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Solutions for outdoor climate adaptation

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SOLOCLIM (Solutions for outdoor climate adaptation)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2019-10-01 do 2021-09-30

PROJECT SUMMARY:

Solutions for Outdoor Climate Adaptation (SOLOCLIM) is a European Industrial Doctorate project in the programme Innovative Training Networks and part of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions funded by the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 programme. The aim of SOLOCLIM is to develop a doctoral training programme that enables young researchers to generate solutions for urban outdoor environments.
Some solutions are known such as the use of vegetation, but there are still many remaining questions about the impact of vertical green as well as the proper distribution of green in cities to have an optimal effect. Moreover, upcoming systems using water vapour as a coolant as well as flexible systems that respond to microclimate have not been studied yet.
SOLOCLIM will develop solutions on different scale levels from small scale around buildings to a larger neighbourhood/city scale and test their effects. The industry in architecture, urban and landscape design needs these innovative solutions as climate adaptation in cities is one of the largest challenges for the future. All plans and designs that the industry develops must respond to the urban (micro)climate challenges. Apart from the availability of solutions the industry also needs the expertise. This expertise involves design and research skills related to urban (micro)climate.
SOLOCLIM will train PhD students as well as some parts to a broader community beyond the duration of the project.
The general progress of the action:

The SOLOCLIM project has overall progressed according to plan in its first two years and is fully set and on track to conduct the training activities as described in the Grant Agreement (GA).
Several projects deliverables and milestones have undergone shorter delays (a few months) caused by different nuisances of the Corona pandemic outbreak. These delays relate largely to travel restrictions, imposed quarantines, social gathering limitations and circumscribed access to services such as visa-issuing departments in different countries. The procedure of recruiting the cohort of 6 ESRs was completed well on time, by 10 February 2020. All ESRs started work within a three-month window (between 1 May and 20 July 2020) which did not affect their attendance to network-wide training events and activities. Having in mind that ESRs kicked-off their work later than planned, Network-wide training events were delayed so to give students time to settle within their new countries, embed in their new working environments, and progress with their research with sufficient time. Each delay was communicated with the European Commission’s (EC) Project Officer well on time, discussing issues and coming to a mutual agreement regarding solutions and new deadlines.
ESRs already spent 6 months in Universities and successfully commenced their industry journeys in 2020. Project also had a successful Mid-Term Review meeting the Project Officer, and the team is regularly organizing Consortium meetings keeping up with the progress and carefully planning projects and its activities with all team members.
IMPACT OF THE ACTION:
SOLOCLIM closely addresses the prime objectives of the ITN EID since it combines the interaction of different scientific disciplines, cooperation between industry and academia and training in complementary and transferable skills and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. At the same time, it pays special attention to gender balance and generates a strong link between the scientific and technical work and possible societal impact.
The stimulation of a variety of skills will shape a wide selection of valuable potential professional profiles – from researchers in academia at large to technologists in industries active in R&D departments in the field of conception/design of new measurement and environmental urban climate adaptation systems, able to enrich the European job market. This project creates a unique working environment for cross-sector and multidisciplinary research training to deliver high-calibre researchers with scientific, technical, and transferable skills to improve their career prospects.

IMPACT ON THE RECRUITED RESEARCHERS:
All ESRs receive a wide range of mentorship and training, including scientific, technological, business, and generic aspects. They also learn skills to able them to disseminate their results to a much wider audience than just their peers and are well informed of the importance of gender issues and scientific misconduct in line with the Horizon 2020 Rules for participation. ESRs work across disciplines and sectors, bringing excellent understanding of both science and technology needs, as well as product development to their future research and development groups, broadening their knowledge and career pathways.
ESRs’ supervisors are leaders in their fields and their research groups transfer excellent research practice. Along with formal scientific training, ESRs are required to make multiple presentations, organize workshops and conference-style events, and work within multiple collaborating research teams.

IMPACT ON THE INSTITUTIONS INVOLVED:
The ability of the partner institutions to attract ESRs of the highest calibre is of primary significance and provides the highest impact for those institutions involved. The structure of the network, with detailed interaction between partners, both the academic institutions and the associate industry partners, is highly valuable. The ESRs are already starting to act as a conduit for increased visibility of the activities, and as they transferred to the industry partner sites (end-2020), they are a key vehicle to enable future collaborations and interactions.

IMPACT ON THE EUROPEAN RESEARCH AREA:
The action aims to provide a highly skilled workforce in a vital area of knowledge and skills development within Europe in the field of urban (micro)climate adaptation solutions. This will have a significant impact on the university partners and industry lasting well beyond the end of the project. The participation of industry partners is a vital component of this training network. There is a clear opportunity for Europe to take a lead in the development of next generation of urban (micro)climate adaptation solutions and systems and in particular to speed their implementation through integration with sustainable urban planning and other fields to provide high capacity building and innovative planning and design strategies. By developing expertise and collaborating on cutting-edge research, the industry partners will be in an excellent position to place a pivotal role in the development of next-generation systems, skill development and research. The network also enables industrial partners to bring in expertise in emerging areas, and most importantly to innovate and test new solutions. This means the researchers will be able to engage in industrial applications of their research and better understand whom and how their research relates to and leads on from the current generations of urban (micro)climate adaptation solutions and systems.