The successful and efficient application of new Geoinformation technologies (GIT) in cultural heritage documentation and tourism development at national level relies in the creation of a solid network of relations between industry, administration and universities. This assumption is the basis for the sustainability of the outcomes generated in the project.

The activities of this working package will prepare sustainable links and relations between universities, administration and industry through the creation of an Advisory Board with representatives from education institutions in GIT and Economy, managers in administrations related to cultural heritage preservation, economy and tourism development, and industry including local companies in GIT, tourism operators and associations. All stakeholders will participate in the elaboration of a cooperation agreement and in the definition of social needs for the promotion and development of tourism cultural industry and preservation of monuments. The agreement will define the commitment of partners, future activities and the use of common working spaces (Geoinformation and Tourism Technology Centers-GTTC).

This WP will be leaded by GeoGraphic, a private company specialized in GIT with large experience in collaboration with: 1) Administration in cultural heritage applications; 2) the tourism industry for mapping and visualization of touristic areas; and 3) the universities by organizing applied common courses and curricula. This past experience makes GeoGraphic the optimum partner for leading WP1.

Five partner country universities have recently developed curricular reforms in GIT or Economics in the framework of previous Tempus projects (NUACA, ASUE, ISU, BSU), or under other programmes (GTU). New master courses will be developed to provide interdisciplinary specialization in GIT applied to cultural heritage and tourism entrepreneurship in NUACA and GTU. GSU is starting to develop new master in Tourism, under the strategic development plan of the own university.

In this WP, each partner university will create interdisciplinary curricula in GIT and Tourism entrepreneurship adapted to their needs, and will develop course contents and teaching materials. The reform of a master curricula per partner country university will be focused in the application of new Geoinformation Technologies and modern equipment for the documentation, management and dissemination of cultural heritage and tourism, integrating marketing and entrepreneurship and involving external stakeholders from administration and industry in the teaching and learning process.

For the development of curricula the results from social needs report and questionnaire will be taken into account. The new courses developed will follow the ECTS system and Bologna recommendations.

The Scientific and Educational Reforms Foundation (SERF) is devoted to support curricular reforms in higher education in Armenia and has experience in different countries and projects, and will be the leader and coordinate the curricular work of the partner country universities. The curricula will be reviewed by the Advisory Board and the management team. Different practices and master projects will be proposed to be developed in the GTTC, and the supervision of multidisciplinary teaching staff from different universities will be promoted, focused on the social needs defined. The coordinator and programme countries will be involved in the process to ensure the timely development to start offering new curricula in September 2016.

Introduction of new geoinformation technologies in higher education requires the acquisition of modern equipment for practices and projects. Modern cultural heritage documentation tasks require devices such as laser scanners, processing and mapping hardware (PCs, servers, plotters) and software to analyse images and other geospatial data, including specialised photogrammetric, GIS and 3D visualisation software. Technical bibliography is also needed, as well as teaching support equipment, projectors, screens and printers.

Two Geoinformation and Tourism Technology Centres (GTTC) will be established, one per partner country. The GITT centres will be ruled by an interdisciplinary council composed by Universities, Administration and Industry, upon the definition of a cooperation agreement (deliverable 1.3), and the staff allocation for future maintenance will be defined in the agreement. These centers will be provided with new equipment and used for (1) applied training (long-life learning courses and master courses); (2) documentation of cultural heritage, mapping for tourism (through master thesis, and projects that integrate the efforts of other stakeholders); (3) Dissemination and marketing of tourism, including the creation and maintenance of geoportals, geo-visualization tools, organization of dissemination events, conferences, workshops, etc., targeting to integrate, promote and consolidate the touristic potential of Georgia and Armenia.

This will be completed with the modernization or adaptation of the GIT laboratory at GTU upon specific needs, and the creation of three GIS labs for teaching GIS courses in Tourism economics in ASUE, GSU and BSU.

The leader of this WP will be KTH, with large experience in creating GIT laboratories in many different countries and several TEMPUS projects. The coordinator will also follow the purchase of equipment. Each country will organise open ceremonies of GTTC and laboratories where staff, students, social stakeholders and mass media will be invited and the main future activities explained to society.

In order to implement a successful curricula reform in the use of modern GIT technologies combined to tourism management and entrepreneurship, applied training should be accomplished by teaching staff that will be in charge of developing course contents and teaching materials.

