On November 1-2, 2018, the EU STEM Coalition organised a Taskforce Meeting focused on the Dutch 'Jet-Net&TechNet' (JNTN) programme (Youth and Technology Network) for school-company partnerships in secondary education. The two-day meeting was organised on the request of the Swedish Teknikcollege, Basque Innovation Agency (InnoBasque) from Spain and the Norwegian National Centre for Science Recruitment. The goal of the meeting was to share information about Jet-Net & Technet and how it operates. The meeting covered presentations by the national JNTN-bureau, regional coordinators, Jet-Net companies (Siemens) and a visit to a large-scale JNTN-event (Accenture Innovation Challenge).
The two-day meeting programme (see meeting documents) aimed to provide a comprehensive overview of the structure and functioning of the Dutch Jet-Net&TechNet programme for school-company collaboration in secondary education.
JNTN is a successful programme for school-company collaboration in secondary education, originally started in 2003 by five major Dutch tech-companies (Shell, Philips, DSM, AkzoNobel and Unilever) in response to the accute shortage and continuous decline of the number of STEM graduates. The programme (now implemented by the Dutch national STEM platform) currently involves over 100+ large tech-companies and about 180 pre-university secondary schools (about 1/3 of total). For more information about the JNTN-programme, please see the programme page here.
The meeting programme was split into two main parts. On day 1 a meeting was organised at the HQ of Siemens Netherlands (one of the 100+ participating companies) in the Hague. This part of the meeting covered presentations by Sebastiaan Smit (programme director of JNTN, Sebastiaan Smit), Louis Becker (Siemens) and one of the regional coordinators of JNTN followed by a discussion session with the participating organisations.
On day 2 the delegation travelled to the Fabrique in Utrecht, to visit the Junior Innovation Challenge, one of the larger annual events organised by the national bureau. The Junior Innovation Challenge is a competition in which participants (10-16 years old) pitch project ideas for a jury of industry professionals. During a networking dinner with representatives of the Dutch ministry of education (OCW) the government perspective was also highlighted.
The three participating organisations from Sweden, Norway and Spain joined the taskforce meetings. The government of the Basque country is currently exploring the JNTN-formula as an implementation programme for several targets in the newly developed Basque STEAM strategy. InnoBasque will launch a first pilot in the school year 2019-2020. The Swedish Teknikcollege is exploring the JNTN-formula as a possible means to support Swedish secondary schools. Finally, the Norwegian National Centre for Science Recruitment is exploring the JNTN-programme in the context of a possible Norwegian Technology Pact, based on the Dutch-Danish model.