2017 Travels and Office News

Hello everyone!

It has been a busy 6 months in the office since the new year!  We will have to keep our stories short and sweet, as we would be writing a novel otherwise…

We began the year in January with lots of writing; some new projects – so more on that in August when we know how we did.  We introduced a new member to the team: Siobhan Doyle.  Siobhan will be helping with the administration of our many projects and comes from a background in International Relations and speaks fluent French.  We also were at the Coordinator’s meeting in Brussels for a few new projects: SEASIN (South East Asia Social Innovation Network – www.seasin-eu.org) and representing another colleague’s project: Common Good First (www.commongoodfirst.com).


We carried on into February with the Kick Off Meeting for SEASIN (www.seasin-eu.org).  We met partners from Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia; as well as European partners in the UK, Spain and Portugal.  The project aims to develop a Social Innovation Awards Programme, Network and Social Innovation Support Units in each University.

SEASIN KO Meeting at GCU ^^^


In March we kept up the momentum with meetings in Alicante, Zanzibar, Eindhoven, Shiraz and hosted a TEACHEX (www.teachex.eu) meeting at GCU.  In Alicante we had the Kick Off Meeting for the FREE NETWORK project led by Universidad de Alicante and USMA in Panama.  This project focusses on Spin Off support in Latin American Universities.


We also had the final meeting of the ENRICH (www.enrich-project.eu) project under the Tempus Programme in Zanzibar.  It came together with the SUCCEED (www.ogpi.ua.es/project/116) Project for an interesting final conference about Energy Efficiency Measures in East Africa.


There was another TEACHEX (www.teachex.eu) meeting held at GCU as well.  The TEACHEX Project focusses on improving teaching standards and promoting teaching excellence in Israel and aims to set up Centres for Teaching Excellence in each university on the project.


At the end of March we had an interesting week in Eindhoven for our Strategy for Change Strategic Partnership (strategy4change.eu/institutional/).  There was training for students from each partner university in Social Innovation and project sustainability.  Groups of students were mixed from Eindhoven, Dublin, Glasgow, Aveiro and Umea and each group had to tackle a problem and produce a short film without words to show their understanding and empathy towards an issue and include constructive solutions to the problem.  They then presented this to the consortium.    There was also a multiplier event with talks from a variety of speakers from academia, business and non-profit; with a specific focus on design for Social Innovation and inclusion.  The meeting also coincided with the 2017 STRP Biennale (https://strp.nl/en/) and the consortium were lucky enough to attend the Keynote speech by Kevin Kelly.  There was also a hands on exhibition of ideas, technology, art and design – a few of us even tried out the Virtual Reality exhibits!

FREE NETWORK KO Meeting in Alicante ^^^

Waiting for our flight, and at the final meeting for ENRICH ^^^

Eindhoven: Interactive Projects and Technology; Interactive Workshops and Student Presentations

The STRP Biennale Keynote Speech ^^^


In April we got back to the office for a short while and then we were off again to visit the LASIN (Latin American Social Innovation Network) Social Innovation Support Units (lasin-eu.org) and the Studios delivered by Social Innovation Exchange.  We also delivered training in Mashhad in Iran for IHEI (www.ihei.eu) and had lovely tour of the city – very colourful!


We stopped off in Rio first to visit both universities there: Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and UNIRIO.  Then we travelled straight onto Chile; first Valparaiso to see Federico Santa Maria Technical University and then on to Santiago to see Universidad de Desarrollo.

Brazil and Chile Evaluations ^^^

We then had a short reprieve where we celebrated Europe Day in the University and we had another meeting in Alicante for the Kick Off of the INDOEDU4ALL Project which aims to look at improving the Disability Support services at the Indonesian Universities on the project.

With Greek colleagues for INDOEDU4ALL ^^


We headed back to Latin America to finish off the evaluations for LASIN in Panama at USMA and Universidad del Istmo; and then in Bogota, Colombia with Fundacion Universitaria del Are Andina; and finishing in Medellin with Universidad de Antioquia.  All the visits were a great success – each university has undergone a big change to implement the centres in each one; with real unique strengths and differences in each SISU, as well as culturally relevant approaches to supporting social innovation in their locale.  The SISUs will continue to develop on the feedback from the evaluations over the rest of the project.

Visit to one of the social innovation case studies in Panama; and visits to the SISUs in Panama and Medellin ^^


In June we carried on our busy schedules with the final meeting of the Puedes Project (www.puedes.eu) Rio de Janeiro (second time this year!) and a meeting of the ENG@GE (www.engage-ce.eu) Project in Malta.  The Puedes Project was a mutual exchange project with universities across Latin America with the exchange of staff, undergraduate, masters and phD students both from Latin American universities and European universities on the project.  The ENG@GE Project looks at helping form a circular economy and provide tools to help foster innovative green entrepreneurship.

