The ICT ACTIVE Project is a unique initiative of Erasmus+ CBHE funded by EACEA aimed at bridging the gap between ICT engineering and environmental sciences in Pakistan.
MUET, SSUET, BUITEMS, and NUTECH delegates attended the EU-funded ERASMUS+ Capacity Building in the Field of Higher Education (CBHE) ACTIVE Project Meeting and Dissemination Event at Universitatea Politehnica din Bucuresti, Romania (UPB).
The ICT Applications for Sustainable Environmental Protection (ACTIVE) Project is a unique initiative of ERASMUS+ Capacity Building in the Field of Higher Education (CBHE) funded by EACEA aimed at bridging the gap between ICT engineering and environmental sciences in Pakistan.
The project is centred around capacity building and interdisciplinary training to leverage ICT for addressing pressing environmental and climatic challenges that urban and rural areas face in Pakistan.
By collaborating with partner universities located across the country, we are uniquely positioned to address the diverse environmental concerns specific to each region.
Prof. BS Chowdhry (SI), Project Principal Contact and Coordinator from MUET, mentioned that the ACTIVE project addresses a critical need in today’s education and industry: the convergence of ICT and environmental sciences.
While many programs focus on ICT engineering or environmental sciences, they often operate in silos, limiting the scope and effectiveness of their solutions. ACTIVE seeks to integrate these areas, training ICT engineers with a strong understanding of environmental science to create more impactful and sustainable solutions for environmental and climatic issues.
Prof. Dr. Mohammad Aamir, Project Principal Contact and Coordinator from SSUET, presented that our primary objective is to cultivate highly qualified ICT engineers who possess in-depth knowledge of environmental science. This will be accomplished through:
- Capacity-building activities to enhance ICT engineers’ understanding of environmental issues.
- Establishing a master’s degree and expert courses on advanced technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, remote sensing, IoT and sensor networks, wireless communication, and embedded systems, applied to environmental issues and climate change.
- Creating four research centres focusing on local problems, providing practical training, and contributing to environmental challenge mitigation.
Prof. Enrique Nava, Lead Coordinator from the University of Malaga, Spain, informed us that we anticipate several outcomes from the ACTIVE project:
- The emergence of a new cadre of ICT engineers equipped with knowledge of environmental science and ready to design and implement innovative solutions for environmental challenges
- An expanded curriculum across our partner universities, featuring advanced courses that intersect ICT and environmental sciences.
- The establishment of research centres, acting as hubs for practical training and research on local environmental issues, will play a pivotal role in formulating localised solutions to mitigate environmental challenges.
- An increased use of advanced ICT in environmental management across Pakistan, leading to more effective and sustainable solutions.
Prof. Mihai Ciuc, Project Principal Contact from UPB, Romania, presented Work Package 7, which focuses on project management and the project progress regarding budget control (optimal utilisation of various budget heads), use of resources including HR and space management, execution of specific activities to achieve short-term and long-term results and outcomes, and the management of potential risks of different levels.
To achieve the wide and specific objectives of the project, the core members of the team will collect and analyse relevant information about project progress in a systematic and effective manner.
Regular reviews and control mechanisms will not only ensure effective monitoring of the progress of the project but also the quality of the content of progress reports. Continuous communication is the most critical factor for efficient and effective leadership.
During the meeting, Dr. Marium Jalal, Project Principal Contact from NUTECH, gave a presentation about the identification of needs from different target groups in order to define the requirements and contents of the academic programmes and capacity building activities in addition to curriculum development for the proposed Master’s Degree Programme “MS in Sustainable Integration of Environmental Development with ICT” for addressing climate change-related challenges in Pakistan.
Prof. Dr. Anayaullah, Principal Contact from BUITEMS, presented the equipment list needed for the development of ICT Environmental Research Centres at BUITEMS, SSUET, MUET, and NUTECH to address the learning and research needs for the Master’s Programme.
Dr. Kapal Dev, principal contact from Munster Technological University, suggested having international summer schools to provide specialised training in related topics and strengthen collaboration and group working abilities related to ICT applications in July 2024 at MTU, Ireland.
The associate partner, Alfoze Technologies Pakistan, for helping with website development and the conduct of the survey was greatly appreciated. In addition, another associate partner, the Pakistan Engineering Council, would be requested to provide help in organising short courses for capacity building of staff and students of partner HEIs related to the project objectives.
In his concluding remarks, Prof. Enrique Nava thanked Prof. Mihai Cuic for hosting the event at UPB, Bucharest, Romania. Prof. Nava also emphasised that regulating bodies related to engineering profession and education in Pakistan, environmental protection agencies of Pakistan, industry, and non-governmental organisations such as industrial zones of Pakistan, the agriculture sector of Pakistan, the ICT and software industries, the National Disaster Management Authority, and local and regional governance may also be approached by Pakistani partners.
During the meetings, several visits to innovation centres and laboratories were carried out at UPB, Bucharest, for future collaboration.