As one of the most important developments of the 21st century, IoT has become a key technology with multiple applications such as vehicular communications, smart cities, e-health, industry 4.0, sensors-based agriculture, civil security, emergency management, etc. During the last years, the industrial activity in this field has increased to an enormous extent and very rapidly worldwide, also in Argentina and Uruguay, target countries of Project NEON. However, this new scenario, with a predominant role of IoT in many ICT applications, is not encompassed with a parallel transformation of the ICT study programs in these countries. NEON, as a 3-year Erasmus+ Capacity Building in Higher Education (CBHE) project, intends to overcome this situation by aligning academia with industry thanks to the creation of a Network of Competence on IoT.
The project kicked off in January 2021, and the first year was heavily dedicated to WP1, so conducting the analysis of the status quo by identifying the needs to be addressed and therefore defining the implementation actions. Concrete outputs included:
- development and distribution of two different surveys to academia and industry to present a snapshot of current studies and highlight educational plus industrial needs in terms of required skills and gaps to be filled. Around 140 answers from both surveys have been collected and evaluated;
- creation of guidelines for curriculum and course modernization in cooperation with industry with the results from the surveys;
- elaboration of a more detailed and tailored plan of project implementation actions based on survey results and current situation.
The survey itself plus a detailed presentation and contextualization of the results are given in the respective deliverable: https://www.project-neon.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Deliverable_NEON_D1.1_R2_finale-2.pdf.
Besides WP1, there have been other important activities and considerable results during the year:
- development and mutual signing of the Partnership Agreement, a detailed contract to regulate financial, organizational, and legal aspects of the consortium;
- elaboration of an initial quality assurance and a dissemination plan to define concrete operational actions and guidelines in both fields;
- creation of an internal project management platform for more financial and organizational aspects;
- creation of a general project website: https://www.project-neon.eu/;
- initial setup of the Network of Competence (NoC) web platform (http://neon-iot.org/) dedicated in future to hosting technical content such as teaching material, course syllabi, internship opportunities, industry catalogues, etc;
- 1st virtual open event targeting a broader spectrum of participants to raise awareness about the project itself organized by Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina;
- 1st webinar for students about the IoT related study offer within the NEON consortium organized by Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina;
- creation of a short promotional video to highlight the project’s contents and objectives, and additional material such as posters, roll-ups, banners and tailored images for events and digital dissemination;
- continuous organizational and administrative operations behind the scenes to ensure seamless project management.
All recordings of the events, interviews, and other videos can be found on the official NEON Youtube channel. For more content follow or subscribe to the NEON social media channels: (https://www.project-neon.eu/links/);