These are challenges related to on campus sustainable housing (s) which aim to approach the question from both a multicultural and multiclimatic perspective, and to seek solutions for the major challenges of providing quality housing on campus.
The aim is to develop a living-lab on the issue of sustainable housing in order to question and experiment a the economic and social aspects of student housing. The focus will be on the creation, operation and collection of data on the issue of a sustainable habitat in our environment. The project brings together students, societal actors, local authorities and consumers in order to develop collective awareness and engagement around eco-resilient habitat. The lead researcher is Philippe Lagiere.
A wide set of societal and regional academy partners have expressed an interest in this student-led project:
For a long time, the debate on the sustainability of European Union Free Trade Agreements concentrated on the stand-alone ‘trade and sustainability’ chapter of these agreements. The critique centred around the fact that while the wording in these chapters is commendable, the promises made by the contracting parties are not binding nor enforceable. This leads to the observations that these chapters solely pay lip service to sustainability issues, effectively ‘greenwashing’ or ‘fairwashing’ the agreement as a whole. More recently, this stand-alone approach to sustainability is being strengthened with propositions to include separate chapters on sustainable food.
In the meantime, the discourse of civil society is gradually shifting towards mainstreaming sustainability concerns throughout the agreement, i.e. not limiting these elements to a separate chapter. While the enforceability of the ‘trade and sustainability’ chapters remains a contentious and much-debated topic, questions arise on whether trade agreements as a whole need a rethink. In addition, reflective questions are posed as to what extend trade policy is a good instrument for furthering the sustainability agenda.
Questions in need of answers in this regard:
Climate change is one of the main challenges of the current society and the energy transition from Climate change is one of the main challenges of the current society and the energy transition from polluting fossil fuels to clean energy sources is the key to stopping this trend. However, society is a great energy consumer and oceans are the principal energy container of the world. Effective harnessing of Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) sources is thus, the main goal.
Research on ORE systems is being held for the last decades. However, planning, installation and maintenance of ORE farms is complex and expensive, increasingly as they move further from thecoast, where greater resource can be found, and devices interrupt less the human activities in the sea.
The global objective to tackle this challenge is to facilitate the generation of Offshore Renewable Energy sources by improving the technology that leads to a cost reduction in theplanning, installation and maintenance phases.
The Joint Research Laboratory on Offshore Renewable Energy (JRL-ORE), a scientific community composed of researchers of TECNALIA, UPV/EHU and BCAM with the aim of boosting the researchin the field of Offshore Renewable Energy, will respond to this challenge by developing technologies that an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle needs for its use in Offshore Renewable Energy Inspection.
Keeping in mind our main objective of lowering the cost of Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) production, it is essential:
An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) could help in reducing the costs of such activities.Different technological and scientific challenges arise for having an efficient AUV:
One of the main scientific-technological challenges to achieve the costs reduction both in planning and maintenance of ORE farms is to characterize the seabed and its variation over time in anefficient and economical way.
To meet this main challenge, a series of secondary challenges must be addressed, such as:
As shown, in addition to the potential benefits for the offshore renewable energy sector, an efficient AUV will also benefit the oil & gas sector.
The first step of the research is developing a comprehensive review of the state of the art of the key aspects of the AUV, both, finding the frontier of knowledge of the key technologies, and looking att he key stakeholders of the whole chain. Involving not only research groups from the University ofthe Basque Country (UPV-EHU), Tecnalia and BCAM but also interested private companies willensure a comprehensive search for the solution to the described challenge and provide both theparticipants and the project itself with an interdisciplinary and multiorganisational added value.
The main objective is the design and development of a creative platform (Living Lab) with activities and solutions that encourage the local economy and culture towards a sustainable specialization in Urdaibai’s Biosphere Reserve- Basque Country, listed as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
To achieve a “plastic free” environment in UBR that encourages the emergence of new sustainable and circular economy opportunities for this area involving end users: citizens, local businesses, etc.
The Urdaibai estuary where the UBR is located is a natural area formed by the mouth of the River Oka, that occupies a surface area of 220 km² and has impressive ecological assets that have allowed it to be listed as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Gernika represents the most important urban centre in Urdaibai.The Biosphere Reserve law establishes a set of sustainability measures that reinforce the scientific, cultural and recreational importance of this type of territory and at the same establish very specific frameworks for its development.The UBR is a reference for environmental sustainability and represents a great added value for the territory and its citizens. However, due to its regulatory framework, it is an important challenge to incorporate this territory into the logic of competitiveness, specialization and sustainable development promoted by local administrations.The aim is to identify needs and opportunities that consider the particular regulatory context of this protected area in order to contribute to its coherent integration into local policies for sustainable development and competitiveness.
Main expected actions are:
Upcoming project engaging several community stakeholders:Since 2018, GAIA has been one of the agents proposing real challenges within the framework of the intensive training itinerary based on blue economy challenges proposed by the Ocean i3 educational innovation project which is developed in collaboration between the University of the Basque Country, the University of Bordeaux and Euskampus Fundazioa.Based on the collaboration of more than 3 years with the Ocean i3 project, the development of this challenge can relay in a first circle of stakeholders and learning community by the involvement of the Ocean i3 enlarged community (students, teachers, researchers and public and private territorial social agents) participating in Ocean i3 in order to promote transdisciplinary and collaborative learning, research and intervention projects that are integrated into the dynamics of the UBR Creative Living Lab.
The activities could be classified into 5 main axes:
In the city of Bratislava we believe that public servants could become a fuel for change in the cities. They need to be well educated in topics such as digitalisation, power of those tools in everyday life, climate change and its impact on the cities and circular economy as a new way of consuming goods.
Radical innovation in technology and the economy can enable social transformation. To tackle the big challenges society faces, we need to embed social innovation in business models. We need to think differently about social business and shift the mindset of investors and consumers to move away from the 3rd sector towards a more sustainable business model, which is “Social Enterprise”.
Drawing on the existing capacity in AI, big data and analytics, associated with SFI research centres, there is a clear opportunity to develop a virtual ‘Living Lab’ within the region. As part of a European network, this will enable iterative testing of new ideas across the region, offering a single point of contact to coordinate data research at scale in a living lab. A key enabler at a global level for a living lab as a data testbed is the protections offered by GDPR as the main English speaking country within the EU.
No later than the year 2030, emissions of greenhouse gases from energy use, transport and work machines within the geographical area of the City of Uppsala shall be zero and based on renewable energy sources.
Gotland is aiming for a decentralised, resilient and smart energy system, based on renewable energy sources. Local energy communities, as local energy cooperatives in active interaction with end-users, are expected to play an active role in the desired the energy system transition.