The Online Learning Platform Provides Unparalleled Access To Sustainable Energy Experts, Education And Entrepreneurs: Neetu Verma, The Global Avenues

In an exclusive e-mail interaction with BW Education, Prof Dr ir Frank Gielen, Education Director, EIT InnoEnergy and Neetu Verma, Co-Founder, The Global Avenues, talks about the partnership between EIT InnoEnergy and The Global Avenues.

EIT InnoEnergy, the innovation engine for sustainable energy, has tied up with The Global Avenues in India, to jointly support and work towards a sustainable energy future in India.

The Global Avenues will be the exclusive partner for EIT InnoEnergy in India to deliver bespoke learning solutions to universities, educational institutes, and corporates. These courses will be taught by leading experts from the EIT InnoEnergy ecosystem, which consists of more than 500 partners from research and industry, including 380 supported start-ups. This collaboration between EIT InnoEnergy and The Global Avenues will work towards developing niche partnerships and constructing tailored solutions for Indian institutions and corporates who are seeking education in the field of sustainability and innovation. Excerpts from the interview:

Give a brief account of the partnership between The Global Avenues and EIT InnoEnergy in India. 

FRANK: Within the Partnership between The Global Avenues and EIT InnoEnergy both parties aim to support the energy transformation process in India towards a sustainable energy future. As the challenge of climate change and a carbon-neutral future is a global issue, EIT InnoEnergy, the leading engine of energy innovation from Europe, will also offer support for knowledge and innovation seeker in energy-related industries in India. Through the partnership, The Global Avenues EIT InnoEnergy will offer access to its learning environment, which is based on an ecosystem consisting of more than 400 European Top-Partners from Education, research and Industry – But also more than 250 start-ups and Entrepreneurs as living proof of applied innovations. Within the partnership, The Global Avenues and EIT InnoEnergy will offer organizations across India tailored learning solutions with the topic of sustainable energy and energy innovations, no matter if universities or Companies seeking for upskilling their employees for a green future. These solutions will bring together the best of both worlds: lessons learned from the European energy transition and the progress made by India in tackling its energy challenges. Solutions might be online- or remote trainings and range to exchange programs or Master-School collaborations. To jointly work on a sustainable future! 

NEETU: The partnership between EIT InnoEnergy and The Global Avenues aims to innovatively build new pathways for education as well as the energy sector, significantly supporting the future of an energy-efficient India. Understanding that it is essential to develop safe, eco-friendly and durable energy storage solutions in this field, both partners have exclusively collaborated to offer B2B professional learning solutions to corporates, e-learning platforms and higher education institutions pan-India 

India is one of the top leaders in the renewable energy markets, but there is a lot yet to be achieved to improve access to energy and energy security. Our partnership with EIT InnoEnergy would support the sustainable energy future of India, by joining hands with the public and private sector likewise.

We have brought to India a means to access the EIT InnoEnergy learning platform, which is based on an ecosystem, consisting of more than 400 European top-partners from education, research, and industry. EIT InnoEnergy brings together 500+ key players from across the energy value chain, from 18 different countries, who have indirect access to 150 million energy consumers.

Our esteemed partnership with EIT InnoEnergy will ensure that tailor-made learning solutions in the field of sustainable energy and energy innovations are offered to all our existing and potential partners across India. As technology and climate are the priorities for both India and EU, we trust that this mutual partnership will contribute towards solving shared challenges in the field of sustainable energy and energy innovation, as well as towards bringing about transformation and change towards a greener model.  

How is this partnership going to affect the Indian education landscape? 

FRANK: EIT InnoEnergy will offer unparalleled access to its unique pan-European learning-ecosystem on the topic of sustainable energy to all kinds of organizations through the partner The Global Avenues. No matter If universities are seeking to enrich its learning experience with EIT-certified (EIT = European Institute of Technology, a body of the European Commission) learning contents, or if corporate partners like to upskill its employees both with sustainable energy knowledge but also energy-related innovation training, EIT InnoEnergy will be the right partner – jointly operating with The Global Avenues in the Indian region. 

