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Innovation in the Cloud bridging Universities and Businesses
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Cloud computing is now defining the future in ICT, facilitating new corporate and entrepreneurship models at all levels. It is a breakthrough paradigm that, applied to companies, public administrations and Universities, can enhance their innovation, cost-effectiveness and competitiveness. The European Commission has evidenced the great value that cloud computing technologies can have for the development of the European Union both in terms of economical growth and employability opportunities, and therefore has recently set-up the European Cloud Computing Strategy in order to speed up and increase the use of cloud computing across all economic sectors. The IN-CLOUD proposal intends to operate pursuing the objectives of the European Cloud Computing Strategy, with the general objective of: - fostering a partnership between Higher Education and the corporate sector, in order to qualify new professionals able to boost the competitiveness and growth of European Companies and Universities, thanks to the advantages offered by the cloud computing technology. This objective is reached by pursuing the specific objectives of: - raising awareness among European Companies, Public Administrations and Universities regarding how cloud computing can boost economical growth and innovation - creating VET qualifications for professionals inside European Companies and Public Administrations, training them to introduce and manage cloud computing technologies and services inside their systems In order to realize these objectives, the IN-CLOUD partnership has been set-up. It involves 8 partners coming from 6 different countries (Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom). The partners are 3 HEIs, 1 SME, 1 Local Development Agency, 1 Technological Park, 1 Business Advisory/Incubator and 1 expert of VET qualifications. The partnership ensures a very good geographical coverage and puts together complementary competences. The project will be developed in 24 months. At first, after assessing the cloud computing actual uses and business potential, a training needs analysis will state the existing and ideal skills to be acquired, defining the tailor-made learning process. The main project outputs are a set of VET qualifications in the area of cloud computing, designed according to the European Lifelong Learning instruments (EQF, ECVET and EQAVET), in order to allow the IN-CLOUD users to acquire certifications that can be spent in the labour market. The qualifications will be at different levels (from EQF4 to EQF7) and will be awarded by the consortium after the successful attendance of training courses, what will be produced during the project. The target groups (company employees, public administration employees, researchers, students) will be able to access the training courses at distance by means of the project web-platform and also on the satellite tv. In addition to the training courses, the partners will record showcases and video interviews to experts in the sector of cloud computing, to be produced as short video and made available on the project web-site. The aim is to enrich the available didactic material with evidences of real application of the cloud computing technology. Finally, a virtual bootcamp will be set-up in order to concretely support companies and public administration interested to introduce different kinds of cloud computing in their systems. The virtual bootcamp will be an online application that, identifying the user’s characteristics and needs, will propose a customized guided path, including training activities, learning materials, showcases, hints for potential applications, supporting the customer to identify the specific needed applications/services and the procedures to introduce them in its infrastructure. The project will be realized thanks to an accurate planning of the activities, an accurate management and quality assurance and an high commitment of all the partners. The project foresees 4 transnational management meetings and at least 11 virtual meetings. The project will directly impact on the European companies and public administrations, in terms of staff members trained and qualified to use cloud computing technologies and services, of the European Universities, in terms of enhancement of the didactic offer on cloud computing in order to better meet the requests of the labour market, of the students and professionals, in terms of better employability chances. The IN-CLOUD qualifications, designed using the ECVET instrument, will allow the transnational recognition of the acquired competences and will enhance the employability of the qualified users at European level. The project long terms benefit will be to speed up and increase the use of cloud computing across all economic sectors, according to the European Cloud Computing Strategy, and to foster a close partnership between Universities and companies on the cloud computing.

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