The Umicore Technical & Digital Academy
At Umicore, we are known for our wide range of internal expertise and know-how, with leading international scientific and engineering talents dedicated to developing the next generation of sustainable products and process technologies. We believe that continuous learning, sharing and collaboration among our talents are important drivers of our innovation and thus key contributors to our competitive edge. The Umicore Technical & Digital Academy (UTDA) offers a platform that makes this possible, providing blended technical learnings to all our colleagues worldwide.
The UTDA aims to complement our colleagues’ learning journeys on topics related to R&D, engineering, operational excellence and digitalization. With its formal and informal learning opportunities ranging from classroom training courses to webinars and lunch-and-learn events, it has also triggered the creation of various networks and learning communities. It has become necessary to master a set of core digitalization capabilities to ensure business success at Umicore. So the academy, historically known as the Umicore Technical Academy, evolved in 2021 to add digitalization to its portfolio.
Today, we have broadened the scope of our formal learning activities for both our R&D and digitalization communities. For example, the Umicore Master Course now focuses on all newly onboarded R&D colleagues, providing a clear understanding of our innovation context and activities, including our technology challenges & opportunities. Our yearly R&D Colloquium brings together our innovation and technology community to share technological ambitions and ideas and to inspire cross-pollination. In 2021, the R&D Colloquium was successfully organized in a hybrid format, where colleagues from Europe and Asia could join in one single event despite travel restrictions. Data architecture & data management, data science & data analytics are among the skills we are currently building to enhance digitalization. As regards informal learning, we have several learning communities, including the Data Analytics community. IT professionals, data scientists and engineers, together with colleagues whose work involves designing experiment methods, gather on a monthly basis to share their best practices. UTDA communities provide an open, bottom-up space where all our employees can learn and share.
Despite COVID-19, we were able to successfully continue knowledge sharing and networking amongst our colleagues, engaging more than 900 people in 2021 through online events. Looking forward, we want to further enrich our learning culture by organizing more online, in-person and hybrid informal learning activities worldwide. In 2022, we are also offering additional formal learning activities to enable the adoption of advanced methods and tools for innovation, technology and digitalization. We are aiming to go beyond borders, motivating our colleagues to share ideas and see further than their immediate environment, reaching out beyond their own teams and building bridges with other departments, other business units and other regions, thereby increasing our competitiveness to the benefit of our business and ESG goals.