Puedes final meeting in Rio de Janeiro ^^^

ENG@GE in Malta ^^^


It has certainly been a busy and dynamic first half to 2017 in our office; and with more to follow in the coming months.  Over the second half of the year we will have a meeting for IHEI in Teheran; a LASIN conference in September in Panama; the launching of the SEASIN SISUs in November; a workshop for ENHANCE in Vietnam; and training in both Glasgow and Indonesia for the INDOEDU4ALL Project.  For the summer months we will be having a bit of rest, waiting to see the outcome of European bids in August and doing some strategy and forward planning.  We will update again soon on our travels and projects – watch this space!

Please get in touch with the office if you want to discuss project ideas, or look at where to access funding.  You can find us on:




Or send us an emailrose.cawood@gcu.ac.uk


For more information on our projects and projects we are involved in, please see details below:

SEASIN www.seasin-eu.org 

Common Good First www.commongoodfirst.com

TEACHEX www.teachex.eu 

ENRICH www.enrich-project.eu

Strategy for Change strategy4change.eu/institutional/

LASIN lasin-eu.org

IHEI www.ihei.eu 


Puedes Project www.puedes.eu 

ENG@GE www.engage-ce.eu 




NEXT STOP: Hanoi, Santiago, Valparaiso & Bogota…

Hi Friends!

We have been absent from here for a few weeks but we have lots of new travel stories to update you with, including pictures!

Firstly – we started off our travels in Vietnam for the ENHANCE Project, in beautiful Hanoi to discuss applying Social Innovation to research and European Funding with our Vietnamese partners, as well as a visit to see the stunning Ha Long Bay.  For details about ENHANCE, see the end of this post.

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And the beautiful Ha Long Bay

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Next we were on our way to Chile to stop in Santiago, and then Valparaiso for our LASIN Project meetings.  We landed over the beautiful mountains in Santiago, and had our first lot of meetings at Universidad de Desarrollo, and then a workshop with partners Social Innovation Exchange (SIX), to prepare partners for the development of their individual Social Innovation Support Units.  We then had a visit to two innovative projects in Santiago – first to Ideas Factory Santiago, and second to Laboratorio de Gobernio.  

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Ideas Factory Santiago and Laboratorio de Gobernio

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We then spent a day in beautiful Valparaiso at Federico Santa María Technical University where we wrapped up our project meetings and visited the Ideas Factory in Valparaiso. 


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Finally, some of the group went Bogota, Colombia for the for SIX Summer School.  The event showcased other organisations and their activities in Social Innovation, as well as talks about different aspects, opportunities and challenges in social innovation.  For more information on this event and SIX’s activities see this link:


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For more information on ENHANCE Project, see here: www.project-enhance.eu

For more on LASIN Project, see here: lasin-eu.org

For more on SIX, see here:  www.socialinnovationexchange.org

For more on Ideas Factory Chile, see here: www.ideafactory.cl

For more on Laboratorio de Gobernio, see here: lab.gob.cl

For more on Universidad de Desarollo, see here: www.udd.cl

For more on Federico Santa María Technical University, see here: www.usm.cl


Keep up to date with our office through:


Twitter: @GCU_TEO

Or send us an emailrose.cawood@gcu.ac.uk

Oh hey there Panama, Ireland, Uganda…

Hola amigos!  Sorry for the hiatus on here – we have been rather busy.  Read on…

We have been off on our travels this August and September, and we have another two trips in Vietnam and Chile at the end of September and beginning of October. Our project LASIN based in Latin America will take place in October in Santiago, and a visit to Vietnam to network and then attend the ENHANCE Project meeting are happening in September to October.

Firstly, we met in Panama City for our LAURDS project meeting with partners to discuss project management and the progress of the project. It rained a lot but it was nice to see friends and colleagues again. See the pictures below:

p5 p4  panana panama

Our meeting in Dublin was around Strategy For Change project with partners in Aveiro, Umea, Eindhoven, Dublin and Glasgow.  We heard from interesting academics and practitioners in the area of social innovation and attended a workshop with Fighting Words a creative writing enterprise in Dublin, before sampling some live Irish music in the pub!  Pictures below:

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Fighting words – www.fightingwords.ie/          Pictures below:

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Next was our meeting in Kampala, Uganda for the Enrich Project International Conference and coordination meeting.  Weather was warm and we had interesting talks from practitioners in the field of renewable and low carbon energy, as well as a Whistle Stop tour of Kampala before returning home:

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We also hosted the eSTEM meeting where Egyptian partners visited our engineering labs during the week long capacity building meeting.   See pictures below:

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However we also still had colleagues around in the Office and we always welcome anyone who wants to pop by with questions and ideas or for a chat.


