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Networks 2019 Phase 2 Ecuador Biodiversity


Ecuador is a megadiverse country with a high undiscovered potential hidden in its natural resources. However, the lack of human talent with advanced degrees in natural resources and the poor academia-stakeholders interactions has prevented the valorization and use of the natural resources within the country. During the phase 1 of the programme, capacities were built within the Network, so MSc programmes on Natural resources with emphasis on Biodiscovery and Water Management were launched. A first set of MSc professionals with shared visions were formed and are currently contributing the country’s developmental objectives. However, the need for PhD programs and doctoral schools in Ecuador remains, and a solid academia-stakeholder interaction is still needed in order to provide solutions to developmental problems.

During the phase 2 of the programme, the Network will focus on consolidating the MSc programs developed during the phase 1, developing doctoral schools and a PhD program, and enhancing the interaction with stakeholders in academic and research levels. To achieve these objectives, the programme will build upon the BIO and WRM projects executed during phase 1 plus the incorporation of a third project aiming to innovate the education and outreach environments in universities.

As a whole, the programme expects to significantly contribute to the sustainable use of natural resources in support of the quality of life of the people from Ecuador. To achieve this dream, the integrative contributions from biodiscovery, water resource, and education-outreach experts will continue to be essential.

Both the biodiscovery and water management projects (projects 1 and 2, respectively) will focus on consolidating the MSc programmes launched in phase 1 and developing specialized courses for a PhD program on Natural Resources. The contributions of both projects to the development of the country will be done through the continuous interactions with stakeholders. For this, valorization managers will be selected from each partner university in order to stablish and maintain the links with stakeholders while promoting stakeholder participation in all research and education activities within the Network.

Project 3 will enforce the transversal themes needed for the PhD program and will include innovative education tools—such as MOOCS, e-learning and blended learning—in the MSc, PhD, and doctoral school’s courses as well as the training programs for professionals. The project 3 will also facilitate the training of our local experts on transversal topics such as tech transfer, commercialization, RBL, among others, and stablish a platform for interaction with stakeholders.

During phase 1, the programme had a crucial role at each partner university as the driving force for change and the promoter of joint research and education projects. For phase 2, this role will be enhanced, and the Network will become the trustworthy link between academia and stakeholders as well as the generator of developmental solutions in the natural resources sector. The cultural changes observed in phase 1 will be enhanced during phase 2 and the mutual trust will be consolidated among partner universities and extended to stakeholders.

At the end of the phase 2 we expect to have two consolidated self-sustained MSc and one PhD program with strong innovative components and a robust linkage to various relevant stakeholders across the country. Additionally, new knowledge on Ecuadorian natural resources will be generated and uptaked by stakeholders through academia-stakeholder interactions at all research stages from study design to tech transfer.

Intervention type

Network University Cooperation


01/01/2019 - 31/12/2022

This project is being implemented in:
Flemish promoter Peter Goethals
Local promoter Paul Herrera
Local promoter Paul Herrera
Local partner institution Universiteit Gent
visit www.ugent.be
Local partner institution Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral
Other Flemish Partners KU Leuven
visit www.kuleuven.be
Universiteit Antwerpen
visit www.uantwerpen.be
Universiteit Gent
visit www.ugent.be
Other local partners Escuela Politécnica Nacional
Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral
Universidad Técnica del Norte
Universidad de Cuenca
visit http://www.ucuenca.edu.ec/
Budget € 1.000.000