PiP programme just turns five with its main goal accomplished

The Pioneers into Practice programme generates business proposals and knowledge transfers above expectations and strengthens the European climate change community.

Pioneers into Practice programme from Climate-KIC, one of the main initiatives of the European Union in innovation against climate change, is heading its fifth year having accomplished its main mission. Pioneers into Practice (PiP) is a mobility programme to attract experts and entrepreneurs to innovate in order to contribute to a more sustainable world.

Created in 2010, it has mobilized 659 professionals and it is key in the fight against climate change. Actually, it generated 119 proposals of business projects, and more than one hundred new knowledge transfer agreements. Cold figures, as certified by an independent consulting firm, are excellent. Emotion outcome is also good.

More than 9 out of 10 former pioneers recommend PiP programme, recognizing most of them than they are implementing their learnings and feeling they become part of the climate change community.

The PiP programme is fully consolidated, as last edition confirms. Just last year 224 pioneers, gender balanced, participated in the programme with high skill profiles (engineers, economics, architects, biologists…). In addition, most of the participants focused their activity in the areas of land and water management (41%) and energy demand (23%). Also the current edition has just had a successful participation with more than 500 applicants from 13 different European origins (6 partners regions + 1 Dutch CLC+ 6 outreach regions) and around 300 of them have been selected with high skill profiles.

Rahul Bansal, Deputy Director for Education at Climate-KIC, praised the efforts made by the European Union to tackle climate change. “At Climate-KIC we have made it our goal to educate people from a wide range of backgrounds in order to give them the skills to help make a transition to a low carbon economy possible in Europe, and to adapt to the climate change that’s already happening”.

According to Bansal, “In Europe, our potential to deal with climate change is enormous, as long as we can keep working together”. That is where Pioneers into Practice fits in. Low Carbon Economy professionals from education, research, enterprise and administration join forces and put their expertise into practice to create new products and services in the field of climate change.

Ebrahim Mohamed, director of education, Climate-KIC, thinks, “The future of education within Climate-KIC is guaranteed. The new things we tried in 2014 have achieved brilliant results”.

Aled Thomas, Director of Climate-KIC regions, praised the results of the programme. “The exchange of information and knowledge is key to Climate-KIC’s Pioneers into Practice. The experiences and ideas that flow out of the programme are creating a new generation of experts, entrepreneurs and innovation brokers in Europe’s regions. It is this kind of people what we need on the field across Europe to accomplish a low carbon economy.”

Thomas emphasises the regional character of the initiative. “At Climate-KIC, we work in partnership with regions across Europe to implement the low-carbon programmes and seek for expressions of interest from new European regions willing to participate in the programmes further,” he added.

As José Luis Muñoz, PiP Programme Lead explains, the programme reaches its targets following a clear methodology:

• Spend two one-month periods with leading European low-carbon innovation projects.
• Participate in a series of training workshops to share experiences and develop transition thinking on climate-change innovation

• Have the opportunity to showcase your ideas at the annual Climate-KIC Innovation Festival and the wider Climate-KIC community

• Be mentored by leading European experts on transition management and get hands on support from regional coaches

Actually, Muñoz claims the regional dimension of the PiP helps in the consolidation of the initiative. PiP structure usually involves the main entities of the region to manage the programme and cover the main stakeholders related to the topic of Climate Change, taking the triple-helix, the challenge platforms and the region coverage.

 
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