BINA Partnering in Nanoscience E-Learning Initiative
BINA faculty members are in the process of preparing and filming two online courses. The first – to be presented by Dr. Gilbert Daniel Nessim – an expert in carbon nanomaterials – is called “The Kinetics of Materials.” Another course, supervised jointly by BINA Head Prof. Yuval Garini and Dr. Amos Sharoni, is entitled “Nanoscience and Nanotechnology: Why is ‘Nano’ Different and How is it Useful?” It will be structured around mini-lectures given by a number of different research scientists, each of whom will present an overview of a particular nano-related sub-specialty.
The courses are being created in the framework of “EduNano”, an international initiative established by the European Union under its TEMPUS framework for the modernization of higher education. TEMPUS sponsors programs that promote inter-university cooperation, as well as academic partnerships between third- and first-world countries.
EduNano partners include six Israeli universities (BIU, BGU, HUJI, TAU, TEC, and WIS) as well as Bulgaria’s University of Sofia, Italy’s Politecnico di Torino, and the Grenoble Institute of Technology in France. Additional partners in the initiative are Israeli electronics firm Elbit Systems, and the Technion’s Samuel Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology, which conducted a needs analysis among academic and industry sources to determine the content that would be most useful for the courses’ target audiences. “Under the agreement, every partner undertakes to write and film two online courses. At the end of the three-year development period, each partner gains access to the courses designed by the other consortium members,” says BINA’s Administrative Manager, Dr. Efrat Bodner.
EduNano is not just a technical platform for knowledge sharing. The initiative represents an entirely new approach to academic cooperation. “The overall coordinator for the consortium is the University of Sofia, with Tel Aviv University managing EduNano among the Israeli partners,” Bodner explains. “But the TEMPUS program moves beyond the traditional model of scientific collaboration, which is usually limited to interaction between senior researchers. Instead, TEMPUS fosters international communication between communities of teachers and students. It promotes high-level learning and collaboration, on the classroom level.”
Recognizing that it’s not enough to have good research, Edu- Nano is investing in training young researchers, and preparing them for careers that will make a significant contribution to nanotechnology-related industries. By sharing knowledge, and by bringing cutting-edge developments into classrooms in every partner country, EduNano is helping to identify, nurture and inspire the future's nanoscience leaders.
The TEMPUS EduNano program was the subject of a presentation at the recent Israel Vacuum Society conference, held on September 9th at the Weizmann Institute. The program’s progress will be showcased within the framework of “NanoIsrael 2016” – an international conference scheduled for the end of February 2016.