EU STEM Coalition
The EU STEM Coalition is a Europe-wide network of national STEM* platforms. STEM platforms are organisations (usually) established by governments to increase the number of STEM graduates and reduce skills mismatch. Key characteristics of the platform approach are the close cooperation between the 'triple helix' of government, education and industry, and strongly regionalised implementation. In the long term, the EU STEM Coalition aims to bridge the skills gap by having a national STEM strategy in place in all EU member states.
The objectives of the EU STEM Coalition are: (1) to facilitate the exchange of best practices between national STEM platforms, and (2) to support member states in the development of new STEM strategies based on the triple helix approach.
Members and partners
The EU STEM Coalition consists of national STEM platforms, European partner organisations (organisations that represent a relevant group of stakeholders) and national lead partners (organisations that are mandated or in the process of establishing a national STEM platforms. The EU STEM Coalition also closely cooperates with a variety of European, national and regional partners including national and regional governments, industry and EU level institutions including the European Commission and the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT).
How does it work?
The main activities of the EU STEM Coalition through which it achieves its objectives are the ‘general meetings’ and ‘taskforce meetings’. The general meetings include all members of the EU STEM Coalition and focus on specific theme (e.g. industry-education cooperation, girls in STEM). The main outcomes of these meetings are thematic reports in which the approach and practices of each of the members is mapped. The taskforce meetings on the other hand are triggered when the EU STEM Coalition is approached by another EU member state for help with the development of their STEM strategy. Based on the outcomes of the preparatory discussions with the member state (in which the thematic reports are used to develop a strategy) a taskforce is assembled in alignment with the national objectives and preferences of the country. All meeting reports and materials are available through the publications page.
Successful examples of best practice sharing between members of the EU STEM Coalition that have lead to concrete results are the establishment of a Jet-Net programme for school-company collaboration in Denmark based on the Dutch Jet-Net programme, the establishment of an Estonian Technology Pact and the development of a Hungarian STEM platform.
Triple helix approach
The concept of the Triple Helix of academia-industry-government relationships initiated in the 1990s. Its main thesis is that the potential for innovation and economic development in a Knowledge Society lies in the effective collaboration between academia, industry and government. Experience has shown that a triple helix approach is effective when pursuing a national STEM strategy. It ensures that all stakeholders are involved and engaged and that the implementation of national STEM strategies is sustainable and fully aligned with the national and regional context and objectives.
* Science, Technology, Engineering and Math