The Arctic Centre, University of Lapland hosted as part of the EIT HEI SKills2Scale project, a peer learning event in Rovaniemi, Finland. The objective of the event was to share experiences and best practices in the fields of education, research, and innovation to foster inspiration among Higher Education Institution (HEI) administrators to explore new possibilities, opportunities, and paths to take to initiate innovation in their institutions.
To portray our project partners an accurate impression of the deep tech and entrepreneurship landscape in Lapland, we invited speakers from our local ecosystem to present their work and share knowledge.
The approach we took for this peer learning event was to begin by presenting about the availability, opportunities and challenges of implementing 5G technology at the University of Lapland. To do so, we invited a speaker from University of Oulu who has high capabilities in the field of 5G and Lapland University of Applied Sciences who is currently deploying its 5G network to share their view about implementing 5G at the University of Lapland.
After looking at the network capabilities we continued with a session about the research on 5G and entrepreneurship at the University of Lapland. The main point raised was that there is an increasing need to look at 5G technology from a legal and social sciences perspective since these disciplines can help address societal challenges concerning 5G. Since entrepreneurship is a crucial part of our project work, we invited an expert from the University of Lapland to present the start-up and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Following two lively sessions about the 5G and Beyond ecosystem at the University of Lapland, the day continued with a session about technology and its utilization in Lapland, a representative from the Chamber of Commerce in Lapland gave our project partners a deeper insight into the region itself as well its opportunities and challenges. Since Lapland is a peripheral region in the Arctic, there are a few particularities to consider when implementing new technologies.
To facilitate the knowledge intake, we organized three site visits to meet local stakeholders and hear their stories and deepen the project partners’ understanding of the local ecosystem.
Our successful peer learning event is part of a series of regional peer learning events across europe. You can find the recap of our first peer learning event in Valencia, Spain in the digital library and will soon find news about our upcoming peer learning events in Liberec and Thessaloniki.
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“Entrepreneurship is a key skill for success in the job market or for developing your own business. Every modern university should develop it for its students. However, such a skill cannot simply be developed in the classroom,” explains Jana Simanová, Vice Dean of Faculty of Economics at TUL. “That is why this winter semester we organised a unique educational experiment at TUL, which brought together students from three faculties – the Faculty of Economics, the Faculty of Mechatronics and the Faculty of Health Studies – to solve interesting projects.”
“We started on 6th October with an Ideathon. During the three-hour event, representatives from T-Mobile, Linet and the Regional Hospital in Liberec presented their innovative challenges to thirty students from the Faculty of Mechatronics, the Faculty of Health Studies and the Faculty of Economics. During the Ideathon, the students questioned the challengers and expert mentors about the details of the problems and known solutions. In the end, they formed 4 teams with representatives from all three faculties and defined the goals of their joint projects and initial proposals for innovative solutions,” says Jana Vitvarová, author of the concept of the 5G Interdisciplinary Innovation Lab at TUL and lecturer of students from the Faculty of Health Sciences.
Over the next two months, the students worked on the solutions in their faculty courses and developed them according to their expertise – from a technical, economic and future user point of view. The work included visits to startup companies or paramedic services, consultations with expert mentors and a one-day hackathon for mechatronics students to come up with a technical concept.
“The biggest challenge for the students was communication within the teams. They didn’t know each other before the course started, they study different disciplines with different timetables and they had to synchronise their work. I think it was a useful lesson for everyone that it is important to respect other professionals and try to understand the perspectives of other disciplines,” says Lenka Koskova Triskova, a lecturer of the students from the Smart Technologies specialisation at Faculty of Mechatronics.
The work of the interdisciplinary teams culminated on 23rd November. In front of a panel of experts, the students presented their solution and business plan.The panel of experts included representatives from innovative technology companies and experts in the field of digitalisation and healthcare. Specifically, the teams tackled issues such as the localisation and online tracking of hospital equipment, communication and messaging between paramedic teams and hospitals, and the monitoring of elderly people with neurodegenerative diseases.
