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European Year of Skills

OpenInnoTrain Project: Upskilling PhD students and Early-Career Researchers to create real-world impact

The OpenInnoTrain Project, under the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange, is making strides in tackling global challenges such as climate change, food insecurity, and technological disruptions. 

OpenInnoTrain Project

This initiative has upskilled over 100 PhD students and early-career researchers, equipping them with the tools to create tangible societal impacts. 

Bridging Academia and Industry 

OpenInnoTrain fosters collaboration between universities and industries across diverse sectors, including financial services, Industry 4.0, and sustainable food production. Through the Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (MSCA-RISE) scheme, researchers gain international experience and develop new skills by working in different environments. This helps them enrich their career perspectives. 

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” - Leonardo Da Vinci 

Summer Schools: A Key Initiative 

A standout feature of OpenInnoTrain is its Summer Schools, held annually since 2021, with the final event set for 3-7 June 2024 in Tallinn. These week-long training and mentoring programmes provide participants with the skills needed to create impactful research. Attendees learn to identify and contextualize their research's impact, engage with stakeholders, track outputs, and communicate findings effectively. 

The Summer Schools offer a unique, multidisciplinary, and cross-sectoral experience, bringing together experts from academia, industry, and policy. Participants benefit from mentorship and networking opportunities, working on projects that address real-world issues such as leveraging emerging technologies to tackle climate change or developing sustainable food production practices. 

Real-World Impact and Ongoing Success 

OpenInnoTrain has led to over 40 research publications, new collaborative projects, and the development of a canvas approach for designing and communicating research impact. The initiative has facilitated scalable knowledge transfer, enabling researchers to apply their skills in practical settings. 

A significant outcome of the project is the creation of the Special Interest Group (SIG) Frontiers of Impact within the ISPIM innovation community. This SIG helps scholars identify emerging trends, engage in co-creation, and communicate their research impact. It represents a sustainable legacy of OpenInnoTrain, fostering a community dedicated to addressing societal challenges and contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

About OpenInnoTrain 

OpenInnoTrain is a global network of researchers and industry practitioners across Europe and Australia, promoting the translation of research between university and industry through cooperation and open innovation. Funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, OpenInnoTrain continues to make a significant impact in sectors such as FinTech, Industry 4.0, CleanTech, and FoodTech. 

For more information, visit the OpenInnoTrain website