Fundación Universitaria Tecnológico Comfenalco
(FUTCO) is a higher educational institution founded in 1984, whose mission is training integral people with a researcher, innovative and entrepreneurial culture. The university aims to positively impact the social environment based on the development of applied research and development projects.
FUTCO currently has a student population of 12.000 students organized on three faculties, 23 pregraduate programmes and 10 graduate programmes.
The foundation main purpose is to contribute to the transformation of the city (Cartagena de Indias), region (Bolivar department) and country (Colombia). FUTCO has a social vocation and support for vulnerable populations, providing solutions in different areas as the access to high quality education, high quality health and several and diverse social welfare programs.
The SMARTlab and the associated Inclusive Design Research Centre of Ireland at UCD share has three distinct threads of activity:
1. A practice-based PhD programme, MA programme and research centre for designers, engineers, artists and technologists working across disciplnes, who have long encountered difficulties in placing their work in relation to the academy: in finding appropriate ways to ‘measure’ inclusive design practice in ‘research exercises’; in identifying appropriately flexible and experimental forms for impactful research processes and outcomes; and in achieving meaningful action research with diverse communities around the world.
2. A suite of community engagement and creative industries projects around e-inclusion and design for ability, augmented cognition, VR, AR and virtual worlds/mixed reality, accessibility, IoT, 3d Printing, assistive technology, IT for women and girls, and educational inclusivity, amongst other topics.
3. A knowledge transfer centre and sensory studio and makerspace/VR lab that operate as a set of spaces where local communities can join forces with UCD academics, artists, technologists and game designers to make and test games and interactive tools.