Centres of Expertise

Description: 

To meet changing job requirements, government and private sector in the Netherlands have joined forces to accelerate change and invest in conversion of the workforce through the Centres of Expertise (higher education) and Centres of Innovative Craftsmanship (vocational education). The Centres are powerful action-oriented partnerships between educational institutions, companies, goverments and other public organisations. The network of Centres started in 2011 with a few pilots, and has expanded to over 150 fully operational public-private partnerships (Centres) in 2016. The main objectives of the Centres are:

 

  • Creating an excellent link between edcation and the labour market
  • Educating innovative and skilled professionals, craftsman or craftswoman
  • Promoting 'life-long learning and timely retraining
  • Accelerating and enhancing the innovation capacity of companies
     

Each Centre focuses on a specific sector (High Tech Systems & Materials, Horticulture, Life Sciences & Health, Agri & Food, Water, Energy, Chemicals, Logistics, Creative industry, ICT, Construction or Culture, Living & Welfare). On average, each centre involves 35 companies from the sector that take part in research and development projects, providing imput in the curriculum, join innovation teams and provide guest lectures. More information about the centres and methodology can be found in the English brochure.  

Country: 
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Organisation: 
PBT
Impact: 

In 2016, an independent expert committee evaluated the impact of the Centre-approach. In their report they concluded that the concept is effective and efficient. The committee concluded that the Centre-concept is effective, and has a positive impact on companies, schools and the innovation system. The full audit report (Dutch only) can be found here.

Reach: 

In 2016, over 4500 companies, 83 Universities of Applied Sciences and senior secondary vocational education institutes were involved in the centres, reaching over 50.000 students and 4000 teachers. 

Budget and funding model: 

The Centres are co-funded by government and industry. With an average co-investment of businesses and organisations of more thant 65%, the total programme size in 2016 was EUR 125 million. Government investment in the programme in 2016 was EUR 45.5 million. More information about the budget, funding model and future plans can be found on the programme website.  

Zorgpact (Health Pact)

Description: 

The healthcare sector is rapidly changing. To ensure the best possible care for everyone, healthcare professionals should adapt to these changes continuously. Zorgpact (Health Pact) is an initiative of the Dutch government that aims to support and strenghten ‘bottom-up’ cooperation in the healthcare field via regional ‘healthcare pacts’. These pacts are action agenda’s for cooperation created by networks of healthcare providers, education institutions and local government.

 

Building on the successful Techniekpact (Technology Pact) approach, Zorgpact facilitates regional cooperation, monitors regional developments, highlights relevant themes, and boosts best practice sharing between regions. On the national level, Zorgpact supports the regions by mapping legislative barriers, thematic research (e.g. impact of technological developments) and by connecting the initiatives to relevant instruments (e.g. the Dutch regional investment fund for Vocational Education and Training) for the development of new innovative approaches and solutions.

Country: 
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Organisation: 
PBT
Impact: 

Since its launch, 67 best practices have been identified and unified in a leaders group (Kopgroep). Zorgpact has also mapped (and where possible) removed 40 barriers for cooperation, and supported seven successful project proposals from the healthcare sector, in the Regional Investment Fund for Vocational Education and Training.

Reach: 

Zorgpact was launched in 2015. There are currently 16 Zorgpact-regions.

Budget and funding model: 

The Dutch government commissioned the Dutch national STEM platform to implement Zorgpact. Following the successful Technology Pact approach, Zorgpact does not subsidise any initiatives directly, but leverages and coordinates existing funding instruments to increase their impact on the regional level.

MakersTown

Description: 

The MakersTown is a fair held to showcase makers across Europe. Makers are a new wave of entrepreneurs and Do-It-Yourself experts empowered by Web 3.0 tools, technology and crowdfunding. From 3D printing to robotics, from wearable technology to new ICT, from food to fashion, they are today’s Robert Bosch, Enzo Ferrari or Arthur Guinness.

 

MakersTown takes place yearly in Brussels, Belgium and is organised by ThinkYoung in collaboration with the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies and various partners from industry, including Google, Intel, ABInBev and Coca Cola. The event is supported by the European Commission and Startup Europe.

 

Makerstown is the first event of its kind in Brussels bringing together Makers, business leaders and European policy-makers to showcase, share and succeed!

Europe’s manufacturing tradition is getting an update, come to #Makerstown to experience it first-hand!

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Education level: 
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Organisation: 
ThinkYoung
Focus: 
Impact: 

The MakersTown brings together school aged children, representatives from education, policy makers, corporates, start-ups and members from civil society and the general public. The event is a melting pot of people who are interested in witnessing “The Town of the Future”.

Reach: 

The MakersTown event has welcomed 1500+ visitors, 100+ top European Makers, 3 European Commissioners, 5 Members of the European Parliament and multiple speakers from the corporate arena. 500 of the visitors to the event were children from primary and secondary school, where the MakersTown provided sessions for the kids on 3D printing, Coding and 21st century skills.

Budget and funding model: 

MakersTown is a collaboration between ThinkYoung, the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, the European Commission and various industry partners. 

Coding Summer School

Description: 

Coding Summer School is an intensive week-long event that immerses primary- and secondary age students in the world of coding and app development. The hands-on programme is taught by industry professionals and organised by ThinkYoung in cooperation with Boeing. By giving students a week-long immersive experience that culminates in students creating their own app, the programme aims to enthuse students for STEM subjects and kick-start their education in this field.

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Organisation: 
ThinkYoung
Impact: 

While the current education systems usually leave little room for experimentation, innovative approaches in non-formal education settings can provide useful evidence about what works and what doesn’t. In this sense showcasing good practice examples from non-formal education initiatives provides policy makers with unique insights that can inform policy design and implementation. This impact can be felt in the interest from the Estonian Presidency to join the 2017 Coding school along with education ministers from the 28 member states in order to share best practises in innovative ways of educating. This involvement will serve as a base for the European Council’s upcoming discussions on the future of Education in the European sphere. Initiatives such as the Boeing & ThinkYoung Coding Summer School can be invaluable to policy makers as an instrument to steer the debate.

Reach: 

The goal of this initiative is to foster the interest of STEM skills and kick-start education in this field for young people, with a specific focus on the gender gap in STEM. In the 2 editions run of the Coding Summer School roughly 200 kids between the ages of 11 and 17 have been trained. With 70% of females targeted and reached.

Budget and funding model: 

Coding Summer School is an initiative of Boeing.

StarT Finland

Description: 

StarT is the flagship programme of the LUMA Centre Finland (Finnish STEM platform). Launched in 2016, the programme's main objective is to bring science, mathematics and technology closer to children and youngsters through interdisciplinary, project-based collaborative learning. The programme is implemented by LUMA Centre Finland (network between 13 regional STEM education centre within Finnish universities) through 'learning communities', supported by collaboration partners including the Finnish National Agency for Education and companies in the field of science and technology like IBM.

 

The StarT programme is implemented on three levels:|
 

  1. Local level: kindergartens, primary schools, high schools, and extracurricular activity groups participating in StarT
     
  2. Regional level: StarT festivals organized all around Finland by the LUMA centers together with local partners (does not apply to non-Finnish participants)
     
  3. National / International level: the LUMA Centre Finland organizes the StarT Gala, where teams chosen by the StarT jury – also non-Finnish teams – are awarded
     

In these levels, the StarT programme supports project-based learning in the local learning communities, StarT festivals and a national/international StarT gala.

Country: 
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Organisation: 
LUMA
Impact: 

The overall feedback has been excellent. For example, in relation to a math related learning project teachers noted that: “Children have learned to create their own ideas, to solve problems in a team, work together to overcome difficulties, associate the amount of things with numbers, improved perception of time and counting skills. During the festival they developed not only mathematical skills, but also improved their social skills.” In school year 2016-2017 support material was sent through the StarT newsletter to 500 learning communities in Finland. There were ca. 10 000 participants (kids/youth/teachers/educators) in StarT learning communities, ca. 1000 participants in regional StarT festivals and ca. 400 participant in national/international StarT Gala.

Reach: 

In the 2016-2017 school year, the StarT programme supported 400 learning communities from Finland and 350 learning communities from abroad with participants from 36 countries. 

Budget and funding model: 

StarT learning projects are carried out in learning communities like day care centres, kindergartens, schools etc. around the country and funded by themselves. Regional and national StarT marketing as well as the regional StarT festivals and national/international StarT Gala are funded by the Finnish universities and the sponsoring companies.

Technology Pact 2016 - 2020

Source / author: 
Government of the Netherlands
Country: 
Netherlands
Abstract: 

On 13 May 2013, over 60 parties signed the National Technology Pact 2020 in an effort to structurally improve alignment between education and the technology job market and reduce the shortage of technically trained staff. Since the official signing of the Technology Pact, all the involved partners have made concerted and dedicated efforts to implement the necessary measures on the basis of an integrated approach entitled ‘Choosing, learning and working in technology’. The Technology Pact is characterised by a regional approach with a national support infrastructure. 

 

As the results clearly show, the approach has proven effective and is now being emulated at international level: in the wake of Estonia and Flanders, Denmark is also set to introduce its own Technology Pact later this year.

 

The Technology Pact was updated three years after its original signing in order to evolve in pace with the inevitable social changes as a result of ongoing technological developments. A new structure has been defined on the basis of twelve objectives, offering room to continue ongoing measures from the original Technology Pact and formulate relevant new goals. The overarching ambitions for the Technology Pact 2016–2020 will remain unchanged: developing a structural approach to ensure a well-trained workforce with enough smart and capable technicians for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

 

An English version of the document can be downloaed here.

Techniekpact Monitor 2017 (Dutch only)

Source / author: 
PBT / Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs
Country: 
Netherlands
Abstract: 

On 13 May 2013, over 60 parties signed the National Technology Pact 2020 in an effort to structurally improve alignment between education and the technology job market and reduce the shortage of technically trained staff. Since the official signing of the Technology Pact, all the involved partners have made concerted and dedicated efforts to implement the necessary measures on the basis of an integrated approach entitled ‘Choosing, learning and working in technology’.

 

This progress is monitored in the 'Technology Pact Monitor', a yearly publication of the Dutch National STEM Platform (PBT) and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (EZ). The publication covers the entire education chain (from primary to higher education) as well as the labour market. The analsyis is based on datasets of the Dutch National Statistics Agency (CBS), the Education Executive Agency of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (DUO), the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) and various partners in the field.

 

For the first time, the Technology Pact Monitor is relaeased as a digital-only portal that allows users to filter data, and zoom in on specific regions or topics. Key trends and findings were published in an infographic. 

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