Founded in 2012 at the Technical University of Madrid, itdUPM is an outstanding reference on how a vibrant community of internal and external professionals can be articulated towards a joint endeavor: that of contributing to advancing towards a developed sustainable society.

Based on the application of a multi-actor transdisciplinary approach, the community shows an innovative character and manages successful sustainability initiatives in the context of a traditional university organized along disciplinary lines.

Now, itdUPM is consolidated as a collaborative network of lecturers, researchers, students and non-academic professionals.

The common interest of this network is to promote action research and education for sustainable development, with a strong focus on the social dimension of sustainability.itdUPM is composed of 217 voluntary affiliates, including UPM faculty members, researchers, staff and students, as well as external professionals and entities.

itdUPM research, training and advocacy activities are designed and implemented through co-creation and co-production methodologies. This is fostering a more open and collaborative culture among researchers.

As a result, itdUPM is able to offer an unique combination of capabilities and experience, that has been crucial for the design of innovative initiatives having been funded by international donors.

itdUPM sustainability goals are aligned along four axis: a) campus as a multi-stakeholder collaboration space; b) solutions to sustainability problems; c) sense making and behavioral changes in society towards sustainability; d) engagement of UPM community in sustainability endeavors.

The main incentive for people to participate in the center is the ecosystem created to work on sustainability through real experiences in a collaborative environment.

We are…

Voluntary affiliatesCooperation and Research GroupsTechnical Schools involvedStudents in Master

An open demonstration space devoted to spreading technologies and innovations for sustainability

The itdUPM space is suitable for attracting our vibrant community of voluntary UPM persons and external professionals and entities, which develops an interuniversity master program, multidisciplinary technological research projects and transdisciplinary sustainability projects.

The building not only serves as the headquarters of the itdUPM but also as an open demonstration space devoted to spreading technologies and innovations for sustainability.

Concepts and prototypes for urban agriculture, decentralised energy systems and the circular economy, among others, are being tested there. In parallel, scientific and dissemination activities take place inside the building.

This ecosystem eases multi-actor relationships and the interchange of experiences with the large number of social innovation spaces promoting citizen’s involvement that are currently emerging in Spain and elsewhere.

itdUPM is now being planned to be enlarged by the creation of a multi-actor “living lab” consortium, including private firms, the Madrid Council and a number of UPM research laboratories, implying thus an extension of its physical space and sustainability influence.

Activities in itdUPM building last year…

Students participating in the workshopsWorkshops, meetings or exchange sessionsFaculty members and researchers involveditdUPM collaborates with external private and public entities with a transdisciplinary approach, articulating the knowledge and capacities of diverse actors, including local and international actors, in order to solution sustainability societal problems.

The partnership “Alianza Shire“, established in 2014, is an example of successful collaboration of different stakeholders who work together in a difficult context of refugee camps.

Alianza Shire is composed of three leading companies in the renewable energy and lighting sector -Iberdrola, Philips and Fundación Acciona Microenergía-, the Technical University of Madrid and the official Spanish Aid, in collaboration with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Norwegian Refugee Council as implementing partner.

The partnershipp has developed a pilot solution that combines technological and managerial innovations to solve the energy challenge in three refugee camps in the North of Ethiopia. The solutions developed by this pilot is serving as a model for replication and scale-up in other refugee locations.

Playing a driving integrative role, itdUPM has applied his transdisciplinary model to build a successful partnership with companies, international organisations and NGOs.

Beyond the traditional “extractive perspective” (institutions should support a university that works for sustainability), itdUPM has developed a mutual reciprocity perspective: Universities and other institutions need each other in order to address problems that affect all of them.

Alianza Shire’s achivements by 2017…

of street lighting networkrefugees trained as electricity tecnicianslighting pointspublic services (communal kitchens, schools, health centres…) connected to the grid