Internet technologies, large-scale computing and storage resources, data research/retrieval tools, mobile devices, social media, and their high uptake among different groups of people have profoundly changed the ways knowledge is created, communicated and how it can be further deployed. They have made possible a radical transformation of the nature of science and innovation. This so called digital science relies on the use of e-infrastructures, i.e. ICT-based services and tools for data- and compute-intensive research in virtual and collaborative environments, combined with an internet culture for openness and collaboration. New tools and new research cultures make it possible not only to perform education and research more efficiently but to create new types of education, science and research which are more harmonized, more open, more global and collaborative, more creative, and closer to the demands of students and researchers regarding hydrogen technology and fuel cell themes. Analysing and facing the current trends of education at University level, “The Economist” published recently the results of a survey that has the following main conclusions:
· Technology has had—and will continue to have—a signiﬁcant impact on higher education
· Online learning is gaining a ﬁrm foothold in universities around the world
· Corporate-academic partnerships will form an increasing part of the university experience
· University respondents view technology as having a largely positive impact on their campuses
· Higher education is responding to globalization
It looks like there is a tendency of evolution of the involvement of IT&C technologies in the preparation and delivery of education modules. In this respect, the proposed project NET-Tools extends the scope in providing digital educational materials and new e-tools for courses and e-learning and supplying these to the European lecturer community. Knowledge transfer will be ensured within the project through appropriate means, in parallel with validation. The supply of high quality teaching and learning material is essential in building the vast human resources needed for further developing and maintaining FCH technology. The university type material can also be adjusted and used for specific target groups (e.g., industry, junior researchers, regulators, first responders etc.) and schools since the curriculum structure is generally valid.
In this respect, probably the most important added value of the project shall consist on the enabling cross-system interaction using Future Internet approaches with the evaluation of the quality and reliability of the existing knowledge and data-sources. The subsidiary effect of the project is creation of the virtual links between the stakeholders based on the extracted patterns for the science based decision making focused on the sustainability.
“The Future Internet is expected to be a holistic communication and information exchange ecosystem, which will interface, interconnect, integrate and expand today’s Internet, public and private intranets and networks of any type and scale, in order to provide efficiently, transparently, interoperability, flexibly, timely and securely services (including essential and critical services) to humans and systems, while still allowing for tussles among the various stakeholders without restricting considerably their choices.” [Fundamental Limitations of current Internet and the path to Future Internet, 1 March 2011, http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/foi/docs/fiarch-current-internet-limitations-march2011.pdf]
The integrated architecture of the NET-Tools platform shall be conceived based on detail understanding of distributed multilevel knowledge transfer processes in selected generic cases. Each case shall be analysed in order to identify system patterns relevant for properties like resilience, vulnerability, and learning regime shift tendencies of the targeted learning groups. Specific feature of the platform shall consist on the development of an advanced Virtual Networking Space with a large flexibility in integrating different types of applications able to be tailored based on the needs of the FCH and sustainable development problems in order to make learners adaptable to changing contexts.
Any tool or software under NET-Tools will be an open source component to guarantee access and participation free of license. To merge open-access publishing with a research network platform, loop, to catalyse collaboration and research dissemination and NET-Tools will popularize research and educational materials to the public. Our mission is to increase the attractiveness of e-education in the FCH-themes.
The aspects related to education support have been developed under FCH JU 1.0 by the implementation of projects as TrainHy, HyProfessionals and HyFacts that have concentrated on developing the basis of FCH related teaching mainly in the way of developing a curriculum. At present, in the FCH community there is identified a strong need to integrate this knowledge in University programs (both graduate and postgraduate) and of vocational training.