Start: 03-12-2018 – End: 02-12-2020

Project Reference: 2018-1-TR01-KA202-058637

Programme: Erasmus+
Key Action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
Action Type: Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training

Industry 4.0 is expected to significantly advance the supply chain and production in manufacturing industry. It can speed up innovation and supports faster design processes and increase profitability. The industrial sector contributes essentially to the EU economy which is a critical driver of growth and employment.
Digitalisation in Industry 4.0 also provides new business models that challenge the traditional businesses. Europe needs to fully take advantage of the opportunities Industry 4.0 offers, to become more competitive. Digitalisation in companies can create ten times better performance, however, Europe has not used its digital potential, as though 47% of EU citizens shop online, only 14% of SMEs use internet to sell products and services, and less than 2% of European enterprises are taking full advantage of the digital technologies like mobile communications, social media, big data analytics, and IoT.
European Trade Union Confederation emphasizes that development of new tools to support and manage transformational change is essential. Industry 4.0 benefits and transformation of the traditional businesses through new digital advancements is realized differently by various EU countries. Moreover, there are different levels and standards of skills and competencies of the work force new digital era in different countries of Europe.

The iCOINS project aims at developing common EU competences for raising awareness of SMEs on Industry 4.0 through an innovative Training Course. The primary target groups are VET teachers, trainers and mentors. Additionally, iCOINS serves the needs of SMEs staff, higher education staff and students, vocational institutions, vocational higher education institutions/teachers, public administration staff.

Common future needs of SMEs in the context of Industry 4.0 for SMEs are aimed to be identified, and common sets of learning outcomes defined based on ECVET and ECTS principles. The project will address the main skill shortages for which the competences for capacity building in SMEs in industry 4.0 context will be described. Through innovative blended learning contents on industry 4.0 themes, iCOINS targets a mind change of SME entrepreneurs and employees which will enable creation of a community of practice in the learning and training process.

iCOINS develops a common competence map and training modules on raising awareness on Industry 4.0 in SMEs. An OER platform with training modules and a training course plan for trainers will be created. A Training methodology handbook will enable trainers to transfer knowledge to trainees by using iCOINS outputs. The outputs will be tested through pilot trainings and multiplier events.

iCOINS introduces a methodical approach to meet the SMEs’ needs for awareness raising on Industry 4.0 principles, enhancing VET trainers’ skills in using innovative methods and tools to transfer the knowledge. The OERs will allow trainers to implement innovative methodologies in training by using ICT and online resources. Open Badges willl also be released as a recognition of achievements reached within the trainings.

The iCOINS methodology, will promote continuous professional development of VET teachers, trainers and mentors in work-based settings, with a focus on developing effective open and innovative education through the use of OER in work-based context.

iCOINS creates an innovative road-map for the description of competences and build capacity on industry 4.0 in SMEs. The road-map defines the frame and targets for the content and methodology for the Training Modules. The Training Modules are tested with VET-trainers and with SMEs’ staff.

iCOINS designs and implements OER- platform with convenient operational functionalities: modules, exercises, learning outcomes and procedures for the Open Badges release.

iCOINS engages participants, participating organisations, target groups and stakeholders into the co-creation process by activating open communication, sharing information, reflecting outcomes and challenging into discussion and co-operation. iCOINS – conference and National iCOINS meetings are scheduled for this purpose.

The development of training path for building capacity and training modules for raising awareness on Industry 4.0 in SMEs will serve for harmonization and unification of Industry 4.0 skills of VET teachers, trainers and SME staff in Europe which is one of the primary objectives of this project. Moreover, a standardised system for recognition of competences acquired by the trainees based on knowledge, skills and competences gained by the iCOINