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Alliances for Education and Enterprises
Deadline: Sep 15, 2022  

 Entrepreneurship and SMEs
 Start Up
 Social Innovation
 Sustainable Development
 Environmental protection
 Education and Training
 Higher Education
 Climate Sciences
 Project Management
 Artificial Intelligence
 Green Deal


Alliances for Innovation aim to strengthen Europe’s innovation capacity by boosting innovation through cooperation and flow of knowledge among higher education, vocational education and training (both initial and continuous), and the broader socio-economic environment, including research.

They also aim to boost the provision of new skills and address skills mismatches by designing and creating new curricula for higher education (HE) and vocational education and training (VET), supporting the development of a sense of initiative and entrepreneurial mind-sets in the EU.


These partnerships shall implement a coherent and comprehensive set of sectoral or cross-sectoral activities, which should be adaptable to future knowledge developments across the EU.

To boost innovation, the focus will be on digital skills as they are increasingly important in all job profiles across the entire labour market. Also, the transition to a circular and greener economy needs to be underpinned by changes to qualifications and national education and training curricula to meet emerging professional needs for green skills and sustainable development.

Alliances for Education and Enterprises are transnational, structured and result-driven projects, in which partners share common goals and work together to foster innovation, new skills, a sense of initiative and entrepreneurial mind-sets.

They aim to foster innovation in higher education, vocational education and training, enterprises and the broader socioeconomic environment. This includes confronting societal and economic challenges such as climate change, changing demographics, digitalisation, artificial intelligence and rapid employment changes through social innovation and community resilience, as well as labour market innovation.

Alliances for Education and Enterprises bring together enterprises and both higher education and vocational training providers to work together in partnership. Operating within one economic sector or several different economic sectors, they create reliable and sustainable relations and demonstrate their innovative and transnational character in all aspects. While each partnership must include at least one VET and one higher education organisation, they can address either both or one of these educational fields.

They intend to achieve one or more of the following aims:

  • Fostering new, innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning: fostering innovation in education design and delivery, teaching methods, assessment techniques, learning environments and/or developing new skills;
  • Fostering corporate social responsibility (e.g. equity, inclusion, climate change, environmental protection and sustainable development);
  • Stimulating a sense of initiative and entrepreneurial attitudes, mind-sets and skills in learners, educational staff and other workers, in line with the Entrepreneurship Competence Framework (EntreComp https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC101581/lfna27939enn.pdf);
  • Improving the quality and relevance of skills developed and certified through education and training systems (including new skills and tackling skills mismatches);
  • Facilitating the flow and co-creation of knowledge between higher education and vocational education and training, research, the public sector and the business sector;
  • Building and supporting effective and efficient higher education and vocational education and training systems, which are connected and inclusive, and contribute to innovation.


In order to be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant, project proposals for Lot 1 - Alliances for Education and Enterprises must comply with the following criteria:

Who can apply?

Any full partner legally established in a Programme Country can be the applicant. This organisation applies on behalf of all participating organisations involved in the project.

What types of organisations are eligible to participate in the project?

The following organisations can be involved as full partner, affiliated entity or associated partner under Lot 1 - Alliances for Education and Enterprises. They can be public or private organisations legally established in an EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme or in any third country not associated to the Programme (see section "Eligible Countries" in Part A of the Programme Guide).

  • Higher education institutions
  • VET providers
  • Networks of VET providers
  • Small and medium-sized or large enterprises (including social enterprises)
  • Research institutes
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Public bodies at local, regional or national level
  • Organisations active in education, training and youth
  • Intermediaries that represent education, training or youth organisations or enterprises
  • Accreditation, certification, recognition or qualification bodies
  • Chambers of commerce, industry or labour, chambers of skilled 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 statistics offices
  • Economic development agencies
  • Sectoral or professional associations
  • Sector skills councils
  • Bodies providing career guidance, professional counselling, information services and employment service

Higher education institutions established in an EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme must hold a valid Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE). An ECHE is not required for participating HEIs in third countries not associated to the Programme.

Exception: organisations from Belarus (Region 2) are not eligible to participate in this action.

Number and profile of participating organisations

Alliances for Education and Enterprises must cover at least 4 EU Member States and third countries associated to the Programme, involving a minimum of 8 full partners. The partnership must include at least 3 labour market actors (enterprises or companies, or representative intermediary organisations, such as chambers, trade unions or trade associations) and at least 3
education and training providers
(VET and HEIs), as full partners. There should be at least one HE institution and one VET provider involved as full partner in each proposal.

