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UC3M Promotes R&D&I Oriented to Development

World Science Day for Peace and Development


Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) is joining the celebration of World Science Day for Peace and Development, which will be held on November 10th through several development projects it participates in with other institutions and research centers around the world.

La UC3M promueve la I+D+i orientada al desarrollo

UC3M promotes development of teaching and R&D&I in underprivileged societies through different university cooperation development projects. These projects are carried out in distinct sectors and regions of the world: the training of archive and library personnel in Guinea-Bissau; research into forms of compensation in cases of sexual violence in Colombia; integration of information technology and robotics in university curricula in either Colombia or Nicaragua (not yet confirmed); integration of persons with hearing disabilities in Nicaraguan higher education; promotion of global citizenry among Colombian university students; education on international mechanisms for protecting indigenous people’s rights; applied research about recovery of wetlands in Ecuador; and postgraduate studies in community communication and recovery of oral memory in Uganda.

Some details about three of the projects follow. These projects are supported by the UC3M Office of Cooperation.

eN-Señas: ICT tools for strengthening inclusive education in Nicaragua

The main goal of this project, carried out by the “Management and Technology of Knowledge for University Cooperation with Development (e-cud) Cooperation Group,” is to promote inclusive education to provide tools for the integration of students with hearing disability. To this end, a MOOC was designed to integrate sign language in the generation of audiovisual content oriented to persons with hearing disabilities in the Nicaraguan department of Carazo.

Project leaders at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua (UNAN) in Managuahave suggested the advisability of expanding the initiative to orient it also to university students with other types of disabilities, along with generalizing the project to all the UNAN-Managua centers.

Audiovisual Ethnography for Social Change: Recovery of Oral Memory in Uganda

This project was conceived with the intention of creating a permanent line of research-action around communication for social change and the recovery of oral memory. The UC3M “Image and Memory of African Peoples” Cooperation Group, which promotes the idea, has pursued this initiative with the Kampala International University in Uganda.

Tradition, which the elderly narrate and transmit to young generations, is an ancestral mechanism to preserve the wealth of a culture over time. However, it is easy to verify how, in the current context of globalization, different ethnic communities are being exposed to a permanent and nearly unstoppable process of losing cultural models that are essential for the preservation of their identity, memory and ways of life. Through this project, local students are trained in communication techniques and video ethnography so that they can record, preserve and disseminate stories linked to values and norms that govern the cosmovisions and traditions of the Ugandan people.

The International Award for Appropriate Technologies

The goal of this award is to support and disseminate innovative technological proposals produced in local education centers and seek to improve access to basic services for the inhabitants of one of the most impoverished regions in the world. In the edition of the course, this initiative by the UC3M  “Engineering for Human Development” Cooperation Group supports the proposal of decentralized drainage of wetlands constructed in rural and peri-urban areas in the province of Manabí (Ecuador) affected by the earthquake on April 16, 2016.

This project, carried out by Ecuadorian researcher Gabriela Alejandra Guachamin Celi, is based on the use of plants for the phytodepuration of water. This technology is a natural treatment which does not use electrical energy and saves on maintenance costs. This treatment is based on the use of aquatic and semiaquatic plants (biological filtering) and a filtering medium (normally gravel and sand) which, along with the roots of the vegetable system, favor the filtering of solids transported by water. All of this has a dual goal:  the filtering of domestic waste water and the economic assessment of the vegetable covering generated (heliconias) and the commercialization of the short flower.


The World Science Day for Peace and Development helps inform citizens about scientific advances, creating more sustainable societies, while helping them understand the fragility of the planet we live on. The UN agency in charge of coordinating efforts to bring science closer to society and working with member states in the ethical dimensions that science considers is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

According to the UN, science is the tool that human beings created to understand the world and apply that knowledge to their benefit. Scientific advances allow us to find solutions for new economic, social and environmental challenges. Science also plays a role in constructing peace to foster international cooperation to achieve sustainable development.