National (lead) partner

The Basque Government

The Basque Government (Eusko Jaurlaritza/Gobierno Vasco) is the regional Government of the Basque Country (Euskadi). Its degree of autonomy in policy areas including education, industry, culture, health and social security and services has led the Basque Country to achieve a high rating in the Human Development Index: eighth place in the world. Industry is the driving force of the Basque economy, accounting for 24.1% of GDP, and it aims to lead the fourth industrial revolution: 128% productivity per employee. Commitment to innovation is the hallmark of the Basque Country, commitment that brought in recognition and resources at European level. The Basque Country is the autonomous community in Spain that assigns the highest percentage of its GDP to R&D, 1.89%.

 

Regarding education, schooling in the Basque Country is compulsory from age 6 and free from 3 to 16 years old. Euskadi has the lowest dropout rate (7.7%) for young people between 18 and 24 years old, and 48.9% of people aged between 30 and 34 with have higher education The Basque Country directs its efforts toward implementing a clear, close educational model, providing value and quality assurance. Its commitment to developing talent in people, concentrated in a nursery for highly qualified professionals, who are prepared to take the reins of the future, both locally and internationally, has been reinforced. In this sense, an increasing need in qualified professionals in science and technology is foreseen in the coming years. Therefore, the Basque Government is currently developing the STEAM-Euskadi Strategy, using an integrated and collaborative approach between the education and industry, with the following goals:

 

  1. To guarantee education in the scientific and technological areas in the curriculum and the literacy needed by the society in an increasingly complex, changing and highly technified world.
  2. To inspire students professional vocations and aspirations in STEM areas in order to have more, better and versatile professionals.
  3. To attract less represented groups such as girls to scientific and technological fields
  4. To favour education in science and technology in students facing social inequality situations.

 

Ministry of Education and Science

The Bulgarian education system has been traditionally supportive of STEM, providing students with numerous opportunities to broaden their experience in the STEM fields outside the curriculum. Currently several non-government and academic organisations are responsible for the bulk of the STE(A)M initiatives in Bulgaria and most of them work closely with policymakers, trying to ensure the sustainability of their initiatives, some of which have been standing for decades and have turned into an institution of their own.

 

The longest standing form of extracurricular STEM activities have been the various olympiads – mathematics, informatics, information technologies, physics, chemistry, astronomy, mathematical linguistics etc. Bulgaria has been a founding member of most of the international olympiads in these fields and last year founded EJOI (European Junior Olympiad in Informatics). Bulgaria is also one of the few countries, where students receive direct support and mentorship from active researchers. Every olympiad has three rounds- school, district and national, with the more popular fields, such as mathematics and informatics also having additional national competitions. Schools are encouraged to provide extracurricular courses, preparing the students for the olympiads through various funding programmes such as the Operative programme “Science and Education for Smart Growth”.

 

High school research is another well-established traditional STEM activity, due to the tradition of research organizations in mentorship and access to resources to talented high school students. The High School Students Institute of Mathematics and Informatics has been functioning since 2000, initially modelling its structure and activities after the US Center for Excellence in Education and then – gradually expanding and diversifying its methods. Currently it organizes two annual high school conferences, an interview-based grant initiative supporting high achieving students to participate in international research programs, and an international summer school, which gathered 45 students from ten countries in 2017. The summer school is three week long and each participant is provided with a personal mentor and research topic in the field of mathematics, computer science, ICT or astronomy.