The winner of the first year of the 5G Interdisciplinary Innovation Lab was a team of students who designed a new solution for the paramedic team to share information about patients and the course of interventions between dispatch, hospitals and field teams in dealing with mass disasters. “The most interesting part of the whole work for us was that we were in close contact with paramedics and professional mentors. We knew that we were working to solve a real problem and that we could really make a difference,” says Filip Tichacek, a student at the Faculty of Mechatronics and a member of the winning team. His colleague Antonin Sahula adds: “I told myself that I would study some economics because it is important and as a technician I need to be able to get along with economists if I want to run a company one day. So far I haven’t been interested in it at all”.
“For us, the organisers, the most important thing now is the retrospective and the feedback from the students, so that we can continue to improve in preparing similar forms of teaching,” says Jana Vitvarová, summing up her impressions on behalf of the organisers. “We definitely want to repeat and develop the concept. We all enjoyed connecting students from different faculties – the students and us. For example, the area of smart solutions for cities and a whole range of other ideas are on offer”.
“The whole event could not have taken place without the active participation of the practitioner challengers and expert mentors. We are very grateful to Vit Karvay, Technical Director of the global company LINET, Head of the Science and Research Centre of the Regional Hospital in Liberec Vendula Macháčková, Lukáš Abazid from T-Mobile, Jakub Recek, paramedic, Lenka Horakova, geriatric specialist and Pavel Hübner from Hardwario for their helpful suggestions and excellent cooperation.” concludes Jana Simanová, Vice Dean for Conception and Development of the EF TUL and adding that she hopes the students will continue to develop and improve their projects. A great opportunity is, for example, the participation in the EIT Health Open Innovation Call.
https://skills2scale.eu/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/20231123_132624169_iOS-scaled.jpg14402560tul_teamhttps://skills2scale.eu/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/S2S-logo-transparent-1.pngtul_team2023-11-28 10:46:142023-11-28 15:17:38Final Pitch Deck@TUL: Students from three faculties join forces to tackle 5G/digital health challenges
On the 21st of November, 13:00 CET, Skills2Scale organized its first digital policy forum aimed to synergize efforts in deep tech and beyond 5G technologies with the regional innovation strategies outlined in RIS3. Our event brought together key stakeholders from the HEIs, KICs, and relevant government agencies and provided a great opportunity for dialogue and collaboration, resulting in concrete conclusions and recommendations. After an opening Keynote speech by Dimitris Dimitriadis, a discreet futurist of the European ecosystem, about the future of innovation in the deep tech field, a fireside chat took place between the event’s moderator and Business Development & Operations Manager at Envolve Entrepreneurship, Kostas Kissas, and Fofy Setaki, principal scientist and researcher in Cosmote. The content of the first two slots were new trends, advancements, implications of infrastructure, industry, today’s workforce and the role of universities in fostering deep tech ecosystems.
After these introductory sessions, the first panel discussion, with topic “Deep Tech & Beyond 5G: Challenges and Regional Opportunities” took place. The members of the panel were Vasileios Gongolidis, Head of Innovation Planning Division at the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation, Harilaos Koumaras, Head of Future Communications Networks Research Group (FRONT) and Researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research Demokritos, Akos Wetters, Co-founder of Kimitisik and discreet startup coach and mentor and Zoltan Palotai, Head of EU Projects at the Hungarian Innovation Agency. They all contributed to a very productive discussion which has a common narrative: transnational collaboration is crucial not only for successful research, but also for productive policy making.
Following, the next panel with topic: “Strategies for Integrating Deep Tech in RIS3” hosted Elli Diakanastasi, from Elevate Greece, Christina Skoubridou from Envolve Entrepreneurship and Ales Kocourek, Dean of the Faculty of Economics at the Technical University of Liberec. They conducted a very insightful discussion, leading to the common bond that policy making and education institutes must be adjusted to the market needs.
Last, but not least, Dimitris Mallas, a discreet journalist in the 5G field, with knowledge and connections with the entire European 5G ecosystem made his comments on the situation of Beyond 5G technologies, and how deep tech must be better instituted through policy making.
Overall, this policy forum was a great beginning in our Skills2Scale effort to influence policy making in the Deep Tech field, enhance collaborations, and to shape actionable policy recommendations in a concise and focused setting. The participation of people from various pillars of the ecosystem made the forum very interesting, since things from multiple dimensions and perspectives were heard.
