Alliances for Innovation are an Erasmus+ project format. The format encourages strategic cooperation among higher education and vocational education and training actors within the broader socio-economic environment. The focus is on enterprises and research. Necessary skills, knowledge and abilities are identified and developed with regard to labour market trends and innovation and sustainability in general and vocational education.
These partnerships implement a coherent and comprehensive set of sectoral or cross-sectoral activities. Firstly, innovation is to be stimulated through the development of digital skills in all occupations. Secondly, the transition to a circular economy is to be underpinned by adjustments to qualifications in education and training. Third, the digital transition requires rapid adoption of technologies, in all sectors of the economy and society.
Alliances for Innovation are supported via two funding lines (Lot 1 and Lot 2).
These Alliances are transnational, structured and results-oriented projects where partners share common goals and work together in a sustainable way to promote innovation, new skills, initiative and entrepreneurship. They aim to promote innovation in higher education, vocational education and training, enterprises and the wider socio-economic environment. This includes addressing societal and economic challenges such as climate change, demographic change, digitalisation, new technologies (e.g. AI) and labour market innovation. For the requirements for the objectives, see the Erasmus+ Programme Guide.
All public and private organisations such as higher education institutions, VET stakeholders, research institutions, companies, etc. (for a list, see the Erasmus+ Programme Guide). Each partnership must involve at least eight applicants/beneficiaries, with the consortium consisting of at least three labour market actors and at least three education providers (VET and HE). In addition, at least one higher education institution and one VET provider should be involved as a full partner.
These Alliances promote new strategic approaches and cooperation to develop skills in specific economic sectors or areas in order to create sustainable competitiveness, social equity and resilience. The main objective is to mobilise relevant actors to take action for up-skilling and re-skilling the labour force. The cooperation aims to deliver key sectoral skills strategies, occupational profiles and training programmes.
Project proposals should include the development of VET and new occupational profiles (EQF levels 3 to 5) and tertiary levels (EQF levels 6 to 8) and involve both VET and HE partners and labour market actors.
Alliances will be implemented in the 14 industrial ecosystems identified in the Industrial Strategy for Europe:
Mobility-Transport-Automotive, Textile, Renewable Energy, Electronics, Retail, Tourism, Aerospace & Defence, Construction, Agri-food, Low-carbon energy Intensive Industries, Creative & Cultural Industries, Digital, Health.
Provided that the partners are part of the large-scale partnerships in the Pact for Skills, the following organisations can participate as applicants or associated partners: Public or private organisations from an EU country, such as higher education institutions, VET stakeholders, research institutes, companies, etc. (for a list, see the Erasmus+ Programme Guide). Each partnership must involve at least 12 applicants/beneficiaries, with a consortium of at least five labour market actors and at least five education providers (VET and HE). In addition, at least one higher education institution and one VET provider should be involved as a full partner.
Projects should last 48 months. Justified extensions are possible upon application.
Swiss institutions participating as full partners are funded directly through the Erasmus+ Programme. Swiss institutions participating as associated partners in an Alliance for Innovation can apply to Movetia for funding from the Swiss programme to Erasmus+. In both cases, they must demonstrate in the EU application that their participation generates significant added value for the project.