Only 4 out of 70 projects that applied to the EU's new Horizon Europe research programme received grants. One of these is Extending design thinking with emerging digital technologies, coordinated by Linnaeus University. This week, 25 people from six European countries have gathered in Växjö to start the project, which will help teachers and pupils find their way around digitization that is taking place in schools.
“The goal of the project is to design and develop innovative educational and technical solutions to be used in schools in Europe. The solutions are created using technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, 3D, and virtual robots.”
This is what Marcelo Milrad, who is professor of media technology at Linnaeus University and the principal investigator of the project Extending design thinking with emerging digital technologies (Exten.D.T.2), tells us. The goal is to help schools, teachers and pupils work with the complex problems that arise within the framework of digital transformation that is happening in the education sector. What is special about the project is that the solutions are created in combination with a method called design thinking.
“Traditional development methods are based on analyses and conclusions. Design thinking starts from a user perspective, where solutions are tested in a completely different way in the process.”
“The researchers at Linnaeus University will contribute knowledge about the design and implementation of educational technologies in the project. We will also bring new ways of working with applied artificial intelligence to support various processes for learning and teaching in schools."
The project brings together seven universities and one small enterprise from six countries – Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Belgium, Greece and England – and spans three years. For the kick-off meeting for the project, which is taking place 5–7 September in Växjö, 25 people have gathered. The project has received around SEK 32 million in grants, of which SEK 26 million is from the EU's Horizon Europe research program and SEK 6 million from the British government.
“More than 70 projects applied for grants within the framework of the new Horizon Europe programme, but only four were awarded in the whole of Europe. This is extremely prestigious for us and shows that the evaluators think that our thoughts and proposals are very relevant for Europe, and that the scientific quality of the application was very high", says Marcelo Milrad.