USP launches new energy project

The LifeLongLearning for Energy Security, Access and Efficiency in the African and Pacific SIDS (LEAP) project was officially launched at The University of the South Pacific's Laucala Campus on January 28.

The three-year half million Euro project will be coordinated by Hamburg University of Applied Sciences in partnership with USP, University of Mauritius and Papua New Guinea University of Technology.

At the launch, Acting Vice-Chancellor Dr Esther Williams said the university was committed towards improving human capacity in all areas of need.

"Projects such as these will help us understand the importance of energy. We in the Pacific are vulnerable to climate change hence we need people who know about conservation of energy," Dr Williams said.

"The University is working hard towards producing skilled people in conservation and efficient use of energy sources, and we are thankful to Hamburg University of Applied Sciences for this partnership," Dr Williams added.

Julia Gottwald from Hamburg University of Applied Sciences said the LEAP project will result in an increased transfer of knowledge and networking with local and international stakeholders.

"The aim of the project is to strengthen the capacity of ACP HEI at academic level to provide high level skills for the energy labour market in order to foster energy security, enhance energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy," Gottwald said.

She said the objectives of the project were to:

• develop labour market oriented lifelong learning concepts for the education of staff of public and private sector to meet the challenges of regional and national energy supply
• increase the academic and management capacity of university staff to modernise their educational and research programmes and activities so as to build capacity to foster energy security and enhance energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy
• establish a long-term partnership and network between European and ACP universities in an area of strategic technological importance and economic value

USP attracted funding for the new research project at the heels of the highly acclaimed Project DIREKT, which concluded its activities in early November 2012.

Like its predecessor, LEAP is also an EU-funded project initiated by the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW Hamburg).

More information: www.usp.ac.fj