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MTU To Lead Ireland’s Knowledge Centre For Carbon, Climate And Community Action (IKC3)

A collaborative platform for innovation in Training, Education and Skills Development

Ireland’s Knowledge Centre for Carbon, Climate and Community Action (IKC3) project will build a national platform for co-development and co-delivery of knowledge and skills to support and enable enterprise and society to adapt and transition to decarbonized economy and embrace sustainable living as the new normal.

Funded as part of the Governments Future Jobs Initiative IKC3 has received 3.7 Million Euros in funding from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) under the Human Capital Initiative 3 (HCI3) designed to deliver investment targeting increased capacity in higher education to meet priority skills needs which includes the Climate Change and Sustainable Living.

The consortium, led by Munster Technological University in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin involves an extensive national and EU wide network of partners, including the European Institute of Innovation and Technology Climate-KIC, Sustainable Innovations Spain, European HEIs, companies, enterprise clusters, local government, civic and social innovators.

Delivery of a sustainable, circular, low carbon economy, which responds to the climate emergency is a national and global priority. Over the course of 3 years from April 2022 to 2025, the team will take a radical approach deploying a quintuple helix model of innovation to education, integrating state of the art pedagogies and learning pathways. Approaches include stackable micro-courses, summer schools, dual and collaborative learning via deep learning demonstrations, micro-credentials and digitization.

The platform that will emerge will deliver a step-change in agility with which Ireland’s higher education system can respond to the knowledge, skills and talent needs of society. It will present innovative scalable solutions for a teaching and learning experience that is flexible and personalized. It will promote professional development of students, community stakeholders, and those in the workplace to foster the transition to a carbon neutral society.

Professor Joseph Walsh Head of School of STEM MTU Kerry: We are delighted with the awarding of this new HCI3 project. This project which is focusing on the areas of Climate, Carbon and Sustainability is responding to the needs of industry and building on the strong reputation of the MTU Kerry Campus in the areas of Circular Bioeconomy, Agriculture and Agri-Tech, Ecology. Veterinary and Environmental Sciences. This funding deepens and extends our collaborations with UCD & TCD and I look forward to welcoming student on the new programs this project will develop.

Dr. Helena McMahon MTU Director IKC3: The announcement of the Ireland’s Knowledge Centre for Carbon, Climate and Community Action (IKC3) comes at a time which Discussions on climate, the environment and sustainable living have moved from niche to mainstream.

Governments, enterprise, civic society and communities are mobilised, prioritising, and investing in emerging technologies and solutions for the transition to more sustainable climate smart operations. Key examples in recent weeks we have seen the approval of the Circular Economy Bill by Government, Minister Foley announcement on the inclusion of Climate Action and Sustainability on the leaving cert curriculum.

A statement from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) on April 4th clearly articulated that Climate Action is delivering benefit and impact via the deployment of policies, regulations, market instruments and new technologies. What is needed now is a further intensification and scaling of effort to support deep emissions reductions and stimulate innovation.

This mass upscaling of climate action is and will continue to create a huge demand for skills and knowledge in across the various pillars of sustainability and the low carbon economy. This requires a rapid response from higher education. The IKC3 project is designed to meet these needs through agile, collaborative, engagement focused development of new programs, modules, knowledge and skills packages deploying key innovations in art in skills assessments, pedagogies, learning journey’s and technologies.

Professor Quentin Crowley TCD Project Lead Climate Innovation & Experiential Learning: This is a great opportunity for us to empower and motivate students, industry partners, and general society to generate their own ideas, innovations and solutions to tackle the world’s increasingly numerous climate change and sustainability challenges.

Professor Nick Holden UCD Project Lead Agri-Biosystems: Ireland has an urgent need for climate leaders to work within industry and commerce. This exciting collaborative programme offers students, educators, and industry the opportunity to learn about and innovate climate solutions through decarbonization and carbon management. Every sector of the economy needs to take urgent action to address impact, sustainability, and climate change adaptation. This programme will deliver the skills, tools and methods needed for a just, sustainable transition.

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