Archive of European Projects

Innovating Education of Talents in Chemistry for Business Success in SMEs' Innovations
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 30 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In 2009, the European Union identified Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) for their potential impact in strengthening Europe’s industrial and innovation capacity [COM(2009)512 final]. In particular, KETs were recognized, as playing increasingly vital role in developing the required industrial and technological base indispensable for the delivery of smart, sustainable and inclusive European Growth [SEC(2010)1276 final, COM(2010)614 final]. In order to exploit KETs technological fields and their industrial dimension, new skills and competencies will be necessary. Particularly, the future of innovations calls the students to acquire understanding of different scientific and technical skills, as well as business and personal skills that will allow them to easily adapt to new tasks, job functions or even different scientific areas and will lead to efficient interdisciplinary work. Involving employers in the design and delivery of the university programmes, supporting staff exchanges and including practical experience in courses can help attune curricula to current and emerging labour market needs and foster employability and entrepreneurship [SEC(2011)1063 final]. This was particularly highlighted in the Cefic study on “Critical Needs for Innovation in the Chemical Industry”. Cefic, national associations, companies and universities in Slovakia, Greece and the Czech Republic decided to build up partnership that will be particularly focused on entrepreneurial skills and knowledge of current and future trends in product innovations in the sectors using chemistry in manufacturing their products. The proposed project brings together higher education institutions (HEIs) and employers to work together on meeting the current needs through tailored, concrete actions. The overall objective of the projects is to build up Strategic Partnership between the European chemical sector and HEIs to facilitate effective collaboration in building up entrepreneurial competencies with focus on the future innovations in the sectors using chemistry for manufacturing their products, especially SMEs calling on HEIs to develop specific set of competencies in future innovators working in their companies. This is particularly essential for SMEs operating in the EU border regions to use emerging investment opportunities in KETs to support regional development and competitiveness of the local industries populated by SMEs. The projects seek to exploit know-how available in chemical industry to enhance these competencies in future generations of scientists and engineers through the effective engagement of industry and higher education institutions (HEIs). The project will lead to: • Analysis of status quo in the target countries with respect of needs in innovation-related entrepreneurial competencies and analysis of obstacles in addressing these needs effectively; • Formulating roadmaps for implementing know-how and recommendations in this area developed by Cefic and partner organizations aimed at enhancing the tertiary education to include innovation related entrepreneurial competences (skills and knowledge); • Endorsement of the roadmaps by relevant authorities and organizations, including HEIs and industry with specific time frame and action plan for implementation; • Dissemination of the project results using the network of associations and companies managed by the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic). The project seeks to develop a framework that will: • Facilitate constructive dialogue and sharing knowledge and know-how between HEIs and employers on set of competencies needed for companies, particularly foe SMEs, and current trends in product innovations to enhance academic teaching; • Facilitate constructive dialogue and exchange of ideas between stakeholders on the best way to enhance academic teaching; • Engage with key stakeholders in European industry and academia – in particular: - HEIs that are actively using or developing leading edge innovative teaching methods, - National Associations affiliating chemical companies, including SMEs and having strong links to downstream users belonging to different sectors and using chemistry or chemical products in manufacturing consumer good and products for professional use. The project will support, in particular, the implementation of European policy in education and training as set out in the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), adopted in May 2009 by: • Improving the quality and effectiveness of tertiary education by enabling all learners – young chemical engineers – to acquire critical skills and competences needed for their employability in the European advanced chemical manufacturing; • Enhancing creativity and innovation of tertiary education by promoting partnerships of HEIs and employers.
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