3rd Transnational Meeting of the Erasmus OER-Craft Project

Selected under the second call for applications of “Erasmus+” (the EU programme for education, training, youth and sports, aligned with the E2020 Strategy, running from 2014 to 2020), and framed within the so-called “Key Action - 2" (KA2), sub-action “Strategic Partnerships”, the OER-CRAFT project held its third transnational project meeting last October 13th, following the OER-CRAFT session organized by IHF, hold the day before, on the occasion of the Open Days celebrated under the umbrella of the European Week of Regions and Cities, the major EU event of this type which each year brings together thousands of key stake holders to discuss, debate about hot topics while having an excellent opportunity for networking.

Coordinated by the University of Malaga (UMA) Spain, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Ana M. Castillo Clavero (Professor at the Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics and Business Administration), and managed by the International Relations and Cooperation Office, dependent of the Vice-Rectorate for International Affairs, the project has a duration of 2 years (01/09/2015-31/08/2017) and counts on partner institutions, organizations, and associations from 6 countries, all of them with extensive experience in EU-funded projects: Univerzita Komenskeho v Bratislave, SK; IDP sas di Giancarlo Costantino (Italian Development Partners), IT; Institut de Haute Formation aux Politiques Communautaires asbl, BE; Internet Web Solutions S.L., ES; Emporiko kai Viomichaniko Epimelitirio Pafou, CY; Asociatia EDUNET, RO; Andalucia Emprende, ES.

As a continuation to the "Kick-off Meeting", held at UMA in September 2015, and the Second Transnational Project Meeting, held in Craiova, RO, home to Asociatia EDUNET, last April, the Third Transnational Project Meeting took place at IHF premises located in Brussels, BE. In this case the aim was to show and discuss the progress made so far (1st year of implementation) as well as to establish the necessary action plans applicable to different aspects of the project (administrative management, financial management, communication, promotion, dissemination, intellectual outputs, quality, sustainability, etc.) having treated and exposed successfully all points of the planned agenda.

The main objective of the project is the creation of an online OER ("Open Educational Resources") platform including a collection of training fiches, training modules, training courses, good practices, procedures and advice aimed at promoting the creation of micro-enterprises (including those of only one person) in the fields of hand-made arts/crafts (eg. textiles, ceramics, jewelry, etc.), focused on current and future entrepreneurs from rural areas of any region at any of the participating EU countries, who often lack the tools and advice necessary to start their own business and fully develop their untapped potential, and thereby to promote and market their own products and/or services not only at regional and/or local level, but also at national/EU levels and even internationally.

The project is running smoothly and all goals are being accomplished as planned. The web and the online platform are fully operational, and several training fiches and training courses have been elaborated, reviewed, translated into different languages and made available to the general public on the project website. Also, a fiches/courses browser is now running, allowing users to easily find training materials of their specific interest. The web platform backbone is now completed as well. Furthermore, project promotion has been (and continues to be) very intensive from the side of all partners, including the publication of project information on partners’ websites and social networks, press releases on news sites, videos on YouTube, promotional events, etc. Additionally, the project website is having a high number of monthly visits, increasing over the last months, as derived from web metrics indicators analyzed.

As a welcome addition to its main goals, the project, aims at establishing a solid and long-lasting network constituted by key (external) stakeholders that may contribute in great manner to sustain, support, and further extend its outcomes and achievements both during the project lifespan and beyond, while consolidating a “core” of trustful partners that may be easily teamed-up and engaged in new joint endeavors and projects in the near future.