For more information on the projects discuss see the links below, or go to our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates.

LASIN: lasin-eu.org/

ENHANCE: www.project-enhance.eu/

LAURDS: www.gcu.ac.uk/gsbs/staff/professordavidedgar/

Strategy for Change: strategy4change.eu/

Enrich: www.enrich-project.eu/

eSTEM: www.eelu.edu.eg/index.php/projects/Erasmus    /    www.estem.edu.eg


Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheEuropeOffice/

Twitter: @GCU_TEO


Or write to us: Rose.Cawood@gcu.ac.uk

Impressions about GCU’s Europe Office

This is an article written by a recent intern, Elena; who worked with our office.  Elena is from Romania, currently studying in Forlì, Italy; and worked with our office for a few months as part of her studies. She wrote an article for us to share about her impressions of our office and a reflection on her time working with us.  

It is easy to see that GCU’s Europe Office has enjoyed unprecedented success from the opportunities provided by the European Union; as a result of implementing strategic partnerships with universities, businesses and other organisations within the UK and throughout the world. The Europe Office (TEO) has managed to deliver an appropriate and professional strategy in order to find new partners and convince others to engage in interesting projects. Along with other offices sustaining social innovation and enterprise within GCU, TEO has given the city of Glasgow a boost by attracting different organisations and top researchers to contribute to projects and research in the city, whilst also helping to draw in tourism and support cultural exchange. The projects that TEO coordinates and is involved in aim to promote social innovation through ideas, creativity, diversity and inter-sectoral collaboration; with overriding aims to improve quality of life in Glasgow and the wider world.

TEO has a range of skills and experience through its staff and projects and this makes it a place where professionalism; proactivity; reliability; commitment; and many other qualities can be found combined to produce the innovative approach that the office has.  There is an ideal mixture for an outward looking and engaged office.  One of TEO’s most important assets is that at its forefront there is a leader and not a boss. Working with a leader enables sharing of experience and skills acquired between staff; and abilities are passed on in the team. This boosts TEO’s overall capacity and it leads to a stronger, well prepared and hardworking team. TEO is a place where the team is a team in the real sense of the word. It is a great working environment where the team collaborates, sets common goals and develops together. The inter-disciplinary experience, interpersonal skills, attention to detail and diplomacy; and multi-tasking but relaxed work environment, are the qualities that make GCU’s TEO indispensable and effective; even in these uncertain times.

TEO have continued to be proactive and through risk analysis are aware of feasible scenarios for the office to be sustainable into the future.  To move forward will require the implementation of a new strategy for the office; and different approaches along with consolidation of skills and cooperation with new and established partners. The office continues to support the university’s researchers, partners and academic staff using their expertise and disseminating information to help allay the uncertainty that the University community may be experiencing in recent months.  For the university and project partners, the Brexit result might be an opportunity to become better as individuals by developing new abilities and skills while acquiring new information and work experience.

If leaving the EU will be the outcome for Scotland, TEO has identified alternative funding sources and strategies to be ready for a changing world.  If so, the office may change but TEO will retain its ethos of supporting collaborative research, international university cooperation and constructive dialogue between different countries. Improving standards, as well as becoming more active and visible are some of GCU’s underpinning goals which will continue to help maximise opportunities and offer a higher standard of education for its students.  With or without the EU, it will continue its overarching mission.  Currently nobody can tell exactly what impact Brexit will have on certain sectors because the process is a complex one, as indicated below, made mostly of negotiations which makes it somewhat unpredictable what outcomes will occur.



Source: [1]

After the process ends, UK will no longer offer European added value [1] [2]. But despite the uncertainty, the resources for collaboration will still be accessible, at least for the moment. GCU’s The Europe Office has managed to increase international cooperation outside Europe by engaging in opportunities offered by the EU. In addition to supporting the academic community to access funding streams, it has already led to several successful EU funded projects, including the establishment of Innovation Centres in Latin America and North Africa, and is currently involved in a number of Social Innovation initiatives.  TEO’s revived strategy going forward will continue to work to place GCU at the forefront of EU engagement.

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32810887

[2] http://ec.europa.eu/chafea/documents/health/hp-factsheets/added-value/factsheets-hp-av_en.pdf

[3] http://www.proyectosupua.es/lifestyles/en/content/project/european-added-value

NAFSA in Denver

Hi everyone!