Duration of project

2 or 3 years. The duration has to be chosen at application stage, based on the objective of the project and on the type of activities planned over time.

Where to apply?

To the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).


When to apply?

Applicants have to submit their grant application by 15 September at 17:00:00 (Brussels time).

Applicant organisations will be assessed against the relevant exclusion and selection criteria. For more information please consult Part C of the Programme Guide.


Each Alliance shall implement a coherent, comprehensive and variable set of interconnected activities to enhance innovation in higher education, vocational education and training and enterprises (including large, small and medium sized enterprises and social enterprises) and the broader socio economic environment.

At least one of the following activities (non-exhaustive list) must be included in each Alliance for Education and Enterprises:

Boosting innovation

  • Jointly developing and implementing new learning and teaching methods (like new multidisciplinary curricula, learner-centred and real problem-based teaching and learning, making greater use of micro-credentials);
  • Developing and testing continuous education programmes and activities with and within enterprises;
  • Developing and testing solutions to pressing social demands not addressed by the market and directed towards vulnerable groups in society; addressing societal challenges or relating to changes in attitudes and values, strategies and policies, organisational structures and processes, delivery systems and services;
  • Developing solutions for challenging issues, product and process innovation (through the collaboration of students, professors and practitioners).

Developing a sense of initiative and entrepreneurial mind-sets, competences and skills

  • Developing new teaching methods and learning tools that incorporate transversal skills learning and application throughout higher education and VET programmes developed in cooperation with enterprises and aimed at strengthening employability, creativity and new professional pathways;
  • Introducing wherever appropriate a sense of initiative and entrepreneurship in a given discipline, curriculum, course, etc. to provide students, researchers, staff and educators with the competences, skills and motivation to develop a sense of initiative and entrepreneurial mind-set and to be able to confront various challenges in their educational, professional and private lives;
  • Opening up new learning opportunities through the practical experiences and application of a sense of initiative and entrepreneurial competences and skills which can involve and/or lead to the launch of new services, products and prototypes, and the creation of start-ups and spin-offs;
  • Introducing more "student-centred approaches" with students tailor-making their own educational pathways.

Stimulating the flow and exchange of knowledge between higher education, VET, enterprises and research

  • Building inclusive and connected HE, VET systems and enterprises through mutual trust, cross-border recognition and certification, flexible pathways between VET and HE and fostering the mobility for learners and workers;
  • Apprenticeships and study field related activities in enterprises, which are fully embedded in the curriculum, recognised and credited; set-ups to trial and test innovative measures; exchanges of students, researchers, teaching staff and enterprise staff for a limited period; providing incentives for involvement of enterprise staff into teaching and research; analysis of research data.

Identifying resilience-related, market needs and emerging professions

  • Identifying market needs and emerging professions (demand side), enhancing the responsiveness of systems at all levels to labour market needs (supply side); adapting HE and VET provision to skills needs by designing and delivering transnational sector-wide curricula integrating work-based learning;
  • Identifying those skills that are needed in the public domain to solve societal challenges (e.g. climate change, health) and encourage resilience at societal and community level, including via the cooperation of HEIs and VET providers with national, regional and local authorities as well as the private sector to contribute to designing and implementing Smart Specialisation Strategies in regions;
  • Providing support to overcome the skills mismatch both for resilience and market needs.

Alliances for Innovation are required to apply EU wide instruments and tools, such as the EQF, ESCO, Europass, EQAVET and ESG, whenever relevant.

To try and test new curricula or new training and learning methods, Alliances for Innovation may organise learning mobility activities of students, teachers, researchers and staff in so far as they support/complement the main activities of the partnerships and bring added value in the implementation of the project's objectives.


Alliances for Innovation will be anchored in strategic and sustainable cooperation among vocational education and training, higher education and enterprises working together to boost the innovation capacity of Europe. They will considerably strengthen the synergies between both educational fields in fostering innovation, new skills, a sense of initiative and entrepreneurial mind-sets. These Alliances among HE, VET and the enterprises are expected to contribute to the development of regional eco-systems and directly provide a valuable input to the economy, integrating workbased learning. While universities have research knowledge and data that allows them to directly provide input to small and medium sized enterprises to boost local economies, VET providers supply skills needed by enterprises and they are able to foster growth in the local economy.

