The objective of ICT research under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is to improve the competitiveness of European industry – as well as to enable Europe to master and shape the future developments of these technologies so that the demands of its society and economy are met. You can find more details of the ICT Work Programme 2013.
The EU Member States have earmarked a total of € 9.1 billion for funding ICT over the duration of FP7; making it the largest research theme in the Cooperation programme, which is itself the largest specific programme of FP7 (with 64% of the total budget).
FP7 research activities will strengthen Europe’s scientific and technology base and ensure its global leadership in ICT, help drive and stimulate product, service and process innovation and creativity through ICT use and ensure that ICT progress is rapidly transformed into benefits for Europe’s citizens, businesses, industry and governments.
The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) bundles all research-related EU initiatives together under a common roof playing a crucial role in reaching the goals of growth, competitiveness and employment; along with a new Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), Education and Training programmes, and Structural and Cohesion Funds for regional convergence and competitiveness. It is also a key pillar for the European Research Area (ERA).
The European Commission has launched their latest Youth Employment Package requesting a guarantee from all Member States that every young person receives a quality offer of employment or training within four months of leaving school, or of being unemployed. The proposal will make full use of EU funding and in particular the European Social Fund (ESF), which was set up to reduce the differences in prosperity and living standards across EU Member States and regions.
The new Youth Employment Package is part of the initiative Rethinking Education - designed to reduce the youth unemployment rate. Research has shown that the figure is close to 23 % across the European Union, yet more than 2 million vacancies remain unfilled.
To change this, Member States are being urged to take immediate action to ensure that young people develop the skills and competences needed by the labour market, and to achieve their targets for growth and jobs.
The need for a more dynamic approach to education comes after statistics showed that 73 million Europeans (around 25 % of adults) have a low level of education. Nearly 20 % of 15 year olds lack sufficient literacy skills, and in 5 countries more than 25 % are low achievers in reading (Bulgaria 41 %, Romania 40 %, Malta 36 %, Austria 27.5 %, and Luxembourg 26 %). Early school leaving remains at unacceptably high levels in several Member States: in Spain it is 26.5 % and in Portugal 23.2 % (the EU target is under 10 %). At the same time, less than 9 % of adults participate in lifelong learning (the EU target is 15 %).
Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, believes these statistics highlight a serious weakness in our education and training systems. She says, 'Matters have been made worse as the economic downturn has led many Member States to cut funding for education and training.'
She goes on to say, 'Europe will only resume sustained growth by producing highly skilled and versatile people who can contribute to innovation and entrepreneurship. Efficient and well-targeted investment is fundamental to this, but we will not achieve our objectives by reducing education budgets.'
The focus now is on education and ensuring it is more relevant to the needs of students and the labour market, while assessment methods will be adapted and modernised. The use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and open educational resources (OERs) are also to be scaled up in all learning contexts. But teachers also need to have regular training in order to update their own skills. The strategy further calls on Member States to strengthen links between education and employers, to bring enterprise into the classroom and to give young people a taste of employment through increased work-based learning. EU education ministers are also encouraged to step up their cooperation on work-based learning activities at a national and European level.
Rethinking Education conducted a Commission survey this year titled 'Education and Training Monitor', which outlined the skill supply in the Member States. What was derived from the survey was the need for a much stronger focus on developing transversal skills and basic skills at all levels. Key areas were especially applicable to entrepreneurial and information technology (IT) skills.
Improving foreign language learning has also been highlighted with a new benchmark set for 2020 for at least 50 % of 15 year olds to have knowledge of a first foreign language (up from 42 % today) and at least 75 % to study a second foreign language (up from 61 % today). Investment in these skills is deemed vital as is the need to build world-class vocational education and training systems and for increasing levels of work-based learning.
The goal for Member States is to improve the recognition of qualifications and skills, including those gained outside of the formal education and training systems. Technology, and in particular the Internet, will need to be fully exploited, and schools, universities, and vocational and training institutions must now increase access to education via OERs.
For more information, please visit:
Rethinking Education - Education and Training Monitor 2012 Report
EU Youth Strategy
This event addresses stakeholders interested in submitting project proposals for the 7th Call for Proposals of the CIP ICT Policy Support Programme. Call 7 is expected to be published on 22 December 2012 and the relevant documents related to it will be available on the Participant Portal on the same day.
