Baku Higher Oil School (BHOS) has hosted the opening ceremony of ITACA Training and Research Center funded by the European Union.
Speakers at the event were Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mukhtar Babayev, Rector of Baku Higher Oil School Elmar Gasimov, Advisor to Minister of Education Nijat Mammadli, Head of National Erasmus+ Office Parviz Baghirov, Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs of Baku Engineering University Bayram Huseynzade, Advisor to Rector of Baku State University Ali Nagiyev, Chief of the International Relations Department of Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction Farhad Aliyev.
Project Coordinator, Prof. Luca Di Palma, who joined the event online, informed the ceremony participants about the ITACA project.
“The Training and Research Centre is the heart and the main objective of the Erasmus+ Project ITACA, and since the first draft, such project was figured as a milestone for the cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices between the EU and Azerbaijani higher education institutions and, hopefully and maybe quite ambitiously, for the whole education system in Azerbaijan,” he noted.
Speaking at the event, BHOS Rector Elmar Gasimov greeted the guests, noting that the ITACA project is one of the most important educational projects implemented jointly by Azerbaijan and the European Union. The rector said that the center, equipped with the most advanced technologies, was created within the framework of the ITACA project to clean up soil and water polluted by oil and gas production in Azerbaijan and to manage waste. He noted that young masters and doctoral students from partner universities will conduct scientific research at the center, adding that 300,000 euros were spent on the purchase of equipment for the center. Elmar Gasimov stressed the importance of creating such laboratories against the backdrop of environmental problems in the world.
“The most important aspect of this project is its implementation together with partners. The ITACA Training and Research Center will become one of the most active laboratories in the country. I am sure that important scientific articles will be prepared here. The center will also train young specialists in this field based on innovative teaching methods of the European education system and a modern curriculum. The laboratory will work in 4 directions. The first direction is the "Laboratory of characteristics of the environment and education", where teachers and students of Baku State University will conduct research. Specialists of Baku Engineering University will work in the direction "Cleaning the soil contaminated with hydrocarbons and heavy metals." Specialists of Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction will work in the direction "Purification of water extracted during oil and gas production." Baku Higher Oil School will work in the direction "Sea water and oil degradation in the soil," the rector said.
Emphasizing the importance of the Training and Research Center, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mukhtar Babayev suggested that the Center also serve as a business project for companies involved in the environmental cleanup process in Azerbaijan.
“It is very important to conduct research in the laboratory. I believe that the laboratory will be of great benefit to the state and people, and that it will be effective both for universities and for business. As a ministry, we are ready to provide the necessary support for the development of the project.”
Speaking at the event, the partners emphasized the importance of the ITACA Training and Research Center for universities, adding that the center will substantially increase the efficiency of research activities.
ITACA (ITACA – Innovative training center to support a 3rd cycle advanced education course to face environmental emergency in Azerbaijan) is a project implemented within the framework of the “ERASMUS + KA2 - Capacity Building in Higher Education” program funded by the European Union. BHOS is one of the partners of the project and the host of ITACA Training and Research Center.
The implementation of the ITACA project will be jointly coordinated by Sapienza University of Rome, Aalborg University (Denmark), University of Granada (Spain), University of Patras (Greece), Argus Umweltbiotechnologie GmbH (Germany), Baku Higher Oil School, Baku State University, Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction, Baku Engineering University, Azecolab, “Sukanal” Scientific-Research and Design Institute (Azerbaijan).