The programme uses a student-center appraoch and is built around ten eCourses structured around four core thematic areas. The different courses encompass e-Lectures, practical labs, tutorials, case studies and assessments. Given its entrepreneurship focus, the programme also allows students to do an internship to get incept in the innovation ecosystem / environment and lay the basis of the development of the practical start-up solution. at the final stage of the programme.
eCourses Thematic Areas/Modules
The different eCourses are clustered into four different thematic areas/modules described as follows:
- Module 1: Mini-grid focussing on the development of a comprehensive set of skills necessary to successfully design, develop, manage and operate decentralized renewable energy projects.
- Module 2: Digitalization, ICT4 for mini-grid providing essential skills on emerging digital technologies (IoT, Big/Smart Data, Artificial Intelligence, coding, etc.) in mini-grid and relevant for the African context.
- Module 3: Innovation and Entrepreneurship providing theoretical background with appropriate courses on all aspects for the planning development and administration of a business resp. start up.
- Module 4: Business Start-up Thesis focussing on the implementation of the business cases resp. start up with the development, testing and validation of the business cases resp. prototype following an action research approach.
Programme Learning Outcomes
While trying to achieve the ultimate goal of strengthening the capacity of African youth in innovation and entreprenurship on the African continent with the creation of start-ups in the smart mini-gid sector, the programme intends to achieve the following hard and soft skills learning outcomes to the prospectives students.
Hard skills learning outcomes
- Evaluate the different energy resources and technology options pertaining to renewable energy generation, energy storage, distribution and operation of mini-grid systems in urban and rural context in Africa
- Justify technological and economical choices in the context of new or existing commercial mini-grids projects and evaluate their impacts on the environment and the society
- Understand and apply different communication technology options, standards and protocols pertaining to the design of Smart Grids systems in African context
- Evaluate the different power control devices and technology options pertaining to the optimum distribution, operation and control of the system
- Use computational tools and apporoaches in the design of demand and supply forecasting solutions for imporved and cost effective mini-grid and/or smart minigrid performance
- Critically assess the different risk involved in the implementation of a smart mini-grid solution and provide appropriate mitigation measures
- Develop a business plan of a product and/or service related to an innovative solution along the mini-grid value chain in rural/urban areas on the continent taking into account market, finance and marketing aspects
Soft skills learning outcomes
- Communicate effectively with different audiences including peers, experts, non-experts about scientific based knowledge; report both orally and in writing, and discuss a topic/results in the field of smart grid
- Develop creative, original and quality ideas that can be made explicit and addressing energy access challenges in mini-grid in Africa
- Identify and formulate adequate technological solutions to address energy access problems and to assess the appropriateness of these technologies
- Work collaboratively towards common goals
- Assess different options and make reasoned decisions
- Offer critique on presentation, assignments, topics presented during discussions identifying one’s own position in regard to them
- Critically appraise a proposed solution to an identified problem
- Design strategies in an iterative manner in the development of a solution, prototype or service meeting market needs