15 January 2013, Charlemagne Building – Rue de la Loi 170 – B-1040 Brussels Room: GASP
The draft Work Programme for 2013 is available here for information.
Check for Objective 2.3: ICT for learning
The aim of this objective is to support ICT-based modernization of educational and training. The objective is supported by two distinct target outcomes, each with specific funding instruments.
Obj 2.3.a: Piloting and showcasing excellence in ICT for learning for all
Funding instrument: Pilot B - It is intended to support one Pilot up to 5 M€ of EU contribution.
Focus and outcomes
- Large-scale piloting activities showcasing ICT-based innovation and excellence covering blended modes of formal/informal/non-formal learning with links to workplace-based or self-paced lifelong learning.
- To ensure complementarity and synergies with on-going CIP projects the activities should cover at least the following subjects: digital literacy and computing, artistic and creative skills, mathematics.
Conditions and characteristics
- Pilots should place the solution in real world setting involving at least 50.000 students and 4.000 teachers.
- The consortium should include at least 10 regional actors/hubs of excellence with the direct involvement of technology and supply industry.
- Include at least one piloting activity seeking to demonstrate ways of lowering or removing technological barriers in learning processes for users with special needs or at risk of exclusion (socially, physically or technologically disadvantaged groups – and of those who consider themselves unsuited for education).
Obj 2.3.b: Organising competitions on Educational Games
Funding instrument: Thematic Network - It is intended to support one Thematic Network (Actual Costs) up to 1 M€ of EU contribution.
Focus and outcomes
The aim of this objective is to establish a network which organises competitions on educational games addressing the following needs: learning maths, improving ICT skills, and adopting a healthier lifestyle. The network should ensure that the specific requirements to engage children at risk-of-exclusion and the elderly are taken into account.
Conditions and characteristics
- The consortium should have solid experience in organising competitions at the European level.
- The network should ensure appropriate follow up for wide dissemination of the results in mainstream education.
Expected impact for both a and b
- Support the implementation of the “Digital Agenda for Europe” and in particular Action 68 "Mainstream eLearning in national policies for the modernisation of education and training, including in curricula, assessment of learning outcomes and the professional development of teachers and trainers".
- Showcase to a critical mass of students, teachers and parents how to use technologies for their learning, teaching and support needs.
A new study on the impact of partnerships between schools in different countries has found that pupils - particularly at secondary level - significantly improved their skills, including cultural and social skills, IT and foreign languages. The impact of the partnerships was strongest on pupils who visited partner schools. Seven out of ten schools said that the partnerships had a strong to very strong impact on pupils' cultural awareness and expression as well as social and civic competences. This was followed by computer skills (54%) and communication in foreign languages (52%). The partnerships were funded through the Comenius exchange programme, the schools' equivalent of Erasmus.
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: "School partnerships enable young people to acquire the basic life skills and competences necessary for personal development, future employment and active citizenship. Comenius also helps pupils and staff to get to know different European cultures and languages. These partnerships will continue to receive support under our new Erasmus for All programme in 2014-2020."
The study also found that the scheme benefits teachers and schools within their local community. Teachers said partnering a foreign school improved their knowledge of other education systems and strengthened social skills, as well as helping their language skills.
Two out of three schools claimed that the partnership had improved their image and 80% said it strengthened their European dimension. Teaming up with schools abroad also helped develop closer ties both within the school and with local authorities.
Comenius partnerships have a comparatively greater impact on teachers and on schools and their environments in pre-primary and primary schools because it is easier to mobilise and involve an entire school and to integrate new ideas and activities into curricula at this level. In contrast, the impact on pupil skills is stronger at secondary level.
For many schools in remote parts of the European Union, partnerships financed from EU funds are the only opportunity for pupils and teachers to get involved in a project abroad. 85% of schools covered by the study said they intended to apply for funding for future partnerships.
The study surveyed 50 schools in 15 European countries (Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom) which received grants from the Comenius programme to set up partnerships running from autumn 2009-2011. Monitoring the schools over the two years, and beyond, the study examined in-depth how the partnerships affected pupils, teachers and the school.
This study provides an analysis of the impact of Comenius school partnerships on participating institutions.
The results of the study show that these types of school partnerships have a highly significant impact on the school community as a whole: in 75% of cases observed, it was perceived as being “quite strong”, “strong” or even “very strong”. It was on pupils themselves that the impact was greatest, followed by teachers and then by the schools and their environment.
The Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) Info Day 2013, organized by on 12 November in Brussels, revealed the priorities of the EU Lifelong Learning Programme. Here is what's new to the Programme in 2013 and some advice and tips on preparing and submitting a strong proposal, and on managing grants.
As the flagship European Funding programme in the field of education and training, the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) enables individuals at all stages of their lives to pursue stimulating learning opportunities across Europe. It is an umbrella programme integrating various educational and training initiatives. LLP is divided in four sectorial sub programmes and four so called 'transversal' programmes.
The promotion of ICT for learning is one of the four key activities of the LLP's transversal programme, supporting actions that address general issues concerning two or more educational sectors. It is also an integral part of the Comenius, Erasmus, Grundtvig and Leonardo sub-programmes.
Progress in the use of ICT for education and training across Europe has been substantial in the last years. However, studies show that ICT has not yet had as significant an impact as expected.
Effective integration of ICT into education must go beyond simply replacing, streamlining or accelerating current practices. It must also find new and more effective ways of operating, supporting pedagogical and organisational innovation. ICT has become embedded in our social and economic fabric and it should be similarly embedded in education and training systems.
Actions are not about developing technology itself, but about the use of ICT tools to enhance learning environments and experiences. This includes aspects such as the use of simulations, discovery learning, attracting drop-outs back to education, enabling learning outside the school environment and bridging the 'digital divide' between those with access to technologies and relevant skills, and those without.
EU position and future potential including recommendations for Horizon 2020
The study VISION "VIsualisation SImulation and visual cOmputing techNologies: EU position and future potential" has been funded by the European Commission to deliver a study in the field of simulation, visualisation and visual computing to help the European Commission make informed decision on future coverage and approaches towards these fields within a future post 2013 EU Research and Innovation Programme (Horizon 2020).
The Stakeholder’s Forum 2012, renamed “European Education and Training Forum” this year, will take place on 18th and 19th of October 2012 in Brussels. Around 300 participants will gather to discuss EU policies about education and training. EUCIS-LLL and its members’ objective is to contribute to the debate by bringing in the perspective of civil society.
The aim of the Forum is to mobilise stakeholders and policy makers to modernise education and training systems through national and EU policies and instruments in order to enhance growth and jobs. This year’s Forum will have a double focus on:
1) Education and training aspects of Europe 2020
2) the future Erasmus for All programme
The outcome will provide input for the November Council Conclusions on Europe 2020 and for the implementation of Erasmus for All.
The Forum will gather around 300 participants: Education and Training as well as youth stakeholders, national and regional policy makers, representatives of the business world and civil society. It will be prepared through a consultation of selected stakeholders’ organisations using social media tools.
EUCIS-LLL is supporting the initiative and works together with the European Commission on the event. Further information and invitations will be sent out at a further stage.
- See the Background note for the European Education, Training and Youth Forum 2012
The European Union has some of the world's best research facilities and most accomplished researchers. Harnessing their full potential will help turn novel ideas into jobs, green growth and social progress. To facilitate this, the European Commission finances, either wholly or partially, a wide range of individual research and technology development projects. Details about many of these can be found on the Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) - the primary information source for EU-funded projects.
A new Projects Service, launched on 16 January 2012, will enhance the role of CORDIS. Designed not only to be a comprehensive reference point for project participants, coordinators and stakeholders, the service will also make information and data available to wider audiences.
CORDIS has project records covering a myriad of science, technology and research-related fields and topics. Dating from before 1986 to the present, they relate to not only the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), but also previous Framework Programmes. The new service will use the breadth of the CORDIS repository as a base to bring together a wide variety of information related to individual projects, including:
- project details such as description, funding, programme;
- project results such as documents, reports, summaries;
- information and details on project participants.
The new Projects Service will unlock content, standardise the presentation of project information, and help users to find out more.
Project records are added to the database once they are made available to CORDIS by the Commission service responsible. The new service provides tools and pointers that can help filter and facilitate search queries.
Even when a project has finished, specific project information can help with result development, the planning of new initiatives, the indication of new research avenues and more.
For more information, go to http://cordis.europa.eu/projects/