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Sparking Creativity and Innovation Skills in the ICT Sector
Start date: Oct 1, 2015, End date: Sep 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

ICT is among the leading sectors in Europe making an increasingly important contribution to the economic growth and jobs creation in advanced economies. According to the UK Commission for Employment & Skills Report “ICT: Sector Skills Assessment 2012”:“Technological change is at the heart of changing skills demand in the Information and communication technologies sector. The sector itself both drives technological change and, on a wider scale, has to respond to the new innovations, products and services developed in order to deliver high quality goods and services to both business customers and consumers.” (Gends et al, 2011)”. In order to adequately respond to the dynamic changes and challenges posed by environment, ICT companies must promote human talent so as to nurture not just the best technical skills but also the creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship necessary to create and adopt to innovation and thus to grow ICT businesses and make them more competitive. To respond the new challenges, INNOSPARK project sets the overall aim to spark creativity thinking skills in ICT SMEs, so as to foster innovation and contribute to increasing the growth and competitiveness of European high-tech industries. Specific objectives: ~to provide employers and employees in European ICT SMEs with reliable tool to assess their level of creativity skills and identify areas for improvement; ~to enhance the competitiveness and the innovation capacity of ICT SMEs in the EU through practical training tailored to their needs; ~to increase the awareness of European ICT SMEs and VET community about the importance of creativity thinking as a catalyst of innovation processes through provision of state-of-the-art country analysis; ~to inspire ICT SMEs to learn from the successful experience of peer companies which have faced similar sectoral challenges but thrived on knowledge, skills, innovation and creativity. The project is aimed at two major target groups – ICT micro, small and medium sized enterprises and continuing VET providers. SMEs are the true pillar of the European economy as ICT companies represent a highly significant part of them. VET providers, on the other hand, are one of the main and logical providers of labour force training required to enhance the competitiveness of nation’s businesses and industries. The project methodology envisages sequence of activities to design, plan and implement project objectives with the active participation of all partners and stakeholders, as a result of which four intellectual outputs will be developed within the project lifetime: 1) State-of-the-art report providing an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of the ICT innovation capacity and creative performance in the partner countries; 2) Self-Diagnostic Test - an interactive self-assessment tool for ICT employees and employers to discover the creativity skills they possess especially with regard to the ICT sector identifying at the same time those that they need to develop and boost so as to foster innovation in their work. 3) INNOSPARK Toolkit: Guidebook for Developing Creative Thinking and Innovation in ICT through interactive exercises focused on brain training and improving creativity skills with the purpose of learning practical techniques to stimulate one’s imagination and innovative thinking. The Toolkit will also contain A to Z of Creativity and Innovation techniques and tools for creative thinking. 4) Compendium of Best Practices and Innovation containing good proven, effective and evidence-based examples of innovations in the ICT sector reached through creativity thinking techniques. The booklet will serve as a valuable reference tool of the INNOSPARK project for ICT managers and employees seeking to implement successful practices in their professional life. INNOSPARK products will be freely accessible through the project website available in the six consortium languages (EN, BG, IT, ES, EE, HU). In order to ensure visibility of the results and encourage wider uptake of the products a series of multiplier events will be held in each partner country: 1) Professional Development Workshops to popularize the project to relevant stakeholders and explore the functionalities and content of the developed INNOSPARK products. 2) “Sparking Innovation” – national promotional events to disseminate information on the project and its outcomes among ICT SMEs, ICT associations, VET providers in the field of ICT and other stakeholders. 3) INNOSPARK Final Conference in UK aiming to spread information to a wider audience about the project and its results, providing networking opportunities for many multiplier agents so as to establish the grounds for further exploitation of the project outputs and follow-up activities. INNOSPARK project will result in attracting new talents, training European citizens with the relevant creativity skills need in ICT sector, and as a consequence fuelling innovation, productivity and growth in the EU.
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