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Work Packages for the Project

WP4: Multidisciplinary Real Life Problem Solving project (RLPS)


Description


Globally the competency requirements of the global markets, companies and other business players

(against the employees) are significantly changing. The industry 4.0, the claim for shifting toward the

circular economy poses new challenges for the higher education. Today many professions do not

exist, which will be the top most wanted ones after 10 years. In most cases the most useful solution is

to develop the key competencies of the future employees which are the information technology, team

work, cooperation, logical thinking, communication and analytical skills.

WP4 aims to create the framework for new innovative education models. These models create strong

bonds between the educational process and the real needs (related to the former listed competences)

of the companies. The involvement of students and HEIs staff in the Multidisciplinary Real Life

Problem Solving projects (RLPS) allows direct contact with real work life environment and facilitate

gaining of new competences from practice­relevant project challenges. They have the opportunity to

gain new multidisciplinary and entrepreneurial thinking and skills in an international work

environment. All this enabling better compatibility with the new work life requirements.

WP4 includes implementations of 2 RLPS subprojects. The subprojects are implemented in four

rounds (phases). After the first round, the process is evaluated, and improvements are made to the

RLPS method. The second round of the process tests the improvements and suggests further

modifications if needed, etc. The third phase is the selection of students. The fourth round includes

the intensive contact week and the presentation.

The real life problem is an international product or service development project (related to RM sector)

in which the topic is given by the company. Both subproject involves 16 students, 4­8 staff member

from 4 different HEIs (4 different countries), and company representatives. Students form two

international teams, A and B, where there are representatives from each HEI. In team A there are 2

students from each four HEIs and in the same way in team B. The teams compete against each other

in solving the given problem. The process includes partly and totally virtual implementations. Partly

virtual implementation, implemented by teams A and B, consists of one intensive week at the hosting

HEI.

The intensive week contains tailored lectures given by company representatives and/or HEI experts

based on the needs and the topic of the project. In the end of the project the results are presented by

the teams and the company representatives choose the winner. The company has the rights to the

solutions and it may utilise the results of the project in its future products or services.

Task 4.1 – Preparation of subprojects

The planning of the implementation of the first round of the first subproject is started during the kickoff meeting of LIMBRA project (later in 2020 we will build on the experiences of the first subproject).

This first planning includes e.g. participating HEIs and plans for collecting real life problems from

companies. All HEI partners look up for companies, which are interested in taking part in the process

and collect suggestions for interesting and useful real life problems. After that, the partner HEIs

choose together companies and real life problems for the first round subproject. The Task 4.1 will be

repeated on the same way in 2020 as well.

Task 4.2 – Planning of projects

The RLPS method is applied for every subproject. The schedules and programmes of the intensive

week and virtual implementations are planned by participating HEIs and companies. HEI partners

search for experts to have the tailored lectures during the intensive week/virtual implementation. The

selection criteria of students are decided and agreed on together. The basic student selection criteria

are credit points, success in studies, working experience, language skills and motivation. In addition,

there may be project specific criteria, e.g. if the project topic relates to development of tractors then

farming experience could be beneficial. The feedback surveys for all participants are planned and

created. The Task 4.2 will be repeated on the same way in 2020 as well with regard the results of feedback surveys.


Task 4.3 – Selection of students

The information leaflet in English for student recruiting is created. The participating HEIs inform

appropriate student teams about the possibility to apply for the real life problem solving process. After

application, 4 students with multidisciplinary backgrounds are selected from each participating HEI

based on criteria agreed by partners (see task 4.2). All the applicants are informed about the

selection. Selected students form international and multidisciplinary teams A or B. From each HEI 2

selected students in team A, 2 students in team B. In each team there are together 8 students from 4

different HEIs. The Task 4.3 will be repeated on the same way in 2020 as well.

Task 4.4 – Implementation of the project

The implementation includes the own real life problems of the selected company and 2 international

multidisciplinary student teams (A and B) solving the problem. The first­round implementations are

run according to the developed process plans.

Each HEI provides 1­2 supervisors for students. One supervisor takes part in partially virtual

implementation and one supervisor in virtual implementation. Partially virtual implementation includes

one intensive contact week and independent working outside the intensive week.

During the intensive week, the teams of students have at first a kick­off meeting or virtual meeting in

the company whose problem they are solving, have tailored lectures for the project, make plans on

how to organize the work also outside the intensive week and have a lot of team work and

presentations. A week before the end of the process, the teams return their final reports. The

subproject finishes with a final seminar in the country of the involved company (students from other

countries take part through video conference). The tutor(s) of the company select(s) the winning

group and the supervisors of HEIs grade the teams (students). The time period of the subprojects is

3­6 months. During and after the subproject, feedback is collected and analysed. The electrical

feedback survey is done. The Task 4.4 will be repeated on the same way in 2020 as well.

Task 4.5 – creating RLPS implementation guide

After the second subproject the partner HEIs write a step­by­step guide of the RLPS model (using the

experience gained and the results of feedback surveys).

Duration

2019.­03.­01-2020.­12.­31.

This activity has received funding from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, under the Horizan 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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