Almost every organisation or company says it wants to innovate, yet few know how to create a framework to inspire it, drive it, fund it, measure it, and ultimately benefit from it. For many organisations even the task of defining innovation can be a challenge. In many business environments the benefits of innovation are evident on the company balance sheet or share price, however in sectors like Vocational Education and Training (VET) the benefits of innovation can be more esoteric and difficult to quantify. Limiting innovation to certain sectors is reductive and in the modern economy innovation in VET is essential for economic and social progress. Demonstrable ability to innovate is important for VET organisations to copper-fasten the significance and relevance of VET in the modern economy. Innovation within the sector can also help to make VET more attractive to those who work in the sector and also those who engage with the training provided.
The Innovation Ecosystems for VET project proposes a bottom-up approach to policy change which existing research indicates is essential for eventual up-take and up-scaling. The project will begin by instigating and supporting processes of innovation at a local or regional level. The participation of 2 key partner organisations with different perspectives in each partner country ensures that multi-stakeholder teams can be established to define and drive the process and to add weight to the outcomes where feeding the policy development process is concerned. The multi-stakeholder involvement will also ensure that potential cooperation between VET policy and other policy areas like employment, economic affairs, social affairs, etc. is identified and harnessed in support of the project objectives. While instigating change in VET is a considerable challenge, project consortium members are convinced that the proposed work-plan will be able to harness the specific strengths of each individual stakeholder for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders.
The aim of the project is to simultaneously improve the contribution of VET to innovation in Member States while increasing the incidence of innovation in VET. The objective of the project is to define and pilot an innovation ecosystem for VET based on an agreed set of common elements and principles that can be applied as a framework for innovation in Member States. The function of this ecosystem should be to support the identification, testing, development and assessment of new innovative approaches in the VET sphere which have mainstreaming potential. Sustaining an innovation economy means evolving, adapting, re-imagining and reinventing to create and utilize new ideas and information into both existing and new educational products and services.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of CARDET, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
[Project number: 562126-IE-EPPKA3-PI-FORWARD]