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The CoCoon project has officially been kicked off in Lisbon.

The CoCoon project has officially been kicked off in Lisbon.

Thora Oskarsdottir

9 de janeiro de 2023 às 22:00:00

The CoCoon project has kicked off in Lisbon and aims to revolutionize the integration of biodesign practices into education and design curricula.

Lisbon, Portugal - The picturesque city of Lisbon played host to the inaugural meeting of the "CoCoon" project, a groundbreaking €1 million initiative funded by the Erasmus+ program. The project, which stands for "Co-Creating greener futures: developing and transferring innovative bio-design modules for education to accelerate the green transition," aims to revolutionize the integration of biodesign practices into education and design curricula.

The kick-off meeting, held at Lusófona University in Lisbon, brings together a team of experts belonging from five institutions from four EU and two non-EU countries. Their commitment is to share experiences and chart the course for CoCoon. The project is expected to have a transformative impact on education and design, fostering innovation and sustainability in these areas.

Erasmus+ is the European Union's flagship program for education, training, youth, and sport, and it is renowned for its support of initiatives that promote international cooperation and innovative approaches in education. CoCoon is one such project focusing on harnessing the power of biodesign to address pressing global challenges.

The meeting was inaugurated with a welcome address by the project coordinator Dr. Americo Mateus expressed his enthusiasm for CoCoon and its potential to reshape how educators and designers approach their fields.

The project's overarching goal is to identify suitable living bio-based solutions to produce materials, replacing fossil-based materials. The CoCoon projects will develop methodologies, pilot programs, and test processes for teaching bio-design to educators and students at universities, vocational schools, and lifelong learners. Additionally, it will systematize procedures for implementation in the curricula of different learning systems. The primary objective is to increase awareness of the most promising existing technologies globally and empower people to find alternative ways of making more environmentally sustainable products.

Thora Oskarsdottir, Director of Fab Lab Reykjavík, and one of the project initiators noted noted, "CoCoon represents a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between education and practical application. By incorporating bio-design into curricula, we can better prepare the next generation of professionals to tackle the complex challenges of our time. Through the CoCoon project we expect that designers will take on a larger role in 'proof of concept' development for green innovations. We're fostering a generation of designers who are not just creating beautiful objects but are at the forefront of shaping sustainable solutions for our planet."

The event featured presentations by key partners, including leading universities, research institutions and VET schools from Portugal, Spain, Finland and Iceland, among others. Each partner outlined their specific role in the project and shared their expectations for the outcomes.

One of the core objectives of CoCoon is to develop a collaborative curriculum that integrates biodesign principles into existing educational programs and provides training opportunities for educators to ensure the successful implementation of the curriculum. This curriculum will be designed to engage students across various levels, fostering interdisciplinary learning and creativity. By doing so, the project aims to promote a new generation of designers and educators well-versed in sustainable, bio-inspired design practices.

Furthermore, CoCoon will bring together bio-design experts and policy makers. In the coming months, CoCoon will embark on its research phase, exploring innovative approaches to biodesign to develop the methods and modules that can be implemented into the curriculum framework. The project will also engage with students, educators, and industry professionals to gather valuable insights and ensure a curriculum that aligns with real-world needs.

The €1 million Erasmus+ grant for CoCoon underscores the European Union's commitment to advancing education, innovation, and sustainability. The project's success will benefit the participating countries and also contribute to the broader global effort to address environmental challenges through education and design.

As CoCoon takes its first steps toward reshaping the future of education and design, it promises to be a beacon of innovation and collaboration in the European landscape. The project's impact is poised to extend far beyond its €1 million budget as it paves the way for a more sustainable and creative future.

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