We have been in Denver this week at the NAFSA Conference and Expo 2016.  It was warm and sunny as you can see from some of our pictures!  We met with contacts both nNAFSAew and established and discussed current and potential NAFSA3projects.

There was a range of different workshops and speakers, and many universities from all over the world exhibiting and networking with each other.


For further info on the speakers please see here for the full agenda: https://www.eventscribe.com/2016/nafsa/agenda.asp?h=Full%20Schedule&BCFO=A|GP|MG|O|P|PF|PL|S|SP|W|X|CC|ES|NP

All in all it was a useful and interesting week, and our director Mark even donned full Scottish dress (pictures to follow soon…).

At the end of June one of our projects ‘Strategy For Change’ has an event in Aveiro coming up also.  At this event there will be speakers from a range of organisations; such as freelance entrepreneurs, university professors and researchers and more – from across the world.  It will be an interesting event with speakers and workshops focusing on social innovation, social entreprenafsa4neurship, collaboration and co-design and civic participation.



For more information on the event and how to get involved, see the Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/sfcaveiro , Tumblr page: http://sfc-aveiro.tumblr.com/ and keep your eyes on our Facebook and Twitter where we will be posting details of the event.

That’s it from us this week, happy Friday and enjoy your weekends (and the weather!), new post again soon.

Please leave us a comment to tell us what you have been up to, or if you want to chat to us about any projects get in touch on Twitter Facebook or by emailing Mark.Anderson@gcu.ac.uk

TEO is busy!

The last month has been a bu13124799_1569430006683680_1693394600465804544_nsy one in the Europe Office!

At the beginning of the month we visited Nairobi, Moi University for a Roundtable meeting for the ENRICH Project.  Discussions focused on13227431_1573585776268103_2318383523835893682_o the constraints faced by East African countries to developing better, reliable and more affordable low carbon energy.  Discussions went further in to include smart grids, better infrastructure, using local business and innovation, and greater collaboration between public-private-university sectors.


Then there was the HEURO Annual Conference 2016 in Birmingham where Pablo delivered a presentation on our experience of Erasmus+ KA2 Capacity Building projects.

We also hosted an UKRO workshop about MSCA Fellowships under Horizon 2020.  If you would like to know more about this get in contact with TEO through our Facebook, Twitter or by emailing mark.anderson@gcu.ac.uk.

We were in Groningen and we visited the Campus Library at University of Groningen, during our Capacity Building TEACHEX meeting.




Lastly, we were also in Brussels at a Scotland Europa familiarization event.  We heard from Scottish MEPs, Policy think tanks and Scotland E13260197_1576456619314352_5446023692939862272_nuropa staff about the structure of the European Union and the different funding mechanisms available.

For more information about these events and projects, see our Twitter feed (@GCU_TEO), Facebook page (The Europe Office – GCU) and the website links in this post.

We will be in Aveiro, Portugal at the end of June, for the Strategy for Change Project…. keep your eyes peeled for updates about that visit!

Project visit to Tanzania

Pablo Lopez Alonso, European Projects Manager at The Europe Office, delivered a workshop on Six-Sigma and process management and attended the 1st International Conference “Energy accessibility & efficiency: the importance of Science, Technology and Innovation support services” in Dar-es-salaam (Tanzania), from 5 to 9 October. These activities are organised under Enrich, a European Commission funded project focusing on capacity building activities with universities and national institutions from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, in which GCU is a partner.

Pablo in Tanzania Oct15

GCU’s Europe Office hosts brokerage event in Brussels

On the 1 and 2 of October, The Europe Office brought together leading researchers and practitioners at two special brokerage events in Brussels in order to forge new partnerships and projects. The first day focused on Funding Opportunities for Social Innovation in International Cooperation & Development. The event aimed to forge a more effective, transdisciplinary approach to projects under the Horizon 2020, Erasmus+ & EuropeAid Programmes and attracted leading players in the field from across Europe and beyond. The second day centred around Serious Gaming as an integral part of research and innovation under the Horizon 2020 Programme. The event attracted a range of experts in the fields of serious gaming and other specific areas – health, climate change/energy and societal challenges – in order to forge a more effective, transdisciplinary approach to EU project delivery. Over 120 participants attended the events from 15 different countries, including US, Korea and Ghana. As well as representatives of various European Commission funding programmes participants were given the opportunity to hear the latest developments from world renowned researchers such as Tom Baranowksi from Baylor College of Medicine and Christoph Kaletka from the University of Dortmund.