 

The Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science's current priorities include:

  • Involvement of the three interests’ parties in STEM skills intensification – kids/students, parents, school/education authorities.
  • Funding for STEM education innovations and interdisciplinary projects development aimed at foster collaborations for sharing and co-creation of new knowledge among High Schools or/and Education Institutions.
  • Better STEM through better STEM teachers: fostering change management in education and development of education change management strategies for each High School/education institution.
  • Improvement and digitalisation of STEM infrastructure (STEM Labs), facilities, and libraries (digital STEM libraries at High Schools/education institutions).
  • Overcoming the inequality and better integration through learning communities and development of STEM knowledge map and paths (STEM BUS Bulgaria).
  • Pragmatism, transparency, and visibility of STEM efforts: ideas and contributions of all interest parties can be achieved through the development and sustainability of Open Data STEM portal Bulgaria. 
  • Integration with the foreseen EIT community hub in Bulgaria

 

 

Innobasque

Innobasque, the Basque Innovation Agency, is a private non-profit association established in 2007 to co-ordinate and drive innovation in the Basque Country in all its spheres as well as to encourage entrepreneurial spirit and creativity. Innobasque is made up of agents from the Basque science, technology and innovation network (RVCTI), private businesses, Basque public institutions, association representatives of Basque workers and business people, and other organisations related to innovation.

 

Its vision is to turn the Basque Country into a European innovation benchmark region. For this purpose, an ambitious short, medium and long-term transformation programme has been established. The mission is to drive the process of transforming the Basque Country towards an innovating society. The agency works to understand the complexities, define priorities, forge a strong bond between public and private agents, and foster the demand and necessary stimulus in companies and society as a whole.

AEDE-France

AEDE-France is a French association founded in 1957 to promote European Literacy and citizenship education; to develop intercultural understanding among Europeans and to work towards high quality education for all. Its members are either individual people: teachers, school-heads, inspectors, educators, researchers, experts in education and in evaluation - or schools and teacher education - university institutes and professional organisations. Since its establishment, AEDE-France has been involved in various European project within ERASMUS and, now ERASMUS+. It is currently a member of the management team of ELICIT-PLUS (European Literacy and Citizenship Education). The 23 partner organisations are now offering training courses in a dozen different EU countries to develop a better knowledge of our complex histories and cultures and to foster a common understanding of our shared future.

 

AEDE-France has been recognised by the French Ministry of Education as “association complémentaire de l’enseignement”, which is a national agreement to cooperate with schools on matters related to European education, including STEM, and the broader topics of skills mismatch and youth unemployment. AEDE-France joined the EU STEM Coalition in 2015.

UPSTI

UPSTI is the "Union of Professors of Sciences and Technology for Industry". It was created in 1982, and gathers a network of more than 1,000 persons, professors, engineers and industrial partners, worldwide. The professors in UPSTI are in contact with more than 50.000 students, and the industrial partners come from more than 23 sectors. UPSTI's objective is to create more and structural elationships between education and industry. UPSTI has strong relation with French government and administrative education representatives, and works with government to create the education of the future. It participates to all the science and technology debates, and tries to make some proposals to improve the education in France for adapting the teaching curriculum and the training of professors.

FORTH

The Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH), established in 1983, is one of the largest research centers in Greece with well organized facilities, highly qualified personnel and a reputation as a top-level research foundation worldwide. The research and technological directions of FORTH focus on areas of major scientific, social, and economic interest. The Foundation, with headquarters in Heraklion, includes six Research Institutes in different parts of the country. FORTH currently employs 1080 people (researchers, technicians and administrative staff) and trains around 320 students from Greece and other European countries.

 

The Educational Research and Evaluation (ERE) Group operates within the Institute of Applied and Computational Mathematics (IACM), which is one of the founding institutes of FORTH. The Group’s research concerns are in areas of educational and social innovation with particular focus on the aspects of gender, S&T, ICT, adult education and leadership in education. The scope of activity is on research for modelling and the building of understanding of the emerging social, pedagogical / training and policy trends in Europe. The underlying concern is the identification of methods which can foster effectiveness in social cohesion and learning for responsible decision-making and improvement of education and lifelong learning services. This is achieved through the design and implementation of awareness development activities with the actors of the educational community, the carrying out of applied research, digital forms of course design and implementation, the conduct of programme evaluations. The Group’s research and evaluation activity is addressed under the scope of policy comprehensiveness and coherence within and across the sector of education and related sectors from a learning tradition perspective.

