On Wednesday, the 12th of April 2017, Prof. Natheer Abu Obeid, President of the German Jordanian University (GJU), and invited guests celebrated the opening of the Innovation Space and the Vocational Training Center of the University during a launching event in the main campus of the University.
Prof. Abu Obeid welcomed the attendees of the launching and shared the vision of the university in Education for Entrepreneurship and Employment and how the university is actively and continuously focusing on applied education and the engagement of the university with the industry.
Following the president’s speech, H. E. Eng. Hani Khleifat, the Director General of the Vocational Training Corporation of Jordan discussed the Importance of Vocational Training in Jordan in preparing the youth with the skills to match the job market needs.
From his side as the chairman of Maani ventures, H. E. Eng. Omar Maani, highlighted the importance of innovation and vocational education skills for universities that develop high quality graduates who can excel in the job market. He added also the value of collaboration between the universities and industry not only to prepare the graduates to the job market but also to enhance the competitiveness and innovation of the industry and the economy.
Dr. Ziad Abuelrub, the project coordinator at GJU, gave an introductory speech about the background of the launched VTC center at GJU. This center is an outcome of a three-years Erasmus+ project started on Nov. 2015 and coordinated by the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences. The project is entitled “Vocational Training Center for undergraduate university students and teachers in Jordan”. Four countries take part in this project: Germany, Slovakia, Spain and Jordan. Moreover, the project has five European partners and seven Jordanian partners including six public Jordanian universities. The project aims at institutionalizing vocational training within the Jordanian universities so that it supports co-curricular activities demanded by the market.
The Manager of Program Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE) Eng. Jamil Al-Khatib, presented the development of the innovation & entrepreneurship support at GJU over the past four years since its establishment along with future perspectives and services of the Innovation Space.
He highlighted that the Innovation Space is composed of two areas InnoAct, which is a co-working space and activities area for the students who have project ideas and where the PIE team provides coaching and training, as well as networking with the Jordanian innovation ecosystem.
The InnoLab is the second area of the Innovation Space, which is a prototyping lab for the students who reached concrete business models of their project concepts and would like to develop minimum viable products (MVP) to potential customers and investors.
It is worth mentioning that the Innovation Space services are combined with the PIE services and activities such as the GJU Hackathons and Ideathons that help students to solve some real life and industrial challenges leading to interdisciplinary graduation projects.
At the end of the session, the students of GJU Drama club performed a short sketch about the university activities in relation to innovation and entrepreneurship.
Following the introduction session, the president along with the guests officially opened both the VTC lab and the Innovation Space. Then they were introduced to the services and offers that the new facilities will provide for students and staff members.
Both programs the VTC and PIE complement other related GJU units, which foster the implementation of the university’s vision of “Education for Employment and Entrepreneurship” through the collaboration with local and international industrial partners towards applied education.