Climate KIC “Pioneers Into Practice”

by Alessia Elia

I decided to apply for “Climate-KIC pioneers into practice” programme for the opportunity to do a practical work placement related to climate change and sustainability. “Pioneers into practice” is a mobility program that encourages moving out of your comfort zone and learn about new approaches and opportunities emanating from climate change challenges. Coming from a research environment I really appreciated the focus on business and innovation opportunities. The program consists of an e-learning online training, two interactive workshops with coaches in Birmingham and a team work project where I was asked to apply the innovation system tools provided during the trainings. Participants also have the chance to take part in a 4-6 weeks placement in Europe in a country within the project.

This year the topic of the programme is on “System Innovation”. This is one of the topics that I research for my PhD studies and the programme is allowing me to see the application of this subject in the different work environments of business and public administration. The programme is providing me a new point of view for our common challenges.

I took part to the first workshop in June, and I had the chance to work with a group of people coming from different background knowledge and life experiences but with the same passion for innovation and environmental sustainability. I was selected for a placement in Cyprus in the local municipality of Aradippou where I will help them to define a preliminary feasibility project about the sustainable transformation of a river bend inside the urban area. I will join the group for five weeks during September-October 2017.

Pioneers program is a great personal and work experience, it is quite intensive learning program and requires personal initiative, engagement and time commitment. You can find more information in the website https://pioneers.climate-kic.org/. For more information about the Pioneers program you can also contact me at alessia.elia@ucc.ie.