 

Over the years, the Group has developed conceptual tools to facilitate policy and tangible outputs to direct self-reflection for practitioners on matters pertinent to education and training.

House of Natural Sciences

The Danish 'House of Natural Sciences' (Naturvidenskabernes Hus) was established in 2007 as a non-profit development and visitors centre. The centre develops application-oriented and authentic educational experiences that aim to inspire youngsters to choose for choos an education in science and technology. Bridging the gap between education and business the centre inspires children and youngsters to become skilled, curious and innovative. 

 

The House of Natural Sciences offers a comprehensive series of teaching materials and activities for primary and secondary school teachers and pupils, e.g. for school-company cooperation through the national Jet-Net.dk network, hands-on activities voor students on site and teacher training. The goel of the House of Natural Sciences is to offer an attractive physical setting for the development of these activities. In the past eight years, the house of Natural Sciences launched over 60 different projects targeted at increasing the number of STEM graduates.

 

Jet-Net.dk is one of the flagship programmes of House of Natural Sciences. The goal of Jet-Net.dk is focused on joining schools and companies in co-beneficial one-on-one relationships working with STEM. Thereby providing the students in primary and secondary schools with knowledge concerning the activities of the companies, and possible STEM career opportunities within the companies.

 

Jet-Net.dk started I Denmark in 2012, and works with over 60 different sized tech companies and the same amount of schools. The Danish network and activities is bases on feasibility studies and inspiration from the Dutch model of Jet-Net and Platform Bèta Techniek (PBT), which was launched in 2002 by five Dutch technology companies. 

 

 

Óbuda University

Óbuda University is the second largest technical university in Hungary with 13000 students, 6 faculties, 3 doctoral schools and 3 campuses. Óbuda University, the legal successor of Budapest Tech – or rather its legal predecessors: Bánki Donát Polytechnic, Kandó Kálmán Polytechnic and the Technical College of Light Industry – was established on January 1, 2010. Óbuda University has the only Engineering Education Centre in Hungary and has a strong relationship with industry for already ten years, which is the foundation of skill oriented learning. In 2014 the university launched the work-based dual education program. Most candidates in this program are from the faculty of IT engineering. It is a mission of the University to make higher-education more accessible in regions without higher education institutions, therefore a “higher education centre for community based studies” is established in the city of Salgótarján.

 

Óbuda University is the founder of the Hungarian STEM platform and is member of the EU STEM Coalition. Having long term experience with education-industry collaboration and the organisation of a variation of science competitions and activities, Óbuda University is well suited to boost a national pilot programme in Hungary.

Government of Catalonia

The Government of Catalonia (Generalitat de Catalunya) is the regional government of Catalonia. It consists of ministries and other bodies such as public companies and autonomous organisations that employ more than 200.000 people. It has responsibilities, among other areas, in: education, employment, universities and economic development. Secretariat  for Telecommunications, Cibersecurity and Digital Society is responsible for boosting the deployment and integration of digital technologies in each area of Catalan society.

 

The Catalan economy boasts a significant level of industrial activity in sectors such as automobiles and accessories, chemicals, and state-of-the-art computer and office IT equipment. The publishing industry and construction are also of crucial economic importance. 

 

The lack of students choosing studies in the STEM-related subjects, high rates of youth unemployment and sustained labour demand growth in some STEM-related sectors such as IT, robotics, automobile and mechanics industry, have driven the Government of Catalonia to aprove in February 2017 an Agreement to develop the STEMcat plan (national STEM strategy).This plan promotes vocations in STEM among youth, and has to be deployed in the Catalan schools during the next school year (2017-18). The plan is currently being developed by the Government of Catalonia and will cover four main focus areas:

 

  • enhance teacher training in science, technology and mathematics;
  • enhance STEM skills among students and develop strategies to globally assess them;
  • encourage participation in school of companies in STEM sectors;
  • promote science, technology, engineering and maths in society
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