6/16/20 · Institutional

The UOC joins the UnInPública network for social innovation

The UOC has joined this initiative, convinced of universities' transformative power and the role they can play in meeting global challenges
Photo: Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

Photo: Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

The declared mission of the Ibero-American Network of Universities for Public Innovation, UnInPública, is to disseminate, reflect and propose ways in which the universities can contribute to public innovation to meet the global challenges emerging in society, such as climate change or the health crisis. The UOC has joined this initiative, led by the University of Granada's Medialab with the support of the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), as part of its engagement with universities' transformative power and the role they can play in meeting global challenges. It currently comprises 43 universities and research centres from 12 Ibero-American countries.

"The current situation of uncertainty has heightened the urgency in addressing a series of challenges that had already been identified in the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," explained Pastora Martínez Samper, Vice President for Globalization and Cooperation. "In this context, it is vital to weave alliances between universities, government institutions and civil society to find the best solutions for each context and each domain."

Public innovation from the universities

Public innovation from the universities, an online meeting held on 21 and 22 May and attended by more than 500 people, marked the network's opening event and letter of presentation. The UOC was also there, with two papers. First was Martínez Samper's "The 2030 Agenda as an opportunity for the university", presented as part of the round table "Public innovation from the universities within the framework of the 2030 Agenda and the Ibero-American Innovation Strategy". She was accompanied by Ivana Bentes, Extension Pro President of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and Félix García Lausín, coordinator of the Ibero-American Knowledge Space (EIC).

Next up was Mayo Fuster, director of the research group on internet-based collaborative economy, DIMMONS, who presented "Co-creation of public policies: the experience of the Barcelona UOC Chair in Digital Economy" within the dialogues between university and government on public innovation cases.

The meeting was organized with the goal of putting the public innovation coming out of universities at the forefront of the debate on innovation. "The challenges of the current pandemic – although not only that – have put the spotlight on the need for open, global, collaborative knowledge to achieve common milestones," the Vice President highlighted, "and the universities generate knowledge that we then share and transfer to society". About 50 institutions co-organized the event, with more than 50 speakers, facilitators and participants from 20 countries.

A common manifesto

The UnInPública network is working on a common manifesto that advocates the need to foster the co-creation of knowledge between universities, society and government; restore the university's role as an agent for social transformation; reposition higher education institutions in the local and global ecosystem; and foster universities' intrinsic values.

About UnInPública

The UnInPública network, whose name is an acronym in Spanish for Universities for Public innovation, has been created with the goal of identifying, connecting, analysing and disseminating university-driven knowledge transfer initiatives to the public sector, applying innovation and participation approaches that impact on improved public policies. With this initiative, the aim is to respond to the social demand for transformation through knowledge. It will contribute to redefining how universities and scientific centres relate with their environment and, ultimately, generate systemic approaches that facilitate social change.

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