and engineers in Belgium [2]

The lack of new graduated scientists and engineers has been reported since several year (see my post of last year). In 2002, for instance, the number of new graduated was only 20.2% and 17.0% respectively in the Dutch and in the French community versus 26.3% in the EC !

In fact the number of graduate students in Sciences is not decreasing. More, since 1999, the number seems increasing in the French-speaking community of Belgium (see fig.).

18:45 Posted by St Wojcik in News EN | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

Growing fields in engineering

The 2008 edition of US News' Best Graduate Schools currently identified two hot areas of engineering for the future...

1. Environmental Engineering - It's a growing field, and engineers are needed to clean up existing pollution problems and prevent future ones.

2. Service Science, Management, and Engineering (SSME) [1] - This emerging discipline is getting a big push from industry, including IBM and Hewlett-Packard. SSME combines engineering, computer science, economics, and management to improve the service sector.

[1] Service Science, Management, and Engineering (SSME) is a term introduced by IBM to describe Services Sciences, an interdisciplinary approach to the study, design, and implementation of services systems – complex systems in which specific arrangements of people and technologies take actions that provide value for others. More precisely, SSME has been defined as the application of science, management, and engineering disciplines to tasks that one organization beneficially performs for and with another. Source : Wikipedia.

More on US News' Best Graduate Schools (2008)

16:10 Posted by St Wojcik in News EN | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: engineering, engineer, services science |  Facebook |


The role of Higher Education Institutions in the knowledge economy

Laura Williams, Senior Researcher with The Work Foundation, investigated the role of Higher Education Institutions in the knowledge economy in UK.

Looking at what the knowledge economy means for Higher Education Institutions and cities, she challenged some of the myths that contribute to confusion.

Myth 1 – The knowledge economy is only about graduates
Broadly, the knowledge economy is what you get when you bring together highly trained workers and powerful computers. Successful Cities – those that are thriving in the
knowledge economy, such as Manchester, London and Edinburgh – tend to have a broad mix of skills. The growth of an affluent and mobile knowledge workforce stimulates demand for services, retail, leisure, housing and schools, meaning that a successful knowledge city needs more than a critical mass of graduates, it also needs people with other skills to work in these important sectors.

Myth 2 – A University is an essential 'ingredient' of a knowledge city
Certainly, a University have an important role. But other Higher Education Institutions will also be important. What is important, then, is not a University, but the whole
system of higher and further education institutions that combine to make the City successful and attractive for investment and to students.

Myth 3 – Regional strategies should focus on science parks
Although there are a number of success stories, science and technology is just a small part of the knowledge. It is also important to consider how to develop the
relationships between the private sector, public bodies and Education Institutes) to benefit other sectors.

She recommends :

1. Relationship between Cities and Higher Education Institutions should be for developed and measured against tangible economic and social outcomes.

2. This relationship should involve three parties : private sector, organisations that would seek to invest in and capitalise on research activities and, Higher Education Institution.

3. There needs to be clarity about what the priorities are. Tough decisions need to be made about what is relevant to the area, what can be achieved and who best to involve.

4. A recognition of the importance of Higher Education Institutions is a relatively new phenomenon and for outcomes to be achieved a successful approach needs to also focus on cultural change.

Source : Williams L. - In the know. Public Service Review : Transport, Local Government and the Regions, 10, 2007.


The European Research Area : New Perspectives [Green paper]

ERA : New perspectives GREEN PAPER

With the Green Paper on the European Research Area (ERA), the European Commission launches a broad institutional and public debate on what should be done to create a unified and attractive European Research Area, which would fulfil the needs and expectations of the scientific community, business and citizens.

The debate is open to everyone with an interest in the realisation of a European knowledge society. In particular, the Commission expects to receive responses from research institutions (including universities), researchers, industry, civil society organisations, national and regional public authorities as well as the general public. The Commission will use the results of the debate to prepare initiatives that will be proposed in 2008.

How to participate in the debate?

The best way to engage in the debate is to express your views in the on-line consultation linked to the Green Paper. We are interested in receiving your views on the overall priorities for ERA, as well as on six main dimensions on which the consultation is focused, namely :

  • Realising a single labour market for researchers ;
  • Developing world-class research infrastructures ;
  • Strengthening research institutions ;
  • Sharing knowledge ;
  • Optimising research programmes and priorities ; and
  • Opening ERA to the world.
We are invited to comment on as many or as few of these dimensions as you wish depending on your areas of expertise and interest.

The online consultation will remain open for 4 months, from the 1st of May 2007 to the 31st of August 2007. You can access the questionnaire here.

16:51 Posted by St Wojcik in News EN | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: research, higher education, university |  Facebook |


Brave New Interfaces. Individual, Social and Economic Impact of the Next Generation Interfaces

On April 26th 2007 an exclusive mixture of engineers, academic and corporate researchers, curators, artists, corporate managers from the pharma and health care sector, computer scientists and legal counselors filled the library of Namahn in Saint-Josse in Brussels, to celebrate the release of the 2nd CROSSTALKS book. ‘Brave New Interfaces’ is edited by Jan Cornelis & Marleen Wynants and published by VUBPRESS.

Brave New InterfacesThe topic of exploring existing and future interfaces and their design emerged from numerous discussions on whether some spectacular technological innovations also meant or implied something more than just technological progress. Depending on the gender and the technological literacy of the conversationalists, the answer might be yes, no, or somewhere in between.

Another drive behind this publication was the need to find a common language to discuss all things interdisciplinary. Interdisciplinarity has been a major buzzword for a couple of years, but reality proves that different descriptions, meanings and implications are tagged to it. What exactly are we talking about? Everything can be labeled interdisciplinary in our culturally diverse and quickly changing world. So we gathered key people from the European design, architectural and technology-driven worlds to reflect on the meaning of working, thinking and acting in an interdisciplinary way … and what the added value could be.

More >>

19:23 Posted by St Wojcik in News EN | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: interface, future, innovation |  Facebook |