Expo 2020 Dubai: kicking off “Education for Women’s Empowerment”

Fondazione Milano per Expo and Politecnico di Milano have presented, at the amphitheatre of Padiglione Italia, an international call for applications for three research grants in the scientific field.

evento Education for Women’s Empowerment a Expo 2020

Women at the centre of the 'Education for Women's Empowerment' Forum: education, training and greater access for women's skills in scientific and technical research and the labour market.

Selecting, rewarding and promoting international candidates who are sensitive to the impact on the female dimension in disciplines such as the STEM design and architecture, is the target of "Education for Women's Empowerment"an international call for proposals presented by Milan Foundation for Expo2015 and the Politecnico di Milano in the amphitheatre of Italy Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The competition is designed to support the construction of an inclusive society, based on the values of innovation, sustainability and economic growth. An important challenge to contribute to the creation of an environment dedicated to education and training, as well as to increase the resources to ensure the women greater access of their skills to the world of technical and scientific research and to the labour market. "The key to meeting the challenge is to focus on skills. Everyone needs to invest in women's potential and to fight against all kinds of conditioning and discrimination.. Diana Braccopresident of Fondazione Milano per Expo2015.

Forum "Education for Women's Empowerment"

The event "Education for Women's Empowerment"promoted by Fondazione Milano per Expo and Politecnico di Milano with the patronage of the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai and moderated by Anna Barbara, Professor of Interior Design at the Design Department of the Milan Polytechnic, was attended by an all-female panel: Italian professionals, professors and researchers who teach at the Milan Polytechnic and at Emirates universities.

Anna Maria Lambri, Professor of Interior Design,American University Dubai, Emanuela Corti, Innovation, design and inclusion at Ajman University;

Dalia Hamati, professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Bologna.American University of Sharjah; Irene Pasina, professor in the Department of Interior Design at Ajman University.

Speakers include professor Raffia Obaid Ghubash, founder of Dubai Women Museum, president ofArabian Gulf University andArab Network for Women in Science and Technologythe network of women scientists and leaders committed to attracting more women into science.

Raffia Obaid Ghubash

Professor Raffia Obaid Ghubashafter receiving her doctorate in epidemiological psychiatry from the University of London in 1992, she returned to the United Arab Emirates to begin her academic career as an assistant professor at the School of Medicine of the U.A.E. University in Al Ain. Over the years she has played an important role in theempowerment of women in UAE society, as president of the Arab Network for Women in Science and Technology and with the foundation of the Women's Museum. Rafia Obaid Ghubash has a strong interest in the education of Arab women and in 2002 she received an award for the educational achievements of women in the Middle East.

Prof. Rafia spoke about her education and the role of women in UAE history. "Writing and reading have always been part of our society. In the 1950s in Sharjah, women would go into homes to teach girls who would conclude their studies with a graduation ceremony. It was also in those years that they began their journey into business, especially real estate. Rafia Obaid Ghubash's commitment, among others, is to disseminate and pay tribute to the women who have made the history of the U.A.E. "At the moment, I am working on the history of two women whose work has spread knowledge and educational sources". Finally, the professor highlighted the importance of the role of women for the country's identity and the added value of female expertise in science. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Academic testimonials professional and personal backgrounds of the women who attended the event will be an example for the candidates in the international call for proposals.

"Participating in a call for applications for three research grants at one of the three departments of Politecnico di Milano (Design, Architecture-Built Environment and Construction Engineering and Mechanical Engineering), one of the most prestigious (public) universities in the world, means spending a year doing research in state-of-the-art experimental laboratories, in an international environment, in one of the most beautiful countries in the world". He told the Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) Journal of Italian Healthcare World prof. Anna Barbara.

Anna Barbara

The Politecnico di Milano," he added, "is a multi-technical university, which therefore works on innovative technologies in the areas of design, architecture and engineering. The selected themes are design and neuroscience in the therapeutic space, big data and artificial intelligence for health and biomedical research, and the sustainability chain in agro-food for innovative materials. These are therefore themes of advanced experimentation on which research, innovation and development converge.

How important is greater access of female skills to the world of technical and scientific research and to the labour market?

Access to STEM subjects, but also to technological disciplines, as well as to hybrids between scientific and humanistic disciplines is a strategic issue not only for women. However, there is a prejudice to be emancipated, but it is not women who have to do this, but the labour market. When the market's prejudices with respect to women's scientific and technical skills are overcome, and women have the same career and success opportunities as men, then it will be evident that the low presence of women in the STEM world is an effect and not a cause.

"The launch of this call, right during Expo Dubai 2020, is a further leap against prejudice," he concluded Barbara - We therefore invite you to participate to the call Education for Women Empowerment and for that reason the guests are women who work, successfully, in the areas of design and education".