At a larger scale, Alliances for Innovation are expected to target societal and economic challenges, both in education and employment, and take into account key areas such as innovation challenges, skills provision, climate change, green economy, demography, digitalisation and artificial intelligence. Benefits can also be drawn from cooperation with large enterprises. The Alliances for Innovation will focus on the need of citizens and accelerate the modernization of HE and VET.

The Pact for Skills will not only establish a framework for the implementation of the other actions of the updated Skills Agenda, but also for the dissemination and exploitation of the project results of the Alliances for Innovation. In particular the results of the Blueprint Alliances for sectoral cooperation on skills will be used as a basis for the Pact for Skills sectoral large-scale partnerships.

In addition, the Alliances will help to implement the EU Communication on the Renewed Agenda for Higher Education (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A52017DC0247) and contribute to the creation of a European Education Area (https://ec.europa.eu/education/education-in-the-eu/european-education-area_en). They will also contribute to implement the EU Industrial and SMEs strategies (2021).

The Alliances for Innovation will also take into account the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/) and the Paris Declaration on Climate Change (https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement) as overarching parameters of the action, thus helping the European Commission to implement its new Green Deal (https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/european-green-deal-communication_en.pdf) and the Europe Recovery Plan (https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/recovery-plan-europe_en). The Alliances will also contribute ideas to the New European Bauhaus initiative (https://europa.eu/new-european-bauhaus/index_en) which aims to design new sustainable ways of living to meet the objectives of the Green Deal.

Alliances for Innovation are meant to have a short and long term impact on the wider range of stakeholders involved, at individual, organisational and systemic level. This impact is expected to go beyond the project's lifetime and beyond the organisations involved in the partnerships. It is expected that partnership and activities persist. For that, results/deliverables might not be stand-alone but be linked to/integrated into existing undertakings, schemes, projects, platforms, ventures etc.


Relevance of the project

(maximum score 25 points)

  • Link to EU policy and initiatives: the proposal takes into account and contributes to achieving the European objectives in the fields of VET and higher education; the proposal takes into account and contributes to giving visibility to existing EU tools and initiatives for skills development;
  • Purpose: the proposal is relevant to the objectives and activities of the Action;
  • Consistency: the objectives are based on a sound needs analysis; they are clearly defined, realistic and address issues relevant to the participating organisations and to the Action;
  • Innovation: the proposal considers state-of-the-art methods and techniques, and leads to project-specific innovative results and solutions;
  • European added value: the proposal demonstrates clearly the added value generated through its trans-nationality and potential transferability;
  • Education & training representation: the Alliance includes partners that adequately represent education & training providers;
  • Digital skills: extent to which the proposal integrates digital skills in the training content for one, or several related occupational profiles;
  • Green skills: the proposal integrates skills linked to the transition to a circular and greener economy in the training content for one, or several related occupational profiles;
  • Resilience skills: extent to which the proposal integrates skills linked to the capacity to adapt, manage change, and care for each other as a community.

Quality of the project design and implementation

(maximum score 30 points)

  • Coherence: the overall project design ensures consistency between project objectives, methodology, activities and budget proposed. The proposal presents a coherent and comprehensive set of appropriate activities to meet the identified needs and lead to the expected results;
  • Structure: the work programme is clear and intelligible, and covers all phases (preparation, implementation, exploitation, monitoring, evaluation and dissemination);
  • Methodology: the proposal makes use of EU instruments and tools related to skills and occupations whenever relevant, such as EQF, ESCO, Europass, EQAVET, ESG;
  • Management: solid management arrangements are foreseen. Timelines, organisation, tasks and responsibilities are well defined and realistic. The proposal allocates appropriate resource to each activity;
  • Work plan: quality and effectiveness of the work plan, including the extent to which the resources assigned to work packages are in line with their objectives and deliverables;
  • Quality of arrangements for the recognition and validation of qualifications: in line with European transparency and recognition tools and principles, including for micro-credentials;
  • Budget: the budget provides for appropriate resources necessary for success, it is neither overestimated nor underestimated;
  • Financial and quality control: control measures (continuous quality evaluation, peer reviews, benchmarking activities, etc.) and quality indicators ensure that the project implementation is of high quality and cost-efficient. Challenges/risks of the project are clearly identified and mitigating actions properly addressed. Expert review processes are planned as an integral part of the project. The Alliance work programme includes an independent external quality assessment at mid-term and at the end of the project.