Therefore, training of teaching staff from partner country universities will be carried out through intensive courses in European universities. The high degree of specialisation of the Departments involved in the project and their complementary expertise will enable the appropriate training of young teachers and specialists from partner countries to update their knowledge in the use of modern equipment and to develop new courses and material.

Since universities and other partners involved either have participated in previous Tempus projects with English language courses, or their staff has adequate knowledge of this language, all intensive courses will be taught in English. In the selection of trainees from PC universities, criteria of equal opportunities for women will be followed.

The following specialised courses in GIT are planned:

– Basic GIS for economics and tourism (for universities and partners specialised in economics and tourism. (GeoGraphic, Tbilisi, Feb, 2016)

– Mobile and web mapping for cultural tourism (UPV, Valencia, May, 2016)

– Practical course in laser scanning and 3D modelling (KTH, Stockholm, September, 2016)

– Photogrammetry for cultural heritage documentation (AUTH, Thessaloniki, Nov, 2016)

The following specialised training in Economics and entrepreneurship:

– Entrepreneurship in tourism (UPV, Valencia, May, 2016)

– Economics for tourism development (UNIBO, Bologna, Feb, 2017)

Al the activities of this work package will be coordinated by NUACA, with previous experience and ensuring the appropriate candidates from partner countries are selected.

Materials used in the courses will be available to partner country staff and students.

Re-training professionals in geodesy and cartography in modern geoinformation techniques and entrepreneurship applied to cultural heritage and tourism industry opportunities are major national demands in Armenia and Georgia to accomplish the exhaustive documentation of monuments and promote the tourism industry. On the other side, to re-train specialists in economy and tourism in basic GIT tools is necessary for them to be aware of the capabilities of modern  information technologies to improve tourism economy and open new business possibilities in both countries.

In this work package two new continuing education modules in GIT applied to tourism development will be developed to re-train professionals in partner countries. One module will be designed to specialise professionals with background in geodesy, cartography or geography in tourism applications and entrepreneurship, and the other to re-orient professionals with a background in economy and/or tourism in the potential and advantages of GIT. The contents of these modules will be defined after the analysis of social needs and opportunities in WP1 (Preparation). The participation of non-university partners will be crucial to provide information about the needs of the market and the country. All partner universities in the project have the capacity to develop e-learning teaching modules that complement the training process. The in-situ teaching will take place in the newly created GTTCs.

AUTH will be the leader partner of this work package. AUTH has a relevant experience in these tasks, since they were leading the continuing education working group in Erasmus Thematic Network EEGECS- European Education in Geodetic Engineering, Cartography and Surveying from 2003 to 2008. AUTH will coordinate the development of the modules and the creation of e-learning teaching materials. The coordinator will follow the activities to ensure the correct and timely finishing of the outcomes.

In order to ensure the success of the curricular reform of the project, a quality assurance system of the educational modules created will be implemented in all partner universities.

On one side, a four days workshop in Quality assurance in Higher education will take place in Yerevan with the participation of experts from EU partner universities and teachers from PC all universities, for training in good practices in quality assurance and implementing EU standards, supplement of the title, ECTS, etc.

The study of cases is a crucial educational method for interdisciplinary topics such as GIT, tourism management and entrepreneurship. A workshop in case method learning and teaching will take place in Tbilisi with participation of experts in this pedagogical method from EU and teachers from PC universities. This will help to integrate the different disciplines in the curricula and continuing education modules, as well as in the development of teaching materials by the PC teachers.

These two activities will have mixed participation of EU and PC and will support the sustainability and potential impact of the project.

Quality control and monitoring activities will be programmed to ensure the successful achievement of all the objectives proposed and in the deadlines previewed. The coordinator will follow closely with contact persons from partner countries and work package leaders all the activities and outcomes of the project. An internal report of all the activities and meeting minutes will be done by WP leaders, then reviewed and approved by the project management committee.

The following activities are programmed for quality control:

– Preparation: Project guidelines will be developed at the beginning of the project to ensure that all partners follow the same criteria.

– Institutional level: Monitoring visits of the coordinator to partner country institutions, to identify specific problems or delays and ensure the adequate delivering of outcomes programmed.