Regarding the relevance of women's skills to the fields of technical and scientific research and the labour market, STEM pathways for women and gender prejudices and stereotypes, spoke about this in the video message, which kicked off the 'Education for Women's Empowerment' forum, Dr. Kroes. Diana Bracco, President of Fondazione Milano per Expo, as well as President of Expo 2015 and Commissioner General of Padiglione Italia and ambassador ofFemale Empowerment B20, the voice of the global business community at the G20.

"Bringing more women back into the workforce, breaking down cultural barriers to accessing STEM education for girls, achieving gender parity in the roles that matter," she explained, "are the main goals we set within our international task force, which we have translated into a series of recommendations for G20 governments, all supported by specific data assessments."

"The participation of women in the world of science and technical professions is still strongly hampered by gender prejudices and stereotypes - she underlined - Just think that, worldwide, only 31% of women work in artificial intelligence and a mere 14% in artificial intelligence. cloud computing ". "We must aim to facilitate the access of girls to STEM disciplines - he concluded - whose skills are increasingly required in the current working context".

Milano per Expo e Politecnico di Milano foundation

Fondazione Milano Expo

As Dr Bracco recalled, the Fondazione Milano per Expo 2015 was set up "on the initiative of some enlightened entrepreneurs, and supported by Assolombarda and the Milan Chamber of Commerce. This organisation has picked up the baton of the association of the same name that we had created to support Italy's candidature for Expo 2015 through international cooperation projects". On the occasion of Expo 2020 Dubai, the Fondazione and the Politecnico di Milano have launched 'Education for Women's Empowerment', in which Fondazione Milano per Expo is providing three Temporary Research Fellowships.

The Fondazione Milano per Expo proposes to take up the challenges that a company must, today more than ever, be able to face, building an environment that is favourable to inclusion and diversity and helping with the increasingly demanding and critical issue of matching the demand for professional profiles with university training.

Politecnico di Milano

The Politecnico di Milano, the technical-scientific university that trains engineers, architects and designers, has always focused on the quality and innovation of its teaching and research, developing a fertile relationship with the economic and production sectors through a large experimental area and technology transfer. 

Research has always been a priority commitment that enables the University to achieve high international standards and to bring together the academic and business worlds. The alliance with the industrial fabric, favoured by Polytechnic Foundation of Milan and consortia in which the Politecnico participates, is once again confirmed as a winning and stimulating practice, and thanks to the long-standing collaboration with Fondazione Milano per Expo, on the occasion of Expo 2020 Dubai, the two Italian entities will turn the spotlight of the international scenario on the access of female skills to the world of technical and scientific research and the labour market.

International call for proposals "Education for Women's Empowerment".

There are three research grants in the scientific field on three themes identified by the promoters in full compliance with the Expo 2020 Dubai theme and which fall within the priority areas of the Foundation's Statute and Founding Members.

The three thematic areas

  • Big data and artificial intelligence for health and biomedical research.

In the light of the recent pandemic that has affected the whole world, it has become apparent how necessary it is to address data and information management in a systematic and methodical way. The project aims to explore a data management model for clinical and epidemiological aspects, validating its communication to the general public, and allows scientists and scholars to discuss the consequences of how science, specifically Artificial Intelligenceand, more broadly, is structured and perceived by public institutions, professionals and patients.

  • Sense/time-based design and neuroscience as a contribution to the social responsibility of therapeutic spaces. 

The grant launches an important challenge with the aim of contributing to the development of resources to provide women with a better education in certain disciplines such as design. The theme chosen is to investigate how design can contribute to social responsibility in therapeutic places. The research, on the themes of sense-time based design in therapeutic spaces, will be carried out in collaboration with the Labirint Laboratory, within the Design Department of the Politecnico di Milano.

  • Agri-food chain and sustainability of innovative products. 

The call wants to stimulate a multidisciplinary approach, which is essential in the development of projects particularly oriented towards sustainability, by proposing a real ecosystem that enhances a model able to demonstrate the overcoming of constraints arising from specific territorial conditions, or cultivation or processing, and able to impact on the food chain. The research, on the themes of circular materials derived from waste, will be carried out in collaboration with the SaperLab Laboratory, within the Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering of the Politecnico di Milano. The Laboratory deals with issues related to the digital fabrication of sustainable and bio-based materials.

How to participate?

The international announcement "Education for Women's Empowerment" is open to all applicants with a bachelor's, a doctorate or a master's degree.  

The selected candidates, chosen by the Committees, will receive a scholarship for one year of research, in Italy, at Politecnico di Milano. Applications, individual or joint, must be sent, in order not to be excluded, starting from 9 AM Italian time on 11 November 2021 and no later than 6 PM on 21 January 2022, by filling in the application form available, for each area of interest, on the Politecnico di Milano website: Department of DesignDepartment of Architecture, Construction Engineering and Built EnvironmentDepartment of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering

The winners will be announced on 8 March 2022 at Expo 2020 Dubai.