Innovation Marina UG: a series of meetings with Pomeranian NGOs
Published On: 2023/12/20
The UG Center for Sustainable Development, in cooperation with the UG Center for Student and Doctoral Activities, organized meetings with Pomeranian NGOs. During the two events, the cooperation to date was summarized and the most important needs of Pomeranian NGOs for 2024 were identified within the framework of the UG Innovation Marina.
The Innovation Marina of the University of Gdansk is a space for cooperation between various units of the Pomeranian region and the university. Its basic premise is to seek solutions to local challenges and problems through the so-called Science Shop model. Its premise is to facilitate and ensure the implementation of joint projects aimed at the needs of community organizations, which usually have more difficult access to scientific research. Science Shop projects are conducive to finding solutions to complex social challenges. The coordinator of the Innovation Marina at the University of Gdansk is Bartosz Duraj. Joanna Morawska, PhD, is responsible for the content supervision. The pilot is being implemented as part of the reSEArch EU project, i.e. “reinforce SustainablE Actions, resilience, cooperation and harmonization across and by the SEA-EU Alliance,” implemented by the SEA-EU European University Consortium and funded by Horizon2020.
Meeting at RC Foundation – joint activities in 2024
The first of the meetings took place on December 12, 2023, at the headquarters of the Regional Center for Information and Support of Non-Governmental Organizations, the RC Foundation, which together with the UG Center for Sustainable Development and the UG Center for Student and Doctoral Activities invited representatives of NGOs to talk about strengthening cross-sector cooperation.
Participants in the meeting included: Łukasz Samborski, Director of the RC Foundation; Jerzy Boczoń, President of the RC Foundation; Sylwia Mrozowska, PhD, DSc, Prof. UG, UG Vice-Rector for Cooperation and Development; Krzysztof Szczepaniak, PhD, Director of UG Center for Sustainable Development; Barbara Kijewska, PhD, Vice-Dean for Student Affairs of the Faculty of Social Sciences UG; Łukasz Bień, Director of the Center for Student and Doctoral Activities UG; Bartosz Duraj, coordinator of the CZRUG “Cooperation with the Social Environment” program; Agnieszka Zablocka, Deputy Director of the Department for Social Policy Coordination of the Regional Social Policy Center, Michal Piotrowicz, Director of the Municipal Public Library, as well as representatives and representatives of ten non-governmental organizations from the Pomorskie Voivodeship. The discussion included issues related to areas of cooperation between the University of Gdansk, the Pomeranian Council of NGOs and the Regional Social Policy Center.
Photos: Łukasz Bień
University of Gdansk is open to cooperation with NGOs
The second meeting was held on December 18, 2023 at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Gdansk. It was organized by the UG Center for Sustainable Development together with the UG Center for Student and Doctoral Activities. The meeting was attended, among others, by Sylwia Mrozowska, PhD, DSc, Prof. UG, UG Vice-Rector for Cooperation and Development; Arnold Kłonczyński, PhD, DSc, Prof. UG, UG Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and Quality of Education; Prof. Michał Harciarek, Dean of the UG Faculty of Social Sciences; Krzysztof Szczepaniak, PhD, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development of UG; Barbara Kijewska, PhD, Vice-Dean for Student Affairs of the Faculty of Social Sciences of UG; Łukasz Bień, Director of the Center for Student and Doctoral Activities UG; Bartosz Duraj, coordinator of the CZRUG “Cooperation with the Social Environment” program, representatives of all institutes from the Faculty of Social Sciences; Maciej Urbanek, Head of the Pszczółki Municipality; Anna Gaj, representative of the Regional Center for Social Policy. Present at the meeting were representatives and representatives of NGOs that have so far cooperated with the various WNS institutes, as well as new organizations that would like to undertake cooperation in the Science Shop model.
Photos: Andrzej Nuckowski
“The meeting allowed for the exchange of experiences and views between different organizations, which is crucial for the development of effective strategies for action on behalf of local communities,” reports Bartosz Duraj, meeting coordinator on behalf of CZRUG. “Networking and cooperation in the preparation of joint projects and initiatives is also an important aspect. Cooperation between NGOs, academia and local government units paves the way for innovative solutions and effective use of resources and knowledge.”
Bartosz Duraj stresses that networking requires mutual support, and the meeting was an opportunity to establish new relationships that can turn into lasting partnerships. What other benefits did the two meetings bring to the university and the invited organizations?
“Thanks to such events, public awareness of the activities undertaken by Pomeranian NGOs and the University of Gdansk increases,” adds Bartosz Duraj.
Representatives of public entities increasingly point to the great potential of NGOs and the need to establish cooperation. NGOs are often engaged in activities that complement or expand public activities, especially in areas where state mechanisms are limited or less effective. Cooperation with NGOs allows for more comprehensive solutions to social problems.
“The University of Gdansk, realizing the third mission of the university, undertakes cooperation with non-governmental organizations. From the perspective of each department of the University of Gdansk, social partners are a wide variety of organizations. We try to search together for a space to share knowledge, good practices and prepare joint projects, organize student internships in NGOs and events popularizing ways to deal with important social challenges.” says Sylwia Mrozowska, PhD, DSc, Prof. UG, Vice Rector for Cooperation and Development.
“Participation in Science Shop projects is also an opportunity for students,” notes Łukasz Bień, Director of the Center for Student and Doctoral Activities at UG. “They can gain practical experience and develop skills that will be useful in their future careers. In addition, participating in solving real social problems can increase their motivation and commitment to learning.”
More about the Innovation Marina of the University of Gdansk: