Impact Forecast

An important aspect we have to reflect in our proposal regards potential impact. It is important to show that there is a significant number of potential addressees who might be interested in our grounding offer to interdisciplinary research. This has to be shown at the level of our universities and beyond –particularly at the European level-. The former is used to evaluate impact during support period, the latter for assessing after support.

Impact during the support period

With respect to the impact in our universities, I have identified the following studies with a significant interdisciplinary potential (B = Bachelor Programme, M= Master Programme).


In Engineering and Natural Sciences:

  • Research in Cybernetics / M
  • Biosystems Engineering / M
  • Geomatics and Topography / B
  • Forest and Rural Engineering / B
  • Energy Engineering / B
  • Renewable Energies / M
  • Industrial Electronic and Automatics Engineering / B
  • Biotechnology / B + M
  • Environmental Sciences / B + M

In Health Sciences:

  • Food Science and Technology / B + M
  • Innovation in Biomedicine and Health Science / M
  • Geriatrics & Gerontology / M
  • Physical Activity and Sports Science / B

In Arts and Humanities:

  • Information and Documentation Sciences / B
  • Geography and Land Management / B
  • Social Education / B
  • Research in Psychology and Educational Sciences / M

Besides, the following PhD programs can be of interest as areas for potential impact in the future (that is, programs with which we could establish links for the development of research):

  • Functional Ecology
  • Environment and Process Science and Technology
  • Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
  • Intelligent Systems in Engineering
  • Advanced Product Technology
  • Biomedicine
  • Medicine, Health, Animal Production and Food Sciences
  • Physical Activities and Sport Science
  • Knowledge Management and Processing in Organisations
  • Psychology and Education Sciences
  • Rule of Law
It is worth noticing that in spite the ID potential of these areas, the research which is carried on does not show typically genuine ID characters. However, as they are grouped they offer a good terrain for our development in the future offering indeed an international dimension to the work carried on in the programmes.

In numbers this impact potentiality represents:  11 B / 37 B-offered  (30%), 8 M / 8 M-offered (36%), representing an approximate population of 4200 students.

Moreover, the educational offer besides the official titles includes significant areas of impact. Of particular relevance are the Summer Courses already started with HM in which the ODS approach started to be used and attracted over 100 attendees. Nonetheless, observing the offer of the past edition of summer courses, about its half represent ID potential. Therefore the potential impact amounts to 500 students who might be interested in ID areas. 


First of all, it has to be considered the students passing through the Faculty of General and ID Studies (FK13), who are about 5000 per half-year term –though practically all students do it several times throughout their studies. However, this attendance is chiefly conceived as general a knowledge supplement for educations which are predominantly technical. Some of the courses provided address specifically the kind of kernel learning we wish to foster, particularly the introductory courses to system theory, but there are other areas of particular interest for the areas of application, proposed in our approach, as sustainability studies, interculturality, etc.

Besides this terrain of obvious impact, the rest of the faculties offer ID potentiality in the following curricula:

At the Faculty of Civil Engineering (FK2):

  • Facility Management / M

At the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies (FK4):

  • Renewable Energies – Energy Technology / B
  • Electrical Engineering and Information Technology / B
  • Systems Engineering  / M

At the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Mechatronic (FK6):

  • Bioengineering / B
  • Biotechnology + Bioengineering / M
  • Engineering Physics / B
  • Production and Automation (intern.) / M
  • Micro- and Nano-technology / M

At the Faculty of Computing Science and Mathematics (FK7):

  • Scientific Computing / B
  • Information Systems and Management / B + M

At the Faculty Geoinformatics (FK8):

  • Geomatik / M

At the Faculty Engineering and Management (FK9):

  • Engineering and Management / B + M
  • Business Administration and Engineering (continuous education) / M

At the Faculty Business Administration (FK10):

  • Strategic Economy and Regional Development / M

At the Faculty Applied Social Sciences (FK11):

  • Management of Social Innovation / B
  • Social Work (online) / B
  • Community Development / M

At the Faculty of Design (FK12):

  • Design / B
  • Advanced Design / M

In numbers, this impact potentiality represents: 12 B / 37 B-offered (36 %); 13 / 34 M-offered (38%), corresponding to about 6,300 students.


