Startech Universeh 2021
Initiated in 2012 by WSL in Belgium, the Startech program aims to develop the entrepreneurial skills of engineering school students. Josiane Mothe, Professor at Jean-Jaurès University in Toulouse, has adapted this training program to the field of Earth Observation as part of the European FabSpace project. The program aims to be inclusive in compliance with european values. The first week of October 2021, this program has been adapted in the framework of the UNIVERSEH project.
UNIVERSEH is a european project (Grant Agreement N°101035795) that aims to create an european university focused on the space sector, for the Earth and Humanity. This project is led by the Federal University of Toulouse Midi Pyrénées. The consortium also includes the University of Luxembourg, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Dusseldorf (Germany), Luleå Tekniska Universitet (Sweden) and the AGH University of Science and Technology (Poland). UNIVERSEH aims to contribute to education in Europe, to the growth of employment and industry, to the resolution of major societal challenges, and to make the space eco-system more sustainable. These are the conditions for the EU to remain a world leader in the space field. Various sectors are covered: science, engineering, economics, business, social sciences and humanities, patenting and innovation, entrepreneurship, science and medicine, art and culture.
The Startech UNIVERSEH brought together 20 students, including 11 men and 9 women, coming from various fields and levels, from Master 1 to PhD. The goal of that training week was to prepare students for their career by training them, through practice, on transversal skills related to entrepreneurship.
The workshops were led by Josiane MOTHE, professor at IRIT and Colette Schenker, consultant for project leaders and startups at Catalyser, University of Toulouse. Academic and industrial experts from several European countries played the roles of potential customers or investors. 14 experts were present, including 10 men and 4 women.
During the training, students worked on a project for an application, product or service using Earth observation data. Throughout the week, the participants learned many necessary or essential skills that they will be able to reinvest when setting up new projects, conducting research or creating a company.
Four projects were presented and the videos presenting them are available on the FabSpace Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaSvHzPAVquqadTckpgd0Aw/
The feedback from the students was very positive, the participants acquired new skills both technically and in terms of soft skills that will be useful for their employability, inside or outside the university setting. The good balance between theory and practice was also appreciated. Most participants understood that the majority of the skills and knowledge in this training program are cross-cutting and can be applied to many professional contexts.