NEETU: At The Global Avenues, we believe, education is not limited to educational institutions and hence we want to bring forth a system which would raise the bar for every individual, personally and professionally. The partnership would be able to offer each participant a chance to upskill themselves and gain competencies in their field of specialisation. These participants will have an edge over others and would be able to accelerate their career growth and attain success in the energy domain. 

In the next 05 years, India is likely to become home to the largest student population in the world with almost 119 million people between the age group of 18 to 22 years. Looking at the current challenges that the education institutions are facing, this partnership would be a support system for the Indian higher education institutions to overcome the challenges and would provide them with innovative solutions to bridge the gap. The higher education institutions will get unparalleled access to EIT InnoEnergy’s unique pan-European learning-ecosystem.

We would also be offering professional training solutions for our corporate partners who are willing to upskill their employees, both with sustainable energy knowledge and energy-related innovation training. All professional certification courses are EIT-certified (EIT = European Institute of Innovation and Technology, a body of the European Commission). The EIT InnoEnergy platform will give them a single point of access to thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, businesses, career information, and innovative start-ups. Apart from Academia, we would be able to also offer solutions to support Start-ups, government organisations and corporates as well. 

What kind of innovation projects are you planning to work on? 

FRANK: To start with, the partnership between EIT InnoEnergy and The Global Avenues in India will solely focus on educational projects and fostering innovation through learning. EIT InnoEnergy brings a decade of expertise accelerating start-ups and supporting the commercialisation of innovations which will be reflected in the content of our educational offers.   

We plan to work purely on tailored projects with organizations “on the jump” – who want to offer special trainings in the field of sustainable energy and/ or energy innovation to its employees or students. Each of those projects should be centred around sustainability and innovation in the field of energy. These projects can be considered “Innovation by education”. At the earliest project stage, EIT InnoEnergy offers clients 100% online-trainings with live-virtual elements, where the latest technologies will meet energy business aspects. As active learning space education projects might be combined with speakers form start-ups to receive applied innovation experiences. Of course, projects might grow and lead to international exchange projects, where Indian innovators might meet European innovators to transfer knowledge and mix up ideas and solve challenges jointly – Depending on the demand of the client. Each “Innovation by Education” has in common that it will get a unique look and feel where the customer can expect not just a “course” but a learning solution. 

NEETU: Global Avenues has always focused on introducing a suitable method of delivering quality education and training and skill-building programmes to students from South Asia. We share a strong relationship with all our university partners and keep exploring new ways of improvement.

EIT InnoEnergy and The Global Avenues will primarily focus on educational projects, fostering innovation through bespoke learning solutions. These solutions are termed as "Innovation by education". These projects will be tailor-made as per the needs of the Indian clients who would like to offer special training to their students and employees. 

Apart from providing a healthy mix of blended and online professional courses, skill-development programmes and higher education avenues abroad, we are also working on the model of 'train the trainers'. This would empower the faculty, HR and L&D teams to adopt new forms of teaching and strengthen their skills.

Looking at the growing demand from our partners, The Global Avenues together with its partner EIT InnoEnergy will support industries with sustainable energy solutions which can provide them with risk-free, pioneering new innovative solutions. Catering the industry demands, we can initiate support from other EIT verticals such as EIT Digital, EIT Raw Materials, EIT Health and more. Here the Indian innovators can be trained in various other segments of the energy sectors to solve the challenges jointly, through gaining knowledge and solutions from European Innovators.

Additionally, The Global Avenues is also working towards providing internship opportunities to the students abroad, both through online and offline mode, where the students would experience life in a different culture and meet industry experts and build business relationships. 

What are the various courses being offered by EIT InnoEnergy? Are you planning to launch more, considering the partnership? 