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The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) of the Skills2Scale project, focused on innovation and entrepreneurship in the realm of Beyond 5G technology, is now accessible on the UPVx platform through this link. The course welcomes enrollment from any Higher Education Institution (HEI) student, regardless of their home institution or location, and it is free of charge.
This course is designed to provide HEI students with a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals of 5G & B5G, highlighting the vast potential for innovation of these technologies and encouraging students to leverage it for the creation of new services and businesses, promoting entrepreneurship upon these emerging opportunities.
The MOOC is composed of four modules:
👉 5G Knowledge Essentials
👉 5G&B Potential for Innovation
👉 Entrepreneurship and Innovation leveraging 5G&B
👉 Best Practices in HEIs for 5G&B Education & Entrepreneurship
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The Uzhhorod National University hosts the “UzhNU Startup Center,” which actively fosters the development of economic thinking, communication and leadership skills, management abilities, and entrepreneurial activities among its students, postgraduates, and young scholars. Annually, the “UzhNU Startup Center” organizes the “UzhNU Startup Innovation Ideas Competition,” in which participants from various university faculties actively engage. Students, postgraduates, and young scholars have the opportunity to develop innovative startup projects under the guidance of highly qualified experts and receive professional support and guidance at various stages of startup project development.
The UzhNU Startup Center facilitates the comprehensive development of students, postgraduates, and young researchers by equipping them with advanced knowledge on launching their innovative businesses. They gain skills in managing startup projects through successful case studies, acquire in-depth professional insights into startup market marketing, and have the opportunity to acquire the necessary knowledge and practical skills when preparing project presentations (pitches and presentations). Additionally, they learn to assess startup projects and create business plans. The “UzhNU Startup Center” offers qualified assistance in patenting scientific and technical achievements and aids authors in registering inventions, utility models, and industrial designs. This accelerates the development of innovations and the commercialization of scientific and technical developments in the region.
The primary tasks and functions of the “UzhNU Startup Center” include:
Engaging university experts, faculty members, business representatives, and influential civic organizations in implementing initiatives that foster intellectual and creative collaboration among students and researchers in the development of innovative startup projects utilizing modern information technologies.
Identifying opportunities for establishing partnerships with organizations, scientific-methodological and information centers, offering consultations, and facilitating cooperation regarding access to educational materials, software, and developments.
Creating a conductive environment for experimental research.
Providing technical and programmatic information technology resources for collaborative work among startup teams, fostering the formation and development of business skills.
Organizing regular training sessions, off-site conferences, seminars, and scientific picnics to showcase practical applications of developments.
Offering informational and legal support during the execution of the strategic activities at the relevant levels.
Organizing and conducting an annual “UzhNU Startup Competition” for students, postgraduates, and researchers to showcase innovative ideas.
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The Lapin 5G project, which ran from August 2021 to August 2023 aimed to promote the benefits of utilizing 5G in Finnish Lapland. The project engaged businesses through events that demonstrated actual 5G uses through pilot projects. In Rovaniemi, a significant pilot focused on 360-degree video streaming over 5G networks, confirming feasibility. Advanced network assessment during location planning, several measurements for bandwidth estimation, caution in locations with inadequate coverage, and, if required, investment in a mobile base station were among the recommendations
What is Lapin 5G?
Lapin 5G was an accelerator project with the aim to promote the advantages of 5G to various industries in Finnish Lapland and increase 5G accessibility to companies in the Lapland region. Funded by the Federation of Lapland through the European Regional Development Fund, Lapin 5G had a duration of 2 years from August 2021 until August 2023. As part of Lapland’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to enhance digitalization in companies, the project aimed to engage businesses through diverse events and sparring sessions. Concrete applications of 5G technology were demonstrated through pilot projects in Lapland. Additionally, the project aimed to establish networks at both national and international levels and compile a comprehensive technology review.
One of the pilot project was focusing on transferring video material, particularly emphasizing 360-degree video streaming, over 5G networks. This pilot aimed to assess the suitability of 5G for real-time video transfer, considering both subjective and measurable observations. As Lapland Univeirsty of Applied Sciences private 5G network was incomplete, experiments were conducted using Elisa’s public 5G network in the Rovaniemi area. The trials involved Samsung S21 5G phones with Elisa’s 600M 5G subscriptions.
Following tests and measurements, it was affirmed that live streaming of 360-degree video through a mobile connection is feasible in Rovaniemi. To ensure a successful outcome, it is advisable to assess the mobile network’s performance in advance during location planning. Additionally, conducting multiple measurements at various times is recommended to estimate average bandwidth usage at the specific location. In areas with inadequate network coverage, it is advised to refrain from streaming or be prepared to invest in a robust mobile base station with a dedicated antenna.
This best practice aims at presenting a set of open source tools that can be utilized for deploying a lab-grade 5G network. They can be used for different purposes, for instance, (i) as practical lessons for HEI courses, (ii) to contribute to the research over specific 5G hardware or software components, or (iii) as custom network for lab-grade testing of applications. A 5G network implementation considers three domains: radio, network and core. Still, different layers can be found: the hardware layer, which includes all the radio, network and processing equipment needed by any network to be functional; the virtualization layer, which abstracts the computing resources to be easily managed and allows the execution of virtual machines and/or containers; and the 5G services layer, which comprises all those services needed to deploy a 5G network, mainly 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) and 5G Core (5GC), as well as other useful services
Let’s start with the basic equipment needed for having a functional lab-grade 5G network ongoing. To that end, we would need at least:
A server of enough processing capacity to deploy the 5G RAN and 5G Core functions. Its requirements depend on the open source solutions adopted. Ideally, it would be better to have two servers in order to split the radio and core features, but in some cases, this is not needed.
Dedicated radio equipment. This selection depends on the budget available and, again, for the open source solution considered to perform as RAN, but software-defined radio equipment such as the USRP family or the SYRTEM platform along with 5G compatible antennas can be considered.
Then, an IP-based network connectivity among all the former devices and with access to the Internet is needed. A 10 Gb connection would be ideal, but not mandatory.
Finally, the end devices. Apart from compatible smartphones, other great devices for testing are RaspberryPis. Although not inherently compatible with 5G, they can be adapted with specific kits, such as those from the Waveshare and Sixfab families. Regardless of the device considered, the key point is to select a compatible chipset with the open source solutions selected.
It is again important to highlight that the selection of the previous equipment depends on the open source solutions to consider. Particularly, the following are the two most important elements of a 5G network, which at this moment can be installed over the aforementioned server/s:
5GC: One can find many free open sources solutions available: Open5GS, OAI 5N, free5GC and magma. They may have different features implemented, but follow the official releases of the 3GPP.
Putting all the previous pieces together is not trivial and require certain knowledge of 5G and networking concepts. Once the system is deployed, it should be tested with compatible devices. Therefore, if the system works correctly, a basic lab-grade system would be in place. However, it is important to highlight that spectrum is regulated, and depending on the country, tests might be done on reserved bandwidths or directly forbidden. In the latter case, the use of anechoic boxes or chambers is encouraged, to not disrupt commercial networks.
From now on, the rest of actions contribute to enhancing the system, but are complementary and not a requirement for making work a basic 5G stack. It is likely that, at this moment, at least Docker has been installed over an Operating System to deploy the 5G RAN and the 5GC. We can go a step further if specialized knowledge regarding virtualization technologies is available, by:
Installing Kubernetes on top of the servers for deploying and managing the lifecycle of the virtualized 5G services (5G RAN, 5GC and others), in the form of containers;
Installing OpenStack on top of the servers for managing the virtualized 5G services, in the form of virtual machines (5G RAN, 5GC and others).
In this way, we would be adding a more professional touch to the laboratory, and in the specific case of Kubernetes, it would add autonomous healing and scaling capabilities to the system and we would be able to deploy complementary technologies for gathering logs, metrics, add security, etc. There is a plethora of open source solutions available in the CNCF webpage, of interest because of the transformation of 5G software towards Cloud Native. Still, as mentioned, expertise is needed.
The two previous virtualization technologies are agnostic to 5G. However, the following ones are more specific to it, and can be used for managing specific aspects of the system:
Software Defined Network (SDN) controller. It manages the flow control of the network switches for improving network management and application performance. This can be used if our network has switches compatible with the OpenFlow protocol, or if our virtualized network equipment has compatible virtual switches like Open vSwitch. Several solutions, most of them open source, can be found (see link).
Management and Orchestration (MANO) framework. It manages and orchestrates the lifecycle of the 5G services deployed over our infrastructure, virtual or physical, following ETSI MANO specifications. It allows as well the provisioning of network slices. There are some open source solutions in place, but we highlight OSM as it stems directly from the ETSI, and EMCO as more complex but powerful management solution.
Open RAN. This is a more complex concept that require very deep knowledge of 5G and may go beyond this best practice. Open RAN is a non-proprietary version of the Radio Access Network (RAN) system that allows interoperation between cellular network equipment provided by different vendors. The O-RAN Software Community is a collaboration between the O-RAN ALLIANCE and Linux Foundation with the mission to support the creation of open software for the RAN.
Multi-access edge Computing (MEC) platform. Itis a type of network architecture that provides cloud computing capabilities and an IT service environment at the edge of the network. Operators can open their RAN to authorized third-parties, allowing them to deploy innovative applications and services towards mobile subscribers, enterprises and vertical segments. Among open source software, one can find EdgeGallery, the aforementioned EMCO platform, and OAI MEP.
5G NetApps. A Network Application (NetApp) is a software piece that interacts with the control plane of a mobile network by consuming exposed APIs (e.g., Northbound APIs of 5G core) in a standardized and trusted way to compose services for the vertical industries or to any other sector. One great set of resources have been produced by the EVOLVED-5G project, including an SDK, a NetApp template and a set of complementary tools to develop and validate NetApps.
The latter aspects are more complex and go beyond the basics, but it is important to be aware of all the 5G technological branches to enable the possibility to be innovative in the 5G arena. Apart from the solutions listed, there are much more open source solutions available, still these have been selected as they are one of the most updated and supported by the community.
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More than 60 students attended the seminar which gave them not only a brief overview of the development of mobile networks (from 1G to 5G and beyond), explained the basic technical background of the 5G infrastructure, introduced them to the 5G Alliance and the Skills2Scale project, but – as they were students of the Faculty of Economics – also showed them the need to develop new applications, to think about automation and optimisation of processes and the impact of costs. Obviously, the economic part of the seminar led to a very fruitful discussion between the students and Dr. Cýrus.
Of course, the global economic outlook of the Czech National Bank that predicts the future of 5G technologies, could not be missing from the expert presentation for economists. According to CNB the 5G has enormous transformational potential in the context of the digitalisation of the economy. Given the right environment, 5G can become an economic driver with the potential to increase global GDP by up to by around a trillion dollars by 2030. The biggest market players today are North America, Europe and North East Asia.The choice of 5G use cases will be important going forward, with the most economically promising sectors currently being manufacturing, healthcare, transport and public administration. However, the combination of 5G with other advanced technologies will also play a role and, in the longer term, the arrival of the next generation, 6G.
Finally, students were able to experience the latest example of augmented reality thanks to Microsoft Hololens – the same ones used by the ANTE-TUL teams for their automated guided vehicle, as we reported in another article.
Many exciting questions were raised at the end of the seminar – some of themrelated the health issues that are (according to some of the students) associoated with the new 5G networks, but mainly the students see many great opportunities in both the business and non-profit sectors where the super-fast and low-latency communication is crucial and their questions were related to the future of 5G.
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5G Interdisciplinary Innovation Lab (5GIIL) fosters collaboration among students across diverse fields including economics, technical disciplines, and application domains with a strong emphasize in eHealth. These students come together in teams to collectively create and prepare market-driven solutions that embrace innovation in the 5G and beyond. This best practice draws inspiration from hackathons. However, unlike hackathons, the activities take place over a longer period of time so that students have more time to think about the solution, and it is possible to integrate 5GIIL for eHealth into their regular courses.
In the preparation phase, once suitable courses and students from different disciplines have been selected, there are two main activities:
a) obtain application domain specific challenges from stakeholders from the eHealth sector, b) form a team of expert mentors from both academia and industry/business who possess the necessary expertise to guide students across all three aspects of their work: domain knowledge, technical skills, and economic and entrepreneurial understanding.
