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 1: Digital education (cross-sectoral)
Projects under Lot 1 can address different educational sectors or bridge educational sectors, and must support high quality and inclusive digital education, in line with the Digital Education Action Plan.
Proposals under this Lot should address one of the following three priorities:
These priorities are detailed further under the ‘Setting up a project’ section below.
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:
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 1:
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.
The consortium must include at least one public authority at national or regional level (e.g. Ministries of Innovation, Education, Labour or Economy, qualification or quality assurance authorities etc ), from an EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme, as applicant (coordinator or full partner).
Under Priority 1 (EdTech), the consortium must include at least one EdTech company from an EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme, as applicant (coordinator or full partner).
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 1 projects should normally last between 24 and 48 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 1: ERASMUS-EDU-2023-PI-FORWARD-LOT1
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 1: Digital education (Cross-sectoral)
Proposals submitted under Lot 1 must support high quality and inclusive digital education, in line with the Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027.
Education and training systems are currently undergoing a deep digital transformation, which is being driven by advances in connectivity; the widespread use of devices and digital applications; the need for individual flexibility, the wider availability of and need for high-quality digital education content and the ever-increasing demand for digital skills. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has heavily impacted education and training, has accelerated the change and provided multiple new learning experiences and perspectives.
The Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027 sets the EU policy for the digital transformation in education and training over the next programming period. It is a call to action for stronger cooperation at European level to learn from the COVID-19 crisis and to make education and training systems fit for the digital age. The Action Plan foresees 14 actions under two strategic priorities, namely:
Adopted by the Commission as a key enabler of the European Education Area, the Action Plan started its implementation in January 2021. In the past months, taking up the Council’s invitation and following Commission President von der Leyen’s 2021 State of the Union address, the Commission launched a Structured Dialogue with Member States on digital education and skills. The Dialogue aims to support Member States in the digital transformation of their education and training systems in an integrated, coherent and more ambitious approach, bringing together different sectors of government, as well as the private sector (e.g. EdTech companies), social partners and civil society. Through the Structured Dialogue, the Commission and the Member States will put forward a shared diagnosis on the situation and perspectives at national level; identify lessons learned and the necessary next steps for further action on digital education. The Dialogue will reach its completion at the end of 2022 and will feed future actions at EU level on digital education and skills, including two proposals for a Council Recommendation on enabling factors for digital education and on improving the provision of digital skills in education and training.
In this context, it is necessary to ensure that the adequate methodologies and teacher training opportunities are in place as to assure the effective development of digital skills and competences through education and training. Those can include the provision of informatics as a vehicle to promote the active use of technologies at young age and the development of skills and competences to address pressing societal issues, such as tackling disinformation and promoting digital literacy.
In addition to the outlined above, the Digital Education Action Plan sets out to support more effective cooperation on digital education and training at EU level through the set-up of a European Digital Education Hub. The Hub will promote cross-sectoral collaboration, identify and share good practices and support Member States and the education and training sector with tools, frameworks, guidance, technical expertise and research in the domain of digital education. The Hub should link national and regional digital education initiatives and actors and support new models for exchange of digital education content, addressing issues such as common standards, interoperability, accessibility and quality-assurance. In alignment with the objectives of the Hub, it is also important to support all actors in the digital education ecosystem to cooperate with each other effectively and in particular to facilitate the collaboration between public authorities/education and training institutions and rapidly developing sectors, such as the European Education Technology (EdTech).
Forward-Looking Projects will address one of the three following priorities:
Priority 1: Education technology (EdTech): scaling up of EU-based solutions through cooperation and quality assurance
The European education technology (EdTech) sector is a key source of innovation in digital education and it is growing fast. However, it remains highly fragmented, often lacking the experience and capacity to effectively cooperate with education and training institutions and public authorities in a sustainable manner.
Forward-looking projects in this priority area would involve EU-based EdTech organisations by fostering cooperation between the industry and public authorities, contributing to the development of a high-performing European digital education ecosystem.
Projects under this priority should address both:
Priority 2: Effective pedagogical approaches on informatics for primary and secondary level of education
Informatics is still a relatively new discipline in school education. While some European countries have a long-standing tradition of teaching it, others, have only recently introduced this subject, especially in primary and lower secondary education. Recent reform processes led to changes in school curricula and to a general trend to enhance informatics at school in the EU. Yet existing evidence shows that while there is experience in teaching informatics in tertiary education and, to a certain extent, in upper secondary, the amount of knowledge and research developed in teaching at lower secondary and primary is much more limited.
Supporting the development of effective pedagogical approaches on informatics and related assessment can help in better preparing teachers to build and share expertise on how to best integrate the subject across the different levels of school education - thus better promoting young people active and safe use of digital technology.
Projects under this priority should address both:
Priority 3: Teacher training and curriculum development in tackling disinformation and promoting digital literacy
As part of the Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027, the European Commission has launched common guidelines for teachers and educators to promote digital literacy and tackling disinformation through education and training. Yet, more efforts at systemic level are needed to ensure that education and training systems provide effectively young people with the skills and competences to address these pressing issues and that teachers and educators are supported in their training and continuous professional development in the field.
To this end, forward looking projects on teacher training and curriculum development in promoting digital literacy and tackling disinformation would contribute to supporting education and training systems and in particular learners and teachers and educators to address new and emerging challenges in the classroom closely linked to the dynamic online environment in an effective and structured manner.
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.
For Lot 1: there is an indicative target of 3 projects per priority.
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/[/fn ] and the Paris Declaration on ClimateChange https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/international/negotiations/paris_en
Informatics is the discipline that underpins the competences needed to understand the digital world.