EU's Call for Proposals: An empowering, inclusive Next Generation Internet

The objective is to support actions on smarter, open, trusted and personalised learning solutions to optimise digital learning and to allow learners to engage and interact with content and with peers.
Application Deadline in 4 months

Every citizen, from all walks of life, should be able to fully take part in the Digital Single Market. This means that the Next Generation Internet will have to empower users, including its most vulnerable or disabled one, to have access to the same digital learning opportunities, in forms that are accessible, perceivable and understandable by everybody.

Scope:

The objective is to support actions on smarter, open, trusted and personalised learning solutions to optimise digital learning and to allow learners to engage and interact with content and with peers.

1. Innovation Action: Digital Learning Incubator

The objective of this action is to advance personalised and inclusive digital learning through a fast-paced adoption cycle of technological and methodological solutions. The work will build on cross-links and advances in the various NGI technologies (such as machine-learning, AR/VR, AI) research fields and foster synergies between all the relevant market players, researchers and educational agents working on promising and innovative products. The action will be based on a "push and pull" strategy whereby the research actors push the best research projects to enter the innovation cycle and the market actors pull for the ideas with best market traction.

The action will:

- set up an Incubator bringing together all relevant stakeholders to form strategic alliances that can jointly achieve fast-paced breakthroughs in the area of personalised and inclusive learning online. The Incubator will allow fast-track experimentations in form of small scale projects, providing access to knowledge, research prototypes, learning resources and data to parties interested to conduct these experimentations.

- launch open calls for highly promising small scale projects to work on a topic/challenge set out in a roadmap. It shall foresee suitable arrangements for oragnizing the corresponding competitive evaluation and selection.

The action shall select these small scale projects through the use of financial support to third parties. Up to 90% of the EU funding of the action should be allocated to the financial support of these third parties, typically of the size of EUR 100 000 to 200 000 per third party and a duration of about 9 to 12 months. Financial support to third parties should in line with the conditions set out in Part K of the General Annexes.

The Commission considers that up to 1 proposal requesting a contribution from the EU of around 7 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

b) Coordination and support action in the area of Digital Learning

The action will:

- stimulate the collaboration between all EU-funded FP7 and H2020 projects on digital learning, analyse the outcomes and best practices carried out in these projects, support the dissemination of their results as well as ensure their integration within the Next Generation Initiative and link with other support measures.

- identify: a) emerging research challenges, notably those arising from digital certification of learning outcomes and blockchain technologies and their uptake for a more inclusive and personalised learning; b) address legal, organisational and technological challenges underpinning the uptake of the proposed solutions, notably in relation to their scalability; c) make policy recommendations in view of the priorities of the next programme for research, innovation and deployment.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of around 1 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Increase in the overall uptake of technology for personalised and inclusive learning for all, regardless of their age, gender or other socioeconomic factors.
  • Increase in the number of distributed learning solutions for children with special educational needs.
  • Increase in the number of start-ups/SME's deploying personalised and inclusive learning solutions to the market.

Delegation Exception Footnote: It is expected that this topic will continue in 2020.

Dateline for submission: 28 March 2019 17:00:00 Brussels time

 
Source: The European Commission

Illustration Photo: Virtual reality training allows the astronauts to wear a helmet and special gloves while looking at computer displays simulating actual movements around the various locations on the station hardware with which they will be working. (credits: Lauren Harnett / NASA / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0))

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