Since its creation in 1994 as a state-of-the art technological university with a highly innovative learning model, the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC, Open University of Catalonia) is one of the world’s premier online Higher Education universities, now engaging more than 50,000 students.
The UOC’s core goal is to be the ‘university of the knowledge society’, promoting innovative education, personalised learning, technological leadership, R&D work on the information society and eLearning. Currently, its research, innovation and transfer activity is led by almost 300 researchers and technicians organized into 43 groups. Each group belongs to one of the University’s seven departments or teaching areas ,or to one of its three main research centres (Internet Interdisciplinary Institute – IN3 – eLearn Center – eLC – and the eHealth Center).
With internationalization at the core of its mission, UOC continuously works to bolster its international profile through initiatives that increase its research partnerships around the world and the number of its international exchanges and students. Over the last five years, the UOC has participated in more than 250 R&D projects and nearly 50 European initiatives, including 9 in the 7th Framework Programmes in Marie Curie, ICT, and Science in Society; 17 projects in the Lifelong Learning Programme, 6 Erasmus+ projects (2 as leader), 3 COST Actions, 1 DG Growth initiative, and leadership so far in 3 Horizon 2020 projects, as well as participation in 9 more as partners. Currently, UOC is UNESCO Chair in both a) Education and Technology for Social Change; and, b) Food, Culture and Development and Telefonica Chair in Design and Multimedia Creation. Also UOC activates over 150 international agreements for joint research, mobility initiatives and training, including a growing number of qualified EHEA Master Degree Programmes.
The UOC works to promote knowledge transfer and has more than 1,000 agreements to this end, including the creation of its first spin-off, Open Evidence (www.open-evidence.com), specializing in consulting on health, welfare, consumption, innovation and public policy. The UOC is a member of 35 international networks, including the European University Association (EUA), the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) and the IMS Global Learning Consortium.
To manage R+D+I and transfer activities, UOC gets support from UOC’s Research and Knowledge Transfer Support Office. More than 30 specialists cover all project management support areas, including Grant Agreements, Ethics, Gender, fellowship hosting, IPR and legal counsel, RRI, reporting and logistics, plus community outreach and support for innovation via its widely consulted Social Media 2.0 communication channels, Virtual Platform, and Open Repository.
Previous Involvement in Research and Training Programmes Over the last five years, UOC has participated in more than 250 RDI projects and in over 50 European initiatives, including 9 in the 7th Framework Programmes, in Marie Curie, ICT, and Science in Society; 17 projects in the Lifelong Learning Programme, 12 Erasmus+, 3 COST Actions, and leadership so far in 3 Horizon 2020 projects, as well as participation in 13 more as partners. Among them are: PERFORM: Participatory Engagement with Scientific and Technological Research through Performance– H2020- Science with and for Society (SWAFS). Project coordinated by UOC. GENPORT: Generating Synergies among Gender and Science Communities- FP7- Science in Society Programme (SIS). Project coordinated by UOC.