In Natural Sciences:

  • Environmental Sciences / B
  • Physics of Complex Systems / M
In Engineering:
  • Information Technologies Engineering / B
  • Industrial Electrical Engineering and Automation / B
In Health Sciences:
  • Methodologies of Behaviour and Health Sciences / M

In Social Sciences and Humanities:

  • Social and Cultural Anthropology / B
  • Social Work / B
  • Philosophy / B
  • Theoretical and Practical Philosophy / M 
  • Communication and Education in the Networks: from the Information Society to the Knowledge Society / M
  • Innovation and research in Education / M
  • Education Management of Diversity / M
Regarding PhD programmes, the ones offers either a good ID profile of exhibit a potential with respect to the topics addressed:
  • Physics of Complex Systems
  • Physics of Energetic Processes
  • Artificial Intelligence and Information Systems
  • Industrial Technologies
  • Methodologies of Health Behaviour Sciences
  • Development, Learning and Education
  • Innovation and Research in didactics
  • Innovation and Research in educational institutions
  • Communication and Education in Digital Environments
  • ICTs in language learning and processing
  • Educational Management of Diversity
  • Analysis of Social Problems
  • Administrative Intervention in Society
Though regarding the number of curricula the degree of ID is here somehow lower than in the other universities involved –6 B / B-offered (22%), 13 M / 53 M-offered (25%), 13 D / D-offered (30%)–, the corresponding potential impact is much higher and geographically spread, since UNED counts with over 200,000 students. Therefore the potential impact amounts here over 48000 students. Moreover, being a distant education institution the general role played by ICTs makes our approach particularly suitable. 


Here we find an educational and research focus on environmental sciences, education and social issues, and ICT technologies, which is particularly appropriate for our approach. In particularly the following departments –offering both graduate and post-graduate degrees– offers a higher impact with respect to ID grounding:

  • Environment
  • Information and Communication Systems Engineering
  • Cultural technology and communication
  • Product and System Design Engineering
  • Food and Nutrition Sciences
  • Financial and Management Engineering
  • Mediterranean Studies
  • Social anthropology and History
There is besides an interesting offer of Summer Schools exhibiting a high degree of ID. For instance in the summer of 2012 the following highly ID courses were offer (7 of 12 offered):
  • Modelling and Analysis of Environmental Data using ICTs
  • Algorithmic Game Theory
  • Geoparks: natural heritage protection and management, sustainable tourism and local development
  • Landscape in a changing world
  • Mediterranean Food and Nutritive Value: current trends in food science and nutrition
  • Mediterranean security: Old conflict and new challenges
  • Cultures, migrations, borders
In general, it can be estimated that about the half of the studies reflect a significant degree of ID (blending quite distant knowledge areas), which amounts nearly 4000 students.

Impact in Europe (beyond LLP support)

As mentioned above, it is important to reflect the potential impact with respect to the EAHE. To this end the analysis done by the Danish Business Research Academy together with the Danish Forum for Business Education in 2008 (Thinking Across Disciplines – Interdisciplinarity in Research and Education) provide us sufficient guidance though it is chiefly focused on the Danish context whose studies shows a higher degree of ID than in other countries, particularly in southern Europe. Nevertheless it shows also a comparative view according to which in Europe altogether –and extrapolating the results until our days- we can state that over 20% of the research in carried out within closely related or distant fields.  Regarding education, about 20% of the new education curricula are radically ID, and another 20% is soft (between close related areas). This shows that the field of ID, to which our approach addresses as to ensure a more effective integration among the participant views, has an extremely broad area of development, which is even is increasing (as it is supported by European policies and also abroad).

Concerning the differences among the countries, the relation established within the consortium offers a fruitful path of cooperation, since the support to ID research and education in Germany and Austria has been traditionally institutionalised, whereas for instance in Spain the educational policy in force does not even mentioned “interdisciplinarity”. This provides a kind of inherent acknowledgment to ID in countries with lesser recognition and therefore empowering the terrain of high potentiality for ID, as it has been shown in the partner cases. Moreover, considering the weight of system sciences across the different European countries, the linkage provided by the partners might pull the traditional support in Austria and Germany to the other countries.