Innovation in Europe through Alliances

Partnerships between academia, industry, business and youth. They benefit from Erasmus + funds and aim at successful cooperation that brings novelty and revolution in all fields of European societies

Source for the picture:
https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/european-industrial-strategy_it

Enhancing the supply of new skills and overcoming the mismatch between skills demand and supply by designing and creating new curricula for higher education and vocational education and training, supporting the development of initiative and entrepreneurial mindsets in the EU. This is the aim of the Erasmus+-funded Innovation Alliances, which aim to strengthen Europe’s innovation capacity through cooperation and knowledge flow between higher education, vocational education and training, both initial and continuing, and the wider socio-economic environment, including research.

What are they?

They are partnerships implementing a coherent and comprehensive set of sectoral or cross-sectoral activities, adaptable to future knowledge developments in the EU. To stimulate innovation, special attention is given to e-skills, which are becoming increasingly important for all job profiles in the entire labour market. But also the transition to a circular and greener economy needs to be promoted by changes in national qualifications and education and training programmes to respond to emerging demands for green skills and sustainable development in the professional field.

The objectives of the Innovation Alliances can be achieved by applying for one or both of the two lots: Alliance for Education and Business (Lot 1) and Alliance for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills (Lot 2).

Lot 1

Education and Business Alliances are transnational, structured and results-oriented projects in which partners share common objectives and work together to promote innovation, new skills, initiative and entrepreneurial mindsets. They aim to foster innovation in higher education, vocational education and training, business and the wider socio-economic environment, thus addressing social and economic challenges such as climate change, demographic change, digitisation, artificial intelligence and rapid employment changes, through social and labour market innovation and community resilience.
Education and business alliances bring together businesses and providers of higher education and vocational training in partnerships committed to working together. Operating within one or several economic sectors, they establish reliable and sustainable relationships and demonstrate their innovative and transnational character in all respects. Each partnership has to include at least one VET provider and one higher education provider but can cover both or only one field of education.
Innovation Alliances aim to achieve one or more objectives. To foster new, innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning: promoting innovation in the design and delivery of education; promoting corporate social responsibility; fostering the spirit of initiative and the entrepreneurial attitudes, mindset and competencies of learners, educators and other practitioners, by the entrepreneurial competence framework; improving the quality and relevance of competencies developed and certified through education and training systems; Facilitating the flow and joint creation of knowledge between higher education and VET, research, the public sector and the business sector; building and sustaining effective and efficient higher education and VET systems that are connected and inclusive and contribute to innovation.

The Lot 2

Sector Skills Cooperation Alliances aim to produce new strategic approaches and establish cooperation to propose concrete short and long-term skills development solutions in selected economic sectors or areas implementing the Skills Pact, which is an important action of the Skills Agenda for Europe for sustainable competitiveness, social equity and resilience. The main objective of the Pact is to mobilise and incentivise all relevant stakeholders to take concrete actions for skills development and workforce reskilling by pooling their resources and establishing partnerships, including at the EU level, to address labour market needs and support green and digital transition, as well as national, regional and local skills and growth strategies.

The alliances under Lot 2 will develop a strategy that aims to make a significant systemic and structural impact to reduce skills shortages, mismatches and mismatches between demand and supply, and to ensure adequate quality and skill levels. The sector skills strategy should comprise a clear set of activities, milestones and targets aimed at redressing the skills mismatch between demand and supply in support of an overall sector-specific growth strategy. The alliances aim to lay the foundations of the skills pact and define the pathway that should continue to be followed after the end of the project.
Referring to data on skills needs about occupational profiles, the alliances for the implementation of the plan support the design and delivery of education and training content and methodologies at the transnational level, which can be quickly adopted at the regional and local level and for new emerging occupations.

Proposals should include the design of continuing vocational training programmes to meet the urgent skills needs of people of working age. They should also include the development of emerging occupational profiles and related qualifications, which should be available at upper and post-secondary VET levels (EQF levels 3 to 5) and at tertiary levels (EQF levels 6 to 8). Proposals should also include the design of relevant curricula and core education and training programmes giving access to these qualifications.

Project partners should include vocational education and training organisations, higher education institutions and labour market operators. Ideally, political bodies, certification bodies, European trade associations and industry representatives should also be involved.

Practical information for Lot 1

Anyone can apply for an Erasmus+ grant, as long as their legal seat is in an EU Member State or an Associated Third Country. Eligible applicants are higher education institutions, VET providers, networks of VET providers, small, medium or large enterprises (including social enterprises), research organisations, non-governmental organisations, public bodies at local, regional or national level, organisations active in the field of education, training and youth, intermediaries representing organisations or companies active in the field of education, training or youth, accreditation, certification, recognition or qualification bodies, chambers of commerce, chambers of commerce, industry, labour or crafts, European or national social partners, hospitals or other care institutions, including long-term care, authorities responsible for education, training or employment, at regional or national level, employment services, national statistical offices, economic development agencies, sectoral or professional associations, sectoral skills councils, bodies providing vocational guidance, vocational counselling, information services and employment services.

