The Institute of new Energy Systems (InES) of the Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt received funding for a further project in Southern Africa that should run for four years. Thereby, the funding body is the DAAD which stands for German Academic Exchange Service. The target of the AIR project (Academic Initiative for Renewables), which started in January 2016, is to develop a more practice-oriented academic education in the fields of renewable energies. A total of seven partner universities from the countries Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe are going to contribute to this project.
The prerequisites for using renewable energies in Southern Africa are especially well suited due to the high solar radiation. However, there is a lack of technically qualified and experienced manpower in many places. Against this background the AIR project shall impel progress in this field over the four-year term.
Also 15 industrial stakeholder will support the project team in order to meet the specific needs of the local labor markets. Their experiences and specific know-how provide ideal conditions to assist in the implementation of practice-oriented degree courses. Furthermore, students will cooperate with these companies on-site through specific project works. Thus, a noticeable contribution for the economic development in these countries shall be achieved.
Furthermore, a higher education network shall be established during the project implementation phase which should actively integrate industrial stakeholders from Southern Africa and Germany. A total of eight meetings and workshops which will take place twice a year at the universities in the target region and Germany will make a valuable contribution to this.
Also, a total of 16 master and PhD students are going to participate at a ten-day exchange program to partner universities in order to exchange know-how in the field of renewable energies and to visit laboratories and lecturers on-site.