Quality of the partnership and the cooperation arrangements

(maximum score 25 points)

  • Configuration: the composition of the partnership is in line with the action and project objectives; it brings together an appropriate mix of relevant organisations, including vocational education and training, higher education and enterprises with the necessary profiles, skills, experience, expertise and management support required for the successful implementation of the project; the Alliance includes partners that adequately represent the sector or cross-sectoral approach concerned;
  • Commitment: the contributions from partners are significant, pertinent and complementary; the distribution of responsibilities and tasks is clear, appropriate, and demonstrates the commitment and active contribution of all participating organisations in relation to their specific expertise and capacity;
  • Tasks: the coordinator shows high quality management and coordination of transnational networks and leadership in complex environment. Individual tasks are allocated on the basis of the specific know-how of each partner;
  • Collaboration/Team spirit: an effective mechanism is proposed to ensure an efficient coordination, conflict resolution, decision-making and communication between the participating organisations, participants and any other relevant stakeholder;
  • Reward: the Alliance provides clear added value and benefits to each partner organisation;
  • Involvement of third countries not associated to the Programme: if applicable, the involvement of participating organisations from third countries not associated to the Programme brings an essential added value to the Alliance.


(maximum score 20 points)

  • Exploitation: the proposal demonstrates how the outcomes of the Alliance will be used by the partners and other stakeholders. It provides means to measure exploitation within the project lifetime and after;
  • Dissemination: the proposal provides a clear plan for the dissemination of results, and includes appropriate activities and their timing, tools and channels to ensure that the results and benefits will be spread effectively to the stakeholders and non-participating audience within and after the project’s lifetime;
  • Impact: the proposal shows societal and economic relevance and outreach. It ensures an impact at local, national and European level on the target groups and relevant stakeholders with a significant role in the sector concerned including in education and training. It includes measures as well as targets and indicators to monitor progress and assess the expected impact (short-and long-term);
  • Open access: If relevant, the proposal describes how the materials, documents and media produced will be made freely available and promoted through open licences and does not contain disproportionate limitations;
  • Sustainability: the proposal explains how the action plan for the roll-out at national and regional levels will be developed. The proposal includes appropriate measures and the identification of financial resources (European, national and private) to ensure that the results and benefits achieved will be sustained beyond the project lifetime.

To be considered for funding, proposals must score at least 70 points taking into account the necessary minimum pass score for each of the four award criteria: minimum 13 points for the “relevance of the project” category; 16 points for “quality of the project design and implementation”, 13 points for “quality of the partnership and the cooperation arrangements” and 11 points for “impact”.

The ex aequo proposals within the same topic will be prioritised according to the scores they have been awarded for the award criterion “relevance” and then “impact”.


This action follows a lump sum funding model. The amount of the single lump sum contribution will be determined for each grant based on the estimated budget of the action proposed by the applicant. The granting authority will fix the lump sum of each grant based on the proposal, evaluation result, funding rates and the maximum grant amount set in the call.

The maximum EU grant per project is as follows:

  • 1 million euros (2 years project)
  • 1,5 million euros (3 years project)

How is the project lump sum determined?

Applicants must fill in a detailed budget table according to the application form, taking into account the following points:

a) The budget should be detailed as necessary by beneficiary/-ies and organized in coherent work packages (for example divided into ‘project management’, ‘training’, ‘organization of events’, ‘mobility preparation and implementation’, ‘communication and dissemination’, ‘quality assurance’, etc.);
b) The proposal must describe the activities covered by each work package;
c) Applicants must provide in their proposal a breakdown of the estimated costs showing the share per work package (and, within each work package, the share assigned to each beneficiary and affiliated entity);
d) Costs described can cover staff costs, travel and subsistence costs, equipment costs and subcontracting as well as other costs (such us dissemination of information, publishing or translation).

Proposals will be evaluated according to the standard evaluation procedures with the help of internal and/or external experts. The experts will assess the quality of the proposals against the requirements defined in the call and the expected impact, quality and efficiency of the action. The lump sum value will be limited to a maximum of 80% of the estimated budget determined after evaluation.

Following the proposal evaluation, the authorising officer will establish the amount of the lump sum, taking into account the findings of the assessment carried out.

The grant parameters (maximum grant amount, funding rate, total eligible costs, etc.) will be fixed in the Grant Agreement.

The project achievements will be evaluated on the outcomes completed. The funding scheme would allow putting focus on the outputs rather than the inputs, thereby placing emphasis on the quality and level of achievement of measurable objectives.

More details are described in the model Grant Agreement available in the Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal (FTOP).

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