Higher education institutions established in an EU Member State or a third country associated with the programme must hold a valid Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (CEIS). HEIs from third countries not associated with the programme do not have to hold a CEIS.

The only exception concerns Belarusian organisations which are not allowed to participate in this action.

At least 4 EU Member States and third countries associated with the programme must be represented in the Education and Business Alliances with the involvement of a minimum of 8 full partners. The partnership must include at least 3 labour market actors (companies or firms, or representative intermediary organisations such as chambers of commerce, trade unions or professional associations) and at least 3 education and training providers (VET and HEI) as full partners. At least one HEI and one VET provider must be involved as full partners in each proposal. The duration of the project varies between 2 and 3 years and has to be decided at the application stage, based on the project objective and the type of activities planned over time. Applications may be submitted to the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Call identifier Lot 1: ERASMUS-EDU-2022-PI-ALL-INNO-EDU-ENTERP. Applicants must submit their grant application no later than 15 September at 17:00 (Brussels local time).

Practical information for Lot 2

Concerning Lot 2, to be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant, full partners with legal seats in an EU Member State or a third country associated with the programme can apply. This organisation applies on behalf of all participating organisations involved in the project.

Eligible applicants are Higher education institutions, VET providers, networks of VET providers, small, medium or large enterprises (including social enterprises), research institutes, non-governmental organisations, public bodies at local, regional or national level, organisations active in the field of education, training or youth, intermediaries representing organisations or enterprises active in the field of education, training or youth, accreditation, certification, recognition or qualification bodies, chambers of commerce, chambers of commerce, industry, labour or crafts, European or national social partners, hospitals or other care institutions, including long-term care, authorities responsible for education, training or employment, at regional or national level, employment services, national statistical offices, economic development agencies, sectoral or professional associations, sectoral skills councils, bodies providing vocational guidance, vocational counselling, information services and employment services.

Higher education institutions established in an EU Member State or a third country associated with the programme must hold a valid Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (CEIS). HEIs from third countries not associated with the programme must not hold a CEIS. Also for Lot 2, organisations from Belarus are excluded.

Sector Skills Cooperation Alliances (Plan) must represent at least 8 EU Member States and third countries associated with the programme with the involvement of a minimum of 12 full partners. The partnership must include at least 5 labour market actors (companies or firms, or representative intermediary organisations such as chambers of commerce, trade unions or trade associations) and at least 5 education and training providers (VET and HEI) as full partners. At least one HEI and one VET provider must be involved as full partners in each proposal.

The project duration in this case is 4 years. Applications can be submitted to the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Call identifier lot 2: ERASMUS-EDU-2022-PI-ALL-INNO-BLUEPRINT.
Applicants must submit their grant application by 15 September at 17:00 (Brussels time).

Industrial Ecosystems

There are 14 industrial ecosystems identified in the new industrial strategy for Europe that represent the fields in which the Lot 2 Alliances may decide to operate.

Tourism: passenger transport and travel; hotels, short-stay facilities; restaurants and catering; events, theme parks etc.

Mobility – Transport – Automotive: manufacture of motor vehicles, ships and trains, and accessories; their repair and maintenance; freight transport etc.

Aerospace and defence: aircraft manufacturing; production of space equipment and services; defence products and technologies, etc.

Construction: Construction of residential and non-residential complexes; construction of roads and railways; construction of public utilities and civil engineering; associated activities, etc.

Agribusiness: plant and animal production; food processing; veterinary activities, etc.

Energy-intensive and low-carbon industries: extraction of fossil fuels; refining; manufacture of products with high environmental impact: plastics, chemicals, fertilisers, iron and steel, wood products, cement, rubber, non-ferrous metals, etc.

Textiles: production of textiles, clothing, footwear, leather, jewellery etc.

Creative and cultural sectors: newspapers, books and periodicals; cinema, video and television; radio, music etc.

Digital: telecommunications; software and programming; web portals; computer manufacturing, equipment etc.

Renewable energy: electric motors, engines and turbines; power generation; gas production and distribution etc.

Electronics: electronics manufacturing etc.

Retail products: retail; consumer related wholesale etc. Social and neighbourhood economy: social enterprises, associations and cooperatives aiming at generating social impact, etc.

Health: pharmaceutical equipment and products; hospitals, nursing homes, residential care etc.

The EU door is open to develop talent and innovation, all in a European, broad, inclusive thinking format. The door is open, it is up to the Alliances to create and knock.

Giulia Torbidoni – TIA

Sources:
https://erasmus-plus.ec.europa.eu/it/node/67
https://erasmus-plus.ec.europa.eu/it