14 Oct 2020

A NEW JOINT TRAINING CURRICULUM TO DEVELOP THE INDUSTRIAL SYMBIOSIS FACILITATOR PROFESSIONAL PROFILE

The development of the new professional profile Industrial Symbiosis Facilitator – aim of the INSIGHT project – is taking shape with the newly released definition of its Joint Training Curriculum. This five-module programme will provide students the essential knowledge, skills, and competences required to support industrial symbiosis.

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The ERASMUS+ INSIGHT project achieved a major milestone towards the development of the new professional profile, the Industrial Symbiosis Facilitator. The six project partners, with a comprehensive review from key external stakeholders, have outlined a structured training course addressing specific learning outcomes. Built upon an analysis of the situation of industrial symbiosis globally and in Europe, the Joint Curriculum takes into consideration the European Framework for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) system. This will facilitate its transnational recognition, its formal validation at European level, and its transfer to countries and organizations in view of an implementation in all of the EU countries.

The Industrial Symbiosis Facilitator profile is aimed at filling the gap existing between the skills set that are currently supplied by educational institutions and those that are actually required by the industry when it comes to industrial symbiosis. To make sure that it addresses these needs, the INSIGHT Joint Curriculum is based on the report, “Industrial Symbiosis Facilitator - Key study based on current knowledge, skills and qualifications regarding Industrial Symbiosis”, which identified skills, competences and knowledge required to push further industrial symbiosis.

The curriculum provides a holistic approach to Industrial symbiosis, detailing practical steps to engage in such projects, from a technical perspective addressing material and energy flows, without neglecting human factors such as collaborative and cocreation processes”, explained Julie Decaux, coordinator of the INSIGHT project.

The INSIGHT Joint Curriculum, 5 modules on industrial symbiosis

The INSIGHT training course is expected to have a total duration of 150 hours, equivalent of 6 ECVET points[1]. It covers five modules, composed of several training units (16 in total) each evaluated by a final evaluation process. Learning outcomes in terms of knowledge, skills, and competences are associated to each unit. ECVET points are allocated to these learning units based on time and relevance.

The five modules are the following:

  1. Industrial symbiosis theory, concepts and context;
  2. Resource Management;
  3. Industrial Symbiosis Management;
  4. Soft skills for IS;
  5. IS Case Studies.

Participants and Vocational Education and Training centres will have the possibility to select the most convenient modules considering the competences and interests of students. The INSIGHT curriculum is fully described in a report detailing the composition of the modules and training units and specifying the learning objectives, duration and ECVET associated. The report also provides a summary of the validation process and an overview of the national education framework in Belgium, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, and Spain.

A curriculum already widely supported by the sector

Over 72 stakeholders from different countries and backgrounds – such as employees from industries, regional development agencies, technology parks, local and regional administrations, etc. – representing the main target and potential learners of the curriculum evaluated the proposed training. They identified, via a set of questions, potential weaknesses and opportunities for improvement and provided feedback in terms of relevance, consistency with the objectives defined in the project, impact, and benefits. The very positive results obtained confirm that the Joint Curriculum meets the expectations of the sector and helped to better tailor its content.

Next step: developing the content

Now that the Joint Curriculum has been outlined, time has come for the INSIGHT partners to develop the content of the modules and training units which will be provided through an online training platform. A common approach will be used to prepare a short manual and a tool assessing students’ knowledge to complement the Joint Curriculum. If the first training materials are to be developed in English, the project partners will evaluate the need for a translation in additional languages.

The detailed description of the INSIGHT Joint Curriculum and the associated report are available online.