Purpose of the action
Following the recent pandemic, the need for innovation in our education and training systems, as well as youth, has never been so great. Innovation in teaching and learning is crucial, at individual level as well as at institutional level. These innovative approaches should not only provide today’s and tomorrow’s workers with the appropriate skills for rapidly-changing labour markets, but should also arm today’s and tomorrow’s workforce with creativity and skills to confront the growing complexity of societal challenges that we all face such as climate change, the protection of bio-diversity, clean energy, public health, digitalization and automation, artificial intelligence, robotics and data analysis.
This action will aim to foster innovation, creativity and participation, as well as social entrepreneurship in different fields of education and training, within sectors or across sectors and disciplines.
Forward-Looking Projects are large-scale projects that aim to identify, develop, test and/or assess innovative (policy) approaches that have the potential of becoming mainstreamed, thus improving education and training systems. They will support forward-looking ideas responding to key European priorities and that have the potential of becoming mainstreamed and giving input for improving education, training and youth systems, as well as to bring a substantial innovative effect in terms of methods and practices to all types of learning and active participation settings for Europe's social cohesion.
The goal is to support transnational cooperation projects implementing a coherent and comprehensive set of sectoral or cross-sectoral activities that either:
The partnerships should be composed of a mix of public and private organisations combining researchers, practitioners and partners with the capacity to reach policy-makers.
Forward-Looking Projects should therefore be implemented by a mixed partnership of organisations:
Supported projects will aim at achieving systemic impact at European level by having the capacity to deploy their innovative outcomes on a European scale and/or by being able to transfer them into different thematic or geographical contexts.
Lot 3: Adult learning
Projects under Lot 3 address the adult learning policy area. These projects support the implementation of the principles and objectives of the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, the European Skills Agenda, and the Council Recommendation on Upskilling Pathways : New Opportunities for Adults.
Proposals submitted under Lot 3 must address one of the two following priorities that are detailed under ‘Setting up a project’:
Objectives of the Action
The general objectives are as follows:
The specific objectives include:
Activities under Forward-Looking Projects should contribute to the following:
Main activities under these Priorities could involve (non-exhaustive list):
Forward-Looking Projects are required to apply EU wide instruments and tools whenever relevant.
Forward-Looking Projects should include the design of a long-term action plan (beyond the duration of the Erasmus+ funded project) for the progressive take-up and mainstreaming of the innovations developed to be able to impact on education and training systems, in collaboration with the relevant authorities and institutions. They should also ensure the appropriate visibility and wide dissemination of the work, including at EU and national political level.
Forward-Looking Projects could also indicate how other EU funding opportunities (e.g. European Structural Funds, European Fund for Strategic Investment, Recover and Resilience Facility, Just Transition Fund), national and regional funding as well as private funding, can support the implementation of the project. They could take into account national and regional smart specialisation strategies and developments in the European Industrial Ecosystems.
Criteria to be met to apply for Forward-Looking Projects
In order to be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant, project proposals for Forward-looking Projects must comply with the following criteria:
Who can apply?
The applicants (coordinator and full partners) must be:
Exception: For Lot 3, ‘Priority 7 Support to the Pact for Skills’ only the coordinating organisations of Pact for Skills partnerships can be coordinator, and only organisations involved in existing Pact for Skills partnerships at the submission deadline can be full partners.
Higher education institutions established in an EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme must hold a valid Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE).
Organisations from third countries not associated to the Programme can be involved as associated partners (not as coordinator or full partners).
For Lot 3:
Under Priority 6, the consortium must include at least 3 applicants (coordinator and full partners) from a minimum of 3 EU Member States or third countries associated to the Programme.
Affiliated entities do not count towards the minimum eligibility criteria for the consortium composition.
It must also include public or private entities in charge of, or having a high degree of responsibility for (or influence over), the organisation and/or financing and/or provision of educational services to adults (e.g. skills assessment, validation of competences, education and training, orientation and guidance), as applicants or associated partners.
Under Priority 7, the consortium must include only partners of existing Pact for Skills partnerships as applicants (coordinator and full partners) from a minimum of 3 EU Member States or third countries associated to the Programme. Affiliated entities do not count towards the minimum eligibility criteria for the consortium composition.
Venue of the activities
The activities must take place in EU Member States or third countries associated to the Programme.
Duration of the project
For Lot 3 projects should normally last 24 months (extensions are possible, if duly justified and through an amendment).
The duration has to be chosen at application stage, based on the objective of the project, on the type of activities planned over time, the budget and the ambitions set for the project.
Where to apply?
To the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).
Call ID Lot 3: ERASMUS-EDU-2023-PI-FORWARD-LOT3
When to apply?
