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Internship at Fraunhofer Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation (IAO)

Brenda Lorena Vaccari Paz - a student of Global Change Ecology M. Sc. program at University of Bayreuth, conducted her two-month internship at the Fraunhofer Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation (IAO).

This program is funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, which is comprised of 28 partners from 10 cities across Europe and beyond. The UNaLab partner cities are committed to addressing the challenges that the cities around the world are facing today. The program focuses on climate and water related issues, within an innovative and citizen-driven paradigm. The UNaLab project aims to develop smarter, more inclusive, more resilient and increasingly sustainable societies through innovative nature-based solutions (NBS). The project is currently working with 3 front-runner cities: Tampere, Eindhoven and Genova; 5 follower cities: Stavanger, Prague, Castellon, Cannes, Basaksehir; and observer cities: Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Guangzhou and the Brazilian network of Smart Cities.

Tasks and products
Brenda Lorena Vaccari Paz worked in the Centre for Mobility & Urban Systems Engineering. While there, she worked in NBS and was involved in the following activities:
1. City Guide of Castellon (Spain): Castellon is one of the follower cities where NBS will be developed. She prepared a 35 pages long document which includes: a city profile/overview, all the municipal management instruments related to climate change, environment and sustainability, an analysis of the action fields and an annex that includes the results of the workshops developed in the city.
2. Development of indicators: This entailed a process of scientific research to identify suitable indicators to assess the NBS in the different cities. A written document was drafted that included the supportive information for the indicators' selection, the methodology for each of them, and an excel sheet for the formulae and calculations that cities will fulfil.
3. Identification of financial mechanisms to fund NBS: This included the elaboration of a matrix with different categories of financial mechanisms and the suitability of each one for different applications, considering both successful and failed cases. She elaborated a questionnaire regarding different financial mechanisms. The goal of this document was to get to know the current situation of the financial areas within the municipalities.
Finally, since Brenda entered during the planning and development phase of the project, she also participated in workshops to evaluate and improve the project.

Personal experiences - recommendations, advice
Brenda had a very good experience at Fraunhofer. The working language was English which was beneficial for a foreigner like herself. She enjoyed the environment: a big team comprised of young, dynamic and vibrant people from different countries. However, the administrative processes did take longer than she expected. That aside, it was still a very positive experience, and she would have preferred to stay longer than two months.

Text: Brenda Lorena Vaccari Paz

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