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A Partnership for Innovation and Sustainable Development

It started with the development of an all-wheel drive for rural Africa. Today, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are joining forces to create a Partnership for Innovation and Sustainable Development, particularly related to water, energy, environment, mobility, and global health. Building on a successful relationship, KNUST and TUM act together as change agents in the world combining capacity development with direct action aiming at an immediate as well as sustainable impact.

As a school, we are driven by the passion to contribute with our research and education of responsible talents to solutions for the grand societal challenges of our time, such as climate change, the digital transformations, sprawling urbanization, or food and energy security. Within our partnership with KNUST, several interdisciplinary projects have been established between researchers at the TUM School of Management and various faculties of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. The project “Clean energies for all” happens to be one of them.

Maintenance of the photovoltaic system by the local gardener, Itai ©Stephan Baur

Clean Energies for All

One billion people worldwide lack access to electricity. To tackle this grand societal challenge, the new TUM SEED Center will collaborate with eight leading partner universities in the Global South. The long-term TUM initiative focuses on research, teaching, and knowledge transfer in Sustainable Energies, Entrepreneurship, and Development (SEED). It aims at offering higher education at the intersection of sustainable energies and entrepreneurship and conducting research to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and foster international mobility, academic exchange, and capacity building in the Global South. A key element is the co-creation of ‘Living Labs’, providing clean energy and fostering entrepreneurship. In addition to KNUST in Ghana, the SEED network includes partner universities in Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, India, Indonesia, and Peru. The alliance is part of the DAAD’s exceed program from 2020 to 2024, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Prof. Dr. Frank-Martin Belz, Full Professor of Corporate Sustainability at the TUM School of Management, has joined forces with Prof. Rexford Assasie Oppong, Dean International Programmes Office at KNUST to further the SEED network. “The lack of electricity is a great challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Partnering with leading technical universities from these regions will help us to tackle that grand societal challenge, learn from each other and develop the next generation of sustainable energy systems”, he says. However, the Corona pandemic could thwart some of the project’s initiatives: “We started building good relationships with the partner universities and establishing coordination offices, but the Corona pandemic will continue to pose a big challenge for academic exchange in the next couple of months and years. We just announced eight scholarships for doctoral students and we will start the international and interdisciplinary doctoral program on sustainable energies and entrepreneurship in the end of 2020, but we may have to postpone the launch of the TUM SEED master program and the building of the living labs”, explains Prof. Dr. Belz.

More about TUM School of Management’s commitment to Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability.

The post A Partnership for Innovation and Sustainable Development appeared first on Technical University of Munich – School of Management.

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