In the realisation phase, the 5GIIL for eHealth follows the steps below. The activities alternate between instructor-led workshops providing the necessary context for the current step and subsequent independent teamwork. Teams maintain regular contact with mentors and can consult with them about their work at each step.
These steps are
1st Challenges. Presentation of challenges to students and facilitation of teams’ formations. Teams assignment: Choose a challenge and form a multidisciplinary team.
2nd Ideation. Workshop on ideation techniques. Teams assignment: Suggest possible solutions.
3rd Prototyping. Workshop on prototyping methods. Team assignment: Develop a prototype solution.
4th Validation. Workshop on validation methods. Teams assignment: Validate the proposed solution.
5th Pitch (to investors). Workshop on how to make a pitch. Teams assignment: Make the best pitch.
6th Retrospective/Feedback. Workshop on retrospective methods. Teams assignment: Make the retrospective and get feedback on your work/pitch.
The 5GIIL for eHealth is meant to be an integral part of specific student’s courses, so it is advisable to reward students for participating in the lab by earning part of the credits from their course. Working in the 5GIIL for eHealth, students develop entrepreneurial and project management skills and strengthen interdisciplinary links that are otherwise difficult to acquire during their studies. They learn by sharing their knowledge. Engineering students bring knowledge of technology, development and production methods. Domain students bring knowledge of the details and needs of the eHealth industry. Economics students bring knowledge of business and marketing principles. Project-based approach, real-life challenges and expert mentorship allow students to work directly with the eHealth industry, gain practical experience and think about the impact their work can have in real-world contexts.
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The Startup Center of Uzhhorod National University (UzhNU), a State Higher Educational Institution, efficiently conducts initiatives to promote innovative education among its students and researchers, as well as government and business representatives, contributing to the development of the university’s and the Zakarpattia region’s overall innovation potential.
The primary objectives of the center encompass the comprehensive development of its target audience by providing advanced knowledge in organizing innovative businesses and managing startup projects, offering qualified assistance in intellectual property rights protection, invention registration, utility models, and industrial designs, while also facilitating the commercialization of scientific developments.
The UzhNU Startup Center played a pivotal role as one of the organizers of a workshop held on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, for government, education, science, and business stakeholders. The event was aimed at introducing cutting-edge technological solutions, promoting partnerships between the university and external collaborators to advance innovations in Beyond 5G technology, accelerating the development and commercialization of innovations and student-led businesses, and enhancing the quality of innovation and entrepreneurial education.
Ivan Myronyuk, vice-rector for scientific work of UzhNU
Oksana Mulesa, Doctor of Technical Sciences, professor of the Department of Software Systems of the Faculty of Information Technologies
Representatives from government, education, science, and business in the Zakarpattia region participated in the workshop to discuss the implementation of Beyond 5G technologies across various sectors, including entrepreneurship. Among the event attendees were the Digital Development Office, the Department of Strategic Communications, and representatives from various companies and institutions, including LLC “Management Park Industrial Park Uzhhorod,” LLC “Zakarpatenerezbut,” LLC “Fresh Plants,” the Research and Development Institute of Molecular Microbiology and Mucosal Immunology at UzhNU, LLC “Science Park of Uzhhorod National University,” a representative from the mobile communications company PJSC “Kyivstar,” the Department of the A.M. Pidhornyi Institute of Machine Building of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and LLC “Marine Design Engineering.”
In October 2023, the Startup Center of Uzhhorod National University, a State Higher Educational Institution, is organizing a startup project competition (https://www.uzhnu.edu.ua/en/news/Invitation-to-participate-in-the-competition-Startup—UzhNU-Inn.htm) with the aim of fostering innovation and entrepreneurial activity among students and young researchers. The competition also seeks to establish informational, organizational, educational, and technical support for students, postgraduates, and young scholars who aspire to implement their innovative ideas in production by effectively leveraging modern IT technologies. Additionally, it aims to implement networks and programs beyond 5G in various fields to contribute to Ukraine’s future economic development.
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Deep Tech Empowerment for Higher Education Institutes
EIT-HEI Initiative – 3rd Call
EIT Urban Mobility
Phase 1: 7 months
Phase 2: 7 months
SKILLS2SCALE has received funding from the EIT’s HEI Initiative: Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education