Technical University of Madrid

Development of collaboration platforms for system-wide sustainability action


Technical University of Madrid





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Institutional Approach

The Innovation and Technology for Development Centre at the Technical University of Madrid (itdUPM) was developed in 2012 as an innovative organisational structure to promote inter- and trans-disciplinary collaboration in action research for sustainable development. The Center is guided by the ethos of mutual reciprocity, whereby university stakeholders work together with private-sector, policy and NGO bodies to address sustainability challenges. This has resulted in a network of long-term relationships and a sustainable transdisciplinary business model for the university, as well as best practices and considerations for establishing innovative, non-conventional research and practice units within the conventional university structure. Much of the action research concerns North-South partnerships for sustainable development, notably in developing and supporting clean-fuel cooking programs in Nicaragua and the Cassamance Region of West Africa, or renewable energy implementation in refugee camps in North Africa. Both programs are being replicated and scaled up across other geographic locations.


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