Sharing experiences, connecting, and studying new technologies in Barcelona

At the end of January 2023, I traveled to Barcelona with two other TAMK colleagues, Jere Koivisto and Niko Petro. We had three goals for the trip: visit Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya campus (UPC) and to connect with the staff, visit Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) exhibition to connect with manufactures and meet with Finnish AudioVisual Special Interest groups members (AV-SIG) during the trip. I’m pleased to say that all our goals were met, and that the trip was very successful and fruitful.

Benchmarking is an effective strategy to improve audiovisual customer services for teachers and students. It’s also important to study what kind of new solutions are coming to the market and ISE type of exhibitions is an excellent way to do that. Networking with others in the same field of work with the same goals gives great opportunities to learn from others.

When you combine all these into one week, you’ll achieve an excellent experience and networking opportunity!

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

I arranged a meeting with Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) international coordinator to meet the staff members who are providing audiovisual services at their campuses. I also invited the AV-SIG members, who came to Barcelona for ISE exhibition to join us. There were overall nine participants from different Finnish higher education schools. We met lovely Isabel Darnell from UPC IT support and Maribel Castillo from UPC International Relations Bureau.

People stand in the sun.
Isabel Darnell (in the middle) with six AV-SIG member. Three members had to leave before the picture was taken.

We talked with Isabel about how they are arranging services for their staff and students. Maribel was also very interested to hear examples from Finnish schools and how we are providing support and services in our campuses. Isabel and her team are developing video and studio services for their staff and students. Providing these kinds of services at the UPC is a big challenge, because they have 18 campuses around Spain.

Isabel is interested in coming for a benchmarking trip to Finland. Tampere Universities community and UPC are good benchmarking and comparison targets, because Tampere Universities have multiple campuses around Tampere and Finland. Also, UPC and Tampere Universities staff and student numbers are very close to each other. UPC consists of 29,812 students and 5,597 staff members, Tampere Universities is a community of over 30,000 students and over 5,000 staff members.

I’ll arrange a benchmarking tour for Maribel in our campuses and I’ll gather other benchmarking targets for Maribel through our AV-SIG network after she has decided when she will be traveling to Finland.

We said goodbyes to Isabel and concluded our benchmarking visit by a walking tour around the campus with Maribel.

UPC main entrance.

Pictures from the campus.

Integrated Systems Europe

ISE exhibition provided an opportunity to learn about new technologies that could be used in different education institutions. We also had a change to engage in conversations with many product manufacturers about products themselves but also about product development. Conversations with product manufacturers provided an insight into the challenges facing the industry, particularly around supply chain disruptions and material shortages. This allowed to gain a deeper understanding of the issues affecting the industry and the potential impact on product development and delivery.

The exhibition showcased a wide range of audiovisual and integrated systems technologies, with many new and innovative products on display. This provided an opportunity for us to explore, try and experience new technologies and create ideas that could be applied into TAMK as well.

Machines on display.

Screen on a green wall.
Examples of new products.

Text and pictures: Erkki Brotkin, Head of AV services in Tampere University of Applied Sciences

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