The iMAILE ( innovative Methods for Award procedures of ICT Learning in Europe) project has a unique approach never presented in an EU project before and addresses the area of the ICT and e - learning market both from the demand side as well as the supplier side. The project takes a completely innovative grip on shifting research and innovation to become more customized and based on the actual needs from the end – users (our European schools, teachers and students)
Situation and problem
The sector of Education in Europe confronts several mayor challenges such as early drop outs, financial issues, teachers spending less time with the students due to documentation, the shift into 21st century skills both for teachers and students, low interest in STEM subjects (Science, technology and Math) as well as an increased demand of personalized learning. There exist thousands of different ICT solutions on the market to be used in our classrooms but in spite of high investments and a market that offers such a variety of products we still confront a low use of ICT to perform innovative teaching and creative learning in the European classrooms.
The iMAILE consortium believes that some of these problems have one common origin – the lack of customized ICT products/ services merging from the demand side (our European schools)
In order to change this scenario partners in Sweden, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Portugal and Spain together has made a pre study to develop the iMAILE project based on the PCP method (Pre – commercial – procurement) An instrument recommend by the Commission that stimulates a dialogue between public procurers representing the demand side and industry/ SME as suppliers on the other side.The call within FP 7 program ICT gives us the perfect opportunity to learn more about this method.
What is PCP?
The PCP method is based on several steps 1) European public procurers identify one common mid- to long term challenge that requires new research and development 2) the challenge is presented to the industry / SME: s in a European call for tenders 3) competition and award procedures of participating suppliers takes place in order to provide the innovative solutions. In the end of the PCP process the supply - side (Industry and SME:s) have developed innovative solutions evaluated and with input from the end users and future customers. And the demand side ( public procurers of ICT in Education) has reached an solution that matches their development needs. In short this is a perfect match for a sustainable development of any kind of market that requires new technology and research in order to meet future challenges identified already by the customers.
The iMAILE project
During the proposal preparation we have identified one main challenge among many namely: an increased demand of personalized learning where new technology can support our schools and teachers in an innovative and creative way. In the project we focus on solutions of the next generation PLE (personal learning environment) that should address students in primary and secondary school within the topics of Science, Math and Technology (STEM) and support different learning styles in an individualized way. In our consortium we believe in PCP as a tool in order to develop a SUSTAINABLE future of ICT Education in Europe. It is important to highlight the importance of public procurers as potential great buyers of innovations and R& D and therefore crucial to give the power to influence on future developments. IMAILE allows the participating European public procurers to take a proactive role in future school development. This project will give the consortium and the rest of the EU the possibility to develop a “customized learning system which is key for a successful modernization of educational and training systems in Europe” according to Rationale of the ICT work program for Technology enhanced learning.
Funding Program: FP 7 Call 11 ICT 8.2.a
Project Value: 6.05 million Euro
EU Contribution: 4, 5 millions €
1 City of Halmstads Sweden
2 Innova Észak-Alföld Regional Development and Innovation Agenccy Hungary
3 Klötze district, Germany
4 City of Konnevesi, Finland
5 Center of Internet Excellence University of Oulu, Finland
6 E.N.T.E.R Austria
7 Varberg Municipality, Alexanderson Institute ,Sweden
8 INOVAMAIS - Serviços de Consultadoria em Inovação Tecnológica, S.A, Portugal
9 University of Magdeburg, Germany
10 City council of Viladecans , Spain
11 Region Saxony Anhalt ( associated partner to German partners), Germany
12 Halmstad university ( associated partner to Halmstad), Sweden
By using the PCP (Pre – commercial – procurement) method IMAILE aims to identify and joint new technologies and services to address the challenge of providing the next generation of ICT enabled Personal Learning Environments (PLE) for teaching Science Math and Technology (STEM) in primary and secondary education.
• Prepare the partners of PCP process with capacity building activities
• Create a an open dialogue and mutual learning between procurers and ICT industry/ SME
• Execute and launch a joint PCP European order of PLE solutions
• Evaluate PLE offers from different suppliers according to a set of indicators in 3 phases
• Test the PLE:s in real environments with end users ( teachers and students)
• Create European standards within PLE for primary and secondary education / PCP strategy
• Promote the project( PCP and PLE in education) via strong and strategic European dissemination
Public procurers on European, national, regional and local level
European SME/ Industry ICT solutions
European schools, teachers and students in primary and secondary education
In iMAILE we will learn about the PCP method, create a common understanding and award criteria in order to evaluate the solutions, create an open dialogue between SME and Industry and the end users of their products, test and evaluate new technology that supports personalized learning , create European standards of the innovative solutions and finally present the solutions and suppliers to the European market of end users ( our schools).