REFRESCH seeks to promote the multidirectional application of ideas, technology solutions, and educational components to and from local and global settings. As REFRESCH strengthens its engagement, it looks to encourage exchange within and between all three project sites, fostering the collaboration of students and faculty, community partners, NGOs, the private sector, local universities and vocational schools, and government institutions. Through such collaborations, REFRESCH deepens context-specific insight, drives exchange across educational and applied platforms, and explores specific solutions at the nexus of food/water/energy challenges.
In establishing project field sites, the REFRESCH team collaborated with national embassies from countries on several continents, reviewing cases of resource-constrained environments. The team focused in particular on areas where a variety of pressures – access to sufficient energy supply, nutritious food, and water – are at play. Through this process, Gabon and Kazakhstan were selected as international locations for REFRESCH’s efforts. Faculty and students are dedicated to building fruitful collaborations in the areas of technology development, education, and implementation with in-country collaborators. The team has also become increasingly aware of the need to develop innovative educational methodologies for deployment in these sites and is working to incorporate that aspect into efforts as well.
The REFRESCH team working locally is focused on researching, designing and testing a variety of innovations within the food-energy-water domain that could be piloted in multiple socio-economic and geographic settings around the world.