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Local CIVIS Days in Madrid: Open Labs as a link between the university and its surroundings

23 June 2022
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The Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), the Galapagar Town Council and the Citizens' Observatory for the Conservation of Heritage in the Sierra de Guadarrama organised the Local CIVIS Days event Facing local challenges, in which examples of specific projects being developed within UAM's Open Lab were presented.

The Open Lab of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid has supported several projects launched by university students and academics from various disciplines. The aims of thes projects include promoting the development of the circular economy and energy transition, bringing archaeology and knowledge about our historical heritage closer to the citizens, or responding to pandemics such as COVID-19 or loneliness in our elderly.

In order to publicise how these initiatives have been implemented, the Local CIVIS Days event was held today at Galapagar Town Hall under the title Facing local challenges: Open Lab, the nexus between the university and its environment.

Felipe García, Galapagar Town Councillor for Urban Planning and Environment, welcomes participants by presenting the aims and objectives of the Agrupación Intermunicipal Sierra de Guadarrama (AISGUA). Then José Luis Pau, the Vice-Dean of UAM's Faculty of Science who is responsible for setting up and linking Open Labs across the CIVIS Alliance, explained how Open Labs promote the search for innovative solutions to local challenges through processes of open participation and co-creation involving the university, public institutions, companies and all types of associations and civil society organisations. 

Amparo Reyes, a member of the CIVIS Local Advisory Council and the UAM Social Council, explained the role of the CIVIS Local Advisory Council. As an example of the work they carry out, she spoke about the programme for accompanying the elderly that they have set up with the Madrid City Council, which focuses on solving the problem of unwanted loneliness suffered by the elderly in urban environments. 

For his part, Emilio Criado, member of the university's Social Council and Vice-President of the Observatory, explained the work carried out by the Observatory for the Conservation of the Heritage of the Sierra de Guadarrama.

Professor Juan Ignacio Sánchez, from the Department of Economic Structure and Development Economics, analysed the Mobility and Context Data project, which arose from the second Open Lab Madrid call.

Finally, Professor Javier Salido, from the Department of Prehistory and Archaeology, detailed the programme Heritage for all: citizen participation and social innovation.

The day concluded with an interesting colloquium in which the attendees had the opportunity to talk with the speakers and share their impressions with them.

This is the second time that UAM has organised a Local Civis Days event, following the conference Building the University of the 21st Century in February, in which teachers, project coordinators, representatives of civil society, and students had the opportunity to share their experiences in educational and research initiatives implemented within the framework of the CIVIS project.