EU funding for innovative digital skills project

Belfast Met’s ARISE project awarded €1.1 million for technology and sustainability initiative

Paul McCormack, Belfast Met innovation manager and ARISE programme manager Paul McCormack, Belfast Met innovation manager and ARISE programme manager

Belfast Metropolitan – a leading digital transformation further education college in the UK – has been awarded a €1.12 million grant from the European Union.

The grant will be allocated to the ARISE training initiative, on which the college has collaborated with eight European industry and education partners.

ARISE was established to support the European Recovery and Resilience Plans 2021-2027, through the providing the construction workforce with skills and education in both the digitalisation of construction and the advancement of sustainability.

The funding was awarded by Horizon 2020, the EU’s initiative aimed at securing the union’s global competitiveness and will aid in the programme’s mission of building a low-carbon, climate resilient future as well as establishing secure, clean and efficient energy.

ARISE says it will revolutionise the approach to learning by monetising skills development, rewarding the achievements of stakeholders with crypto currency (CERTcoin), which it calls the “currency of skills and learning of the construction sector”.

ARISE says the number of stakeholders involved in the project totals more than 1,000 and says it expects the long-term impact of its work to contribute over 75 million KWh of clean energy use in buildings and over €8.7 million of green investments.

Paul McCormack, Belfast Met innovation manager and ARISE programme manager, said, “ARISE utilises a circular economy approach specifically utilising digital skills stimulation and delivery across the entire building life cycle and assets to decarbonise the complete energy cycle. This approach harnesses the market drivers from the demand side and matches these with impact targeted strategies and objectives required to achieve comprehensive success. ARISE represents a multi-faceted approach to tackle the carbon footprint of the construction sector. It is a pioneering training scheme and a powerful socio-economic cross-sectional influencer, affecting the multiple sectors of education, industry, market and policy by delivering a dynamic training and market uptake model.”

The project will be launched in September 2021 and the nine partners in the project consortium are:

  • Belfast Metropolitan College, Northern Ireland
  • Technological University Dublin, Ireland
  • Institute for Research in Environment, Civil Engineering and Energy, North Macedonia
  • ISSO, The Netherlands
  • Conseil des Architectes D Europe Brussels
  • IBIMI Institute for BIM- Italy
  • Building Changes, B.V. The Netherlands
  • Copenhagen School of Design and Technology Denmark
  • Instituto Superior Technico, Portugal

Belfast Met also recently announced that Paul Mc Cormack will be part of an expert panel at this year’s Fore:sight VET 2035 workshop.

Paul Mc Cormack was chosen along with a number of other industry-leading experts for the two-day online event, which will run from 7 to 8 December, 2021.

The annual Fore:sight VET 2035 workshop is part of European Vocational Skills Week. It showcases vocational education and training (VET) and assess the future needs and developments necessary for the digital transformation of Europe’s construction industry.

Paul Mc Cormack, said, “Being asked to sit on an EU wide expert panel is testimony to the excellence and reach of Belfast Met. It reflects our growing international reputation of innovation and successfully driving transformation, continually enabling industry to be globally competitive.

“Our digital transformation work sets out to empower industry, continually upskill their workforce in adaptive environments and to ensure they remain agile and resilient. It is excellent that BelfastMet will be a skills chartographer in developing Green and Digital Transformation solutions for fore:sight VET 2035.”

Mc Cormack will be part of the ‘Green and Digital Transition in the Construction Sector’ expert panel, alongside BIMcert partner Dijana Likar from IECE Macedonia.

According to educational institute Belfast Met, this year’s workshop will focus on “VET For Green and Digital Transitions and will include economy, technology and education focus groups.


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