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EU: House Of Brains Developing Successful Entrepreneurs

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House of Brains is a project dedicated to equip university graduates with the skills they need to set up their business and lead it successfully.

The Union of the Chamber of Commerce of Veneto Region (Unioncamere del Veneto), is currently coordinating the Erasmus+ EU funded project “House of Brains”(HoB). The HoB project has been designed within the framework of the European Union co-funded program Erasmus+. It involves ten partners coming from four EU countries, namely Spain, Germany Italy and Slovenia. The project duration is 36 months (from September 2014 to August 2017). The project works in line with the new guidelines set out by DG Education and Culture of the European Commission and aiming at improving accessibility to training and internationally recognized training-paths in the EU area, promoting the rationalization and optimization of the existing networks of cooperation between academia and business, extending the Bologna Process beyond its initial scope.

House Of Brains In A Nutshell

The House of Brains initiative is a strategic cooperation project between higher education institutions and businesses aiming at improving university graduates’ skills and competences, in order to better match skills provisions to the needs of enterprises. House of Brains lays the groundwork towards the definition of new modes of collaboration between academia and business. The main tangible result of this collaboration will be a training path devoted to graduates and students, internationally recognized, whose main teaching and learning offer will be delivered online, via a Virtual Learning Environment. House of Brains thus mires at preparing youth to the world of work, stimulating university and higher education systems to provide young people with conditions that would allow them to develop entrepreneurial skills that could be spent on the market, focusing on innovation. Partners demonstrated consistent efforts in moving the first steps towards the realization of a new training offer having as peculiar target graduates, young entrepreneurs and students enrolled in the so called “weak degrees”, meaning those university pathways whose market outlets are less requested in the current world of work.

HoB Project Results

The HoB project results will focus on the setting up of a Virtual Learning Environment that will offer highly-specialized training paths for graduates developed on the basis of the real needs of the enterprises, with a relevant component of entrepreneurial dimension and managed with a blended teaching system. The HoB platform will be interactive and multifunctional. It will also allow the creation of transnational communities of practices between graduate students, teachers and professionals, also fostering their virtual and physical mobility. This will lead to a strengthened peer cooperation between the two worlds – university and business – thus increasing the benefits for the young graduates entering the labour market. And in the end, contributing to the Erasmus+ goals to set up transnational strategic partnerships aimed to promote innovation, exchange of experience and know-how between different types of organizations involved in education.

State Of The Art

The first phase of the project saw the realization of the first shared output: a comparative analysis report about the existing situation in each of the four countries involved (Italy, Germany, Slovenia and Spain), for what concerns the university training offer and the experiences of cooperation projects among universities and enterprises. Comparing different realities and marking the current situation, House of Brains individuated as key competencies that must be refined and proposed to youth those related, for example, to the sense of initiative and entrepreneurship, namely the ability to turn ideas into action. Such competencies, although being highly requested in the world of work, are not adequately touched by the current training offer of university systems.

HoB Training Catalogue

Once completed, the HoB training catalogue will be devoted to university graduates. It is tailored to the contents of individual modules, based on real needs detected from the enterprises and on the key competences for lifelong learning.

Conclusion

House of Brains will have as final result a training path, whose teaching will be completely available online with trainers not only from university but also from successful entrepreneurial cases. At the end or during the proposed training path, students will be able to benefit from internship periods, both in Italy and abroad, at companies or research institutes that mostly fit into their study programme. For these reasons, such initiative represents an important challenge and a concrete opportunity of innovation within the education and training system, giving a primary role to the world of businesses. The last project consortium meeting took place in the German city of Fulda (Hessen) in October 2015, in order to seal the new training offer and focus towards a concrete definition of the online platform through which the new training catalog will be made ​​accessible to students. For more information, please visit the website of the initiative.

 

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