– National level: Annual meetings of the Advisory Board together with the partners and the Tempus Officers at national level, where all the advances of the project will be presented and discussed, and the feedback from social stake holders will be taken into account for future work.

– International level: External evaluation by three international recognized and independent experts in the areas covered by the project will be subcontracted. They will visit the partner institutions in the partner countries at the end of the second year, and will be informed of all the activities carried out in the project. Their final report with assessment and suggestions will be presented to all the partners at the end of the visit.

All feedbacks at these three monitoring levels will be discussed, implemented and reported as part of the outcomes of the project. Additionally, in all annual project management meetings the results of the year will be systematically evaluated and discussed, and measures proposed by all partners will be taken to improve.

Project Management will be carried out by the Management committee, composed by a representative from each partner, and leaded by the project coordinator. All the decisions affecting the operative of the project will be taken by consensus of all the members of the committee, or at least by majority. The members will always take into consideration the administration of their own institutions or companies, particularly the rectors, directors or heads of departments. Special attention will be paid to the opinions and suggestions coming from the Advisory Board, as they will represent main stakeholders and society from partner countries.

The basis of all the management activities will be: Fluid communication and respect to the rest of the partners; active participation of staff, students and administrative people from partner institutions; technical efficiency in the implementation of tasks; efficiency in the cost of all the programmed activities; transparency in the technical and administrative reports.

Basic management activities will be: (1) start-up meeting of the project; (2) annual management meetings to review past activities and results and plan the future ones; (3) regular meetings with administration of universities to report about the project progress and to ensure the institutional support; (4) the main website of the project will have an intranet where all the administrative and technical documentation will be available to partners, facilitating the transparency and communication; and (5) one-on-one meetings among partners based on specific needs or solution of problems will be programmed.

The management will follow strictly the EU rules and good practices, as well as the project guidelines agreed by partners at the beginning of the project. A direct communication will be maintained with the Tempus officers of Armenia and Georgia.

In this work package, a travel to Brussels by two persons (the project coordinator and a representative from the partner countries) to attend the Project Representative Meeting is included and budgeted, where all the suggestions will be noted and followed during the project development.

The leader of this WP will have a key role in coordinating dissemination actions GTU has experience in dissemination activities in other national and international projects and will be the leader of the work package. NACHPG in Georgia and The Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia (MoE) and UITO in Armenia will have a relevant prole, since they have the experience and capacity to arrive to many stakeholders in the field of Tourism and Cultural Heritage monuments in both countries. These partner work in contact with many organisations and institutions that are active at local, National and European level: public authorities and private bodies, enterprises and associations, NGOs and research centres. Thanks to this network, they are able to easily access to many organisations, and have large experience in dissemination actions at regional and international levels. This is why they can reach a large critical mass from different sectors. The MoE will work closely with the NACHPG in Georgia, as national institutions, to support GTU in the coordination in both countries.

The promotion of the goals, activities and results of the project will be an important part for its sustainability and communication with society. Different activities will be programmed:

– Websites and social networks related to the project

– Reports about project activities

– Opening ceremonies of GTTCs and Labs created

– Promotional booklets of master curricular reforms

– Final dissemination conference

– Other promotion material in electronic and other formats

– Promotion and advertising of continuing education modules for professionals

 

All the activities are appropriately allocated in the budget, either directly or indirectly. Thus, websites and social networks will be created by all the university partners (including EU partners) using the staff costs included within the dissemination work package.

The opening ceremonies of the GTTC and Labs will be celebrated during the same week than the annual meetings of the project management committee, so that the cost-efficiency policy of the project activities will be followed.

All project partners will be involved in dissemination tasks. Universities will stimulate students to participate, National Agencies and Ministries will play an important role to canalise information to general public, and NGOs and companies will transmit to professionals in geoinformation, tourism and economy sectors the results and principal outcomes of the project, increasing its sustainability.

Two main project websites will be created by GTU and SERF connected to social networks (Facebook, Twitter …), and other informative websites in partner and programme country universities and UPV, as coordinator.

– The structure and contents of the websites will be defined by all partners

– The management committee of the project will be in charge of co-ordinating the continuous update of the information.

– An intranet will be included for internal communication in the main website.

– Social networks will be used to connect  and reach as many people in society as possible

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