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INESC TEC supports the training of professionals to address the manufacturing industry challenges

Training activities on composite materials, multimaterial processing, material bonding processes, cyber-physical systems, digital twins and other topics.

15th April 2021

Tying in industrial needs and the academic and research environment, in order to improve the skills of students, teachers, researchers and industrial staff. This is the main objective of the M-NEST-II project, coordinated by the Faculty of Engineering of the U.Porto (FEUP), combining the institution's experience with that of INESC TEC and INEGI, in order to train professionals concerning the needs of the manufacturing industry.

The M-NEST-II project follows the pilot-projects M-NEST-I and M-NEST-RIS, in which the demonstration sessions of new teaching models translated into high levels of participants' satisfaction, among students, teachers and even mentors from the industrial sector.

During the pilot-projects, around 190 trainees had the opportunity to explore and engage with wide-ranging production and innovation scenarios, while companies were able to rely on professionals who’re better prepared to add value to their businesses.

According to Ana Cristina Simões, researcher at INESC TEC’s Centre for Enterprise Systems Engineering (CESE), and coordinator of the project at the Institute, “M-NEST II will seek to involve even more organisations and participants, consolidating the training models implemented in the pilot phase”. More specifically, INESC TEC's role is "to participate and monitor the development of these training models, and to bring them to Portuguese companies", explained the researcher.

Teaching and learning factories

The M-NEST-I and M-NEST-RIS projects stemmed from a joint initiative by FEUP, INESC TEC and INEGI to address the needs of the national manufacturing industry, where the accelerated introduction of new technologies requires adapting the training of experts.

Moreover, the consortium of national institutions established the European network M-NEST to demonstrate that collaboration between companies and education and research institutions in the training of professionals is an effective response at national level.

In Portugal, the "Teaching and Learning Factories" of the M-NEST network were implemented in the laboratories of FEUP, INESC TEC and INEGI. These facilities promoted several training activities, on topics like composite materials, multimaterial processing, material bonding processes, cyber-physical systems and digital twins.

These projects are funded by EIT Manufacturing and, in addition to the national partners (FEUP, INEGI and INESC TEC) - common to both projects -, they also included ENSAM - Arts et Métiers Paris Tech (France), Aalto University (Finland) and SUPSI - University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (Switzerland), in the M-NEST-I project, as well as CTU - Czech Technical University (Czech Republic), University of Tartu (Estonia) and LMS - Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems and Automation of University of Patras (Greece), regarding the M-NEST-RIS project.

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