Empowering HEIs to Lead in Deep Tech Excellence with Innovative AI and ML for Sustainability, Aerospace, Advanced Materials, and Electronics (BOOSTalent)

Empowering HEIs to Lead in Deep Tech Excellence with Innovative AI and ML for Sustainability, Aerospace, Advanced Materials, and Electronics (BOOSTalent)

Duration: 2023-2024

Project ID: 

Financing: EIT HEI

Project level: international

Partners: The Arctic University of Norway, The Technical University of Varna (Bulgary), G-Force, s.r.o. (Slovakia), Istanbul Kültür University (Turkey), Fachhochschule Burgenland GmbH (Austria), Goodguys GmbH (Austria), Octa Insight AS (Norway), Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute (Ukraine, associated partner)

The BOOSTalent Project brings together an eight-partner consortium, comprised of five HEIs and three business partners, to enhance institutional innovation and entrepreneurship practices. With a vision for 2030, the consortium aims to foster innovation in AI and machine learning (ML) across HEIs, students, and businesses, particularly in the fields of aerospace, electronics, advanced materials, sustainability, and biodiversity. The consortium seeks to establish a long-term partnership between industry, academia, and government to develop cutting-edge education programmes, and address the climate crisis and wider sustainability issues. The Project aligns with the goals of the Deep Tech Talent Initiative, Climate-KIC, EIT Digital, and EIT Raw Materials, and supports their strategic aims.

The consortium boasts high-level institutional support for innovation, and a successful track record in academic-industry partnerships, student and academic entrepreneurship, and world-class education. Using the EIT Knowledge Triangle model, the Project aims to integrate HEIs and businesses to advance the use of AI and ML in the subject area. The consortium has identified five knowledge gaps hindering Europe’s efforts to lead the new wave of deep tech, including mismatches between business needs and education, insufficient education programmes, a weak European technology start-up scene, underwhelming actions from European HEIs and research centres, and a disconnect between society’s needs and other stakeholders’ actions.

To address these gaps, the consortium views HEIs as key drivers of change and innovation. By partnering with businesses and nurturing their entrepreneurial capacity, the consortium believes that HEIs can lead the way in the field of AI and ML. Based on HEInnovate self-assessments, the consortium has identified eight Actions to improve capacity in the subject area and aligned them with the Project’s objectives, each consortium member’s strengths and needs, and the strategic objectives of the three EIT KICs and involved countries’ Smart Specialisation strategies. The Project includes KPIs to measure progress and a plan to extend financial support beyond the Project’s conclusion.

The BOOSTalent Project benefits academic and non-academic staff, students, start-ups, and society as a whole, with an outreach, dissemination, and engagement plan in place. The Project positions HEIs as engines of impact in the field of AI and ML, and serves as a starting point for deeper collaboration and cooperation to establish Europe as a global leader in deep tech innovation and start-ups.