FRANK: EIT InnoEnergy offers a broad range of courses and trainings, all related to the field of sustainable energy and energy innovation. To start with our biggest asset, EIT InnoEnergy operates a pan-European Master-School with eight Master’s programs in the field, such as smart cities, energy technologies and energy storage and renewable energy – Just to mention some. On top of that we run a more customized professional learning initiative, where we offer standard and tailor-made training solution for organizations and professionals. Our standard-programs start with online-courses with focus on awareness-building character for the learner for sustainable energy and its various thematic areas and exceed to more comprehensive courses and programs for intermediate and advanced learners already having a fundament of knowledge. These can be online or offline trainings. There is a large range of topics around EIT InnoEnergy’s main areas of expertise: batteries, digitization and different sustainable energy topics like systems integration and much more. Please check out the courses for open registration at 

Next to these open registration courses for individuals, EIT InnoEnergy puts a strong emphasis on supporting organizations and corporates with top-level knowledge and skill-building options. Here we follow a “construction kit” approach, where we use the huge repository of topics and trainings we already cover, from both professional and academic education, and mix them up with experts and trainers from our ecosystem to find the real best training concept fitting to the individual clients demand. In summary, it is hard to tell you about all courses as they are so various, and the topic of sustainable energy is so various – We, for example, have more than 200 learning hours just online trainings! In addition, we are constantly implementing new concepts – mainly together with clients. 

NEETU: EIT InnoEnergy is currently offering a wide range of courses and training in the field of sustainable energy and energy innovation. EIT InnoEnergy master school comprises of 3 business schools among the top 25 European Business Schools, 14 universities among the top 200, worldwide for engineering and technology, 7 universities feature in the top 150 for graduate employability. Students get the opportunity to study in two different universities and countries and much more.

In addition, there are programmes for individuals aiming to be an expert in smart grids or who wants to gain a broader overview of current and future energy technologies.

To support higher education institutions, there is a wide range of vocational courses, professional training programmes. These programmes can be blended and tailor-made, as per the need of the institutions. The online learning platform provides unparalleled access to sustainable energy experts, education and entrepreneurs.

The unique EITInnoEnergy Master’s school address the most exciting and important areas in sustainable energy and energy engineering such as - smart cities, renewable energy, sustainable energy systems, electrical network and systems, energy technologies, energy storage, nuclear energy, and energy transition. These programmes are apt for students from all engineering disciplines and are best suitable for professionals who are into or looking forward to working in renewable energy, nuclear fuels, smart cities, or clean fossil fuels.

Considering our partnership, we primarily would focus on education projects and training programmes catering Corporates, HEI's, Government and Start-ups. Parallelly, we would keep on finding more innovative ways of upskilling the youth and building opportunities in the education sector. 

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your operations? How are you dealing with this disruption? 

FRANK: Even before the COVID-19 crisis started, we already believed in the future of education happening much more online and remote than today. Within the last years, EIT InnoEnergy invested heavily in 100% online trainings in the field of sustainable energy as well as remote-training concepts in general. This year alone, we experienced a rapid transformation of the EIT InnoEnergy Master School with around 500 students which transitioned from 100% face-to-face delivery to 100% online delivery. In addition, EIT InnoEnergy decided to invest in state-of-the-art hybrid learning facilities at five of our partner universities so that our upcoming Master’s students can have a virtual experience that resembles the face-to-face one. All in all, we feel well equipped to tackle the COVID-19 crisis in the field of training and education. In all our professional trainings we quickly moved to a live-virtual approach of training, which could achieve highest scores in learner’s satisfaction! Even if the COVID-19 situation is a huge crisis we truly grab the chance to work on our education processes and used the situation to improve our education business – based on the quotation of Winston Churchill: “Never let a good crisis go to waste”.  

NEETU: We have always believed that innovation needs to be at the heard of every educational opportunity. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has significantly disrupted the education industry and many students aspiring to study abroad have been impacted. Looking at the staggering impact of this pandemic and anticipating disruption, we re-strategized our way forward. We primarily focused on e-learning solutions for both students and professionals, while continuing to guide students aspiring to pursue international education. We are also focusing on creating job opportunities for graduates especially in the IT field through mapping specific programmes as per global job requirement. 

With the online mode of education being used by several educational institutes and organisations in India, we are finding innovative solutions to support our customers and cater to the needs of our partners globally. As a team, we stand by our values - integrity, transparency, motivation, and dedication – and that is what keeps us going.  

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