During the project, the following outcomes will be provided based on the related activities that will be carried out.
1) Report on the BME education status and future trends in Europe.
Information on the existing BME in EU and Partner countries Institutions will be collected, processed and analysed by WG1 under activity 1.1. Information on recent developments and future trends in the medical industry will be collected, processed and analysed by WG1 under activity 1.2. Representatives of the medical device industry will be invited to participate through their Associations (EUCOMED, EDMA, EUROM VI etc). Results from these activities will be presented and published in the “Report on the BME education status and future trends in Europe” that is scheduled to be completed by the end of the first six month period of the project.
2) Generic Programs for graduate and postgraduate studies in BME.
A set of core and elective courses and study programs in the field of BME will be prepared during the first project year by WG2. The updated generic programs that will be delivered will be fully compatible with the ECTS. The generic programs will be presented and published at the end of the first half of the project.
3) Template guidance document for the implementation of a harmonised Quality Assurance System for BME education. Initially, this outcome will be preceded by a review of the current QA and accreditation systems in the participating countries. This review will be managed by WG3 through collection, process and analysis of information from all European and neighbouring countries. The results will be presented on the second general assembly meeting (GAM2) where a generic set of principles and assessment criteria will be decided upon. A pilot implementation of the template guidance document in existing BME programs will aim to assess the acceptability and transferability of such knowledge and materials. A target group of 5 Institutions is expected to initially apply it; however, the interest of participating Institutions may exceed this number. The Final Template guidance document for QA in BME education will be prepared and published at the end of the first half of the project.
The above outcomes will be used in the development and implementation of new study programs in participating Institutions and the restructuring of existing BME programs. Institutions from the EU with existing BME programs are expected to update their BME curricula in accordance with the generic programs. To assure correct implementation of the ECTS, special attention will be paid to link credits with students’ workload and desired competencies and skills. A workshop that will be organised at the beginning of the second project year will be dedicated to this issue. BME laboratories will be modernised with new teaching materials, software and laboratory equipment for supporting the educational process. Purchase of laboratory devices will be accomplished during the second project year. The Institutions from EU with experience in managing BME programs will actively assist in all these activities. Decisions for the scheme of support will be clarified in the third general assembly meeting (GAM3) of the consortium. Additional support will be provided in the third project year. Training visits and exchange of teaching staff from Partner countries to EU partners will be organised during the second half of the project duration. Two members of the academic staff from each of these Institutions will gain experience at EU country Institutions for two weeks. One academic staff member from EU country Institutions will visit Institutions in Partner countries in order to assist the implementation of the generic programs in BME studies and laboratory reconstruction and also deliver invited lectures. Student mobility will be accomplished in parallel with the teaching staff exchange only for the Institutions from the Partner countries. One student per Partner country Institution will be trained and will make his/her practice at EU country Institution for three months.
5) Joint Degrees
The establishment of successful joint degree programs is a difficult task. Although there is a temptation to achieve such agreements, to improve visibility and reputation, serious problems can arise during implementation, usually due to improper design, possible lack of unity, differences in the level of demands, assessment procedures or goals. The possibility of establishing joint MSc or PhD programs will be examined and discussed at the second general assembly meeting (GAM2) of the consortium. Pilot Joint MSc and PhD programs will be established, where possible, in the third project year.
6) Dissemination of results
Dissemination and feedback will be achieved by presentations at scientific events and workshops. In addition to these face-to-face meetings, an interactive web site will be implemented at the beginning of the second year of the project. Information about the project, past, current and coming events, deliverables, CRH-BME working documents etc, will be available on the site, which will also provide a mechanism for interactive communication with facilities for QA, comments, suggestions and other inputs. Dissemination will also be accomplished through dissemination workshops. The project will end with a large final general assembly meeting (GAM4) and an associated conference. This event will focus on the public discussion of the project results, which will be available both in hardcopy and electronic form on the web. The 7th ESBME (European Symposium of Biomedical Engineering, an event organised every two years by the University of Patras) and MEDICON 2010, that will take place in the second half of 2010, will also be used to promote project related activities.
7) Sustainability of results
Sustainability of results will be provided through support of newly signed bilateral agreements between participating Institutions. Partner countries Institutions will be encouraged to conclude such bilateral agreements with EU Institutions. Joint research projects between the partners will be facilitated. Recreation and enlargement of the TEMPERE thematic network with the involvement of industry, healthcare providers and other key stakeholders and new academic Institutions from Partner countries will be initiated at the onset of the project. This process will further facilitate international collaboration in the field of BME, student mobility and teacher training.
8) Quality Control and Monitoring
The quality of the project will be continuously monitored and assessed through appropriate procedures that will be designed at the beginning of the project and will address both the quality of the documents and the project activities. Procedures and tools for monitoring the project activities include conventional means such as internal reporting, activity lists etc. Furthermore, the use of Telematics communication will automate many of these internal monitoring procedures and facilitate management tasks. Review procedures (internal and external) for project outcomes, will be implemented. Deliverables will be reviewed and approved prior to their submission or publication. Four general assembly meetings are planned to be held during the project lifespan. At these meetings, milestone reviews will take place, the progress of the project will be examined and its results will be critically reviewed. Depending on the progress and the results, changes can be introduced in the work plan.
9) Management of the project
The principal management responsibilities for the project will be assigned to the Project Management Committee (PMC). It will consist of 5 members from 5 different partners Institutions, who will be appointed upon the commencement of the project. The PMC will address the administrative and technical management of the project and quality assurance tasks. The PMC will have the overall responsibility to ensure timeliness and quality of all project deliverables. The PMC will overlook and continuously evaluate the progress of the project and also decide on management issues including, planning and control matters. These issues will be addressed during 7 scheduled Project management Committee Meetings (PCM) during the whole project.