Applicants have to submit their grant application by 15 March at 17:00 (Brussels time)
Applicant organisations will be assessed against the relevant exclusion and selection criteria. For more information please consult Part C of this Guide.
Setting up a project
Forward-Looking Projects should always have in mind the following cross-cutting policy contexts:
Lot 3: Adult Learning
Proposals submitted under Lot 3 must address the following priority:
Priority 6: Development of national registries of quality-assured and labour market relevant training opportunities
Among the reasons that limit participation in adult learning, potential learners report uncertain information about opportunities. The diverse landscape of adult training opportunities is difficult to navigate in many Member States, and it is often uncertain for observers whether a specific opportunity is of good quality and will subsequently be of value on the labour market. For adults, this reduces the incentives to search for and take up such opportunities. For potential funding bodies, either public authorities or employers, it reduces the willingness to increase their investment in skills development. National registries of quality-assured and labour market relevant training opportunities have been used as an innovative tool to tackle these challenges in several Member States, often linked to financial support for individuals to take up the opportunities in these registries, sometimes also including information on guidance and validation opportunities. Quality information on the provision of guidance and validation opportunities would also help their potential beneficiaries to engage in their use and make the best choice. Projects will identify methods and mechanisms to help ensure that such registries, once operational, reach a significant number of users because they:
Priority 7: Supporting the Pact for Skills
The Pact for Skills is the first flagship action of the 2020 European Skills Agenda. The Pact is firmly anchored in the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights and supports the goals of the Green Deal and the digital transformation, as set out in the Commission communication “A strong Social Europe for Just Transitions”. It also contributes to reaching the EU target of 60% of adults participating in training every year by 2030, as set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan.
Forward-Looking Projects intend to provide innovative solutions that can be mainstreamed at regional, national and European level and ideally with the potential to be developed further either by EU funding or else through national and regional support.
The bottom-up practices should correctly address the fixed priorities set to strengthen Europe’s innovation capacity, make a strong impact on education and training reforms and initiate systemic change.
Through the wide dissemination of project outcomes at transnational, national and/or regional levels, also taking national, European Industrial Ecosystems and regional smart specialisation strategies into account, Forward-Looking Projects are expected to make cathartic impact at system level to help education and training systems better meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world.
Relevance of the project - (maximum 30 points)
Quality of the project design and implementation - (maximum 30 points)
Quality of the partnership and the cooperation arrangements - (maximum 20 points)
Impact, dissemination and sustainability - (maximum 20 points)
The proposal includes measures as well as identified quantitative targets and indicators to monitor progress and assess the expected impact (short- and long-term);
To be considered for funding, applications must score at least 70 points (out of 100 points in total), taking into account the necessary minimum threshold for each of the four award criteria: minimum 15 points for the “relevance of the project” category; 15 points for “quality of the project design and implementation”, 10 points for “quality of the partnership and the cooperation arrangements” and 10 points for “impact”.
The ex aequo proposals under the same priority will be prioritised according to the scores they have been awarded for the award criterion “Relevance” and then “Impact”.
The Evaluation Committee will, if possible, aim at ensuring a balanced coverage of priorities.
What are the funding rules?
This action follows a lump sum funding model. The amount of the single lump sum contribution will be determined for each grant based on the estimated budget of the action proposed by the applicant. The granting authority will fix the lump sum of each grant based on the proposal, evaluation result, funding rates and the maximum grant amount set in the call.
The maximum EU grant per project is as follows:
The maximum number of projects to be funded is:
For all Lots: there is no maximum number of projects set except the budgetary constraints.
How is the project lump sum determined?
Applicants must fill in a detailed budget table according to the application form, taking into account the following points:
Proposals will be evaluated according to the standard evaluation procedures with the help of internal and/or external experts. The experts will assess the quality of the proposals against the requirements defined in the call and the expected impact, quality and efficiency of the action. The lump sum value will be limited to a maximum of 80% of the estimated budget determined after evaluation.
Following the proposal evaluation, the authorising officer will establish the amount of the lump sum, taking into account the findings of the assessment carried out.
The grant parameters (maximum grant amount, funding rate, total eligible costs, etc.) will be fixed in the Grant Agreement.
Financial support to third parties is not allowed. Volunteer and SME costs are allowed. Please refer to Part C of this Programme Guide, section 'Eligible direct costs'.
The project achievements will be evaluated on the outcomes completed. The funding scheme would allow putting focus on the outputs rather than the inputs, thereby placing emphasis on the quality and level of achievement of measurable objectives.
More details are described in the model Grant Agreement available in the Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal (FTOP).
 https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/ and the Paris Declaration on Climate Change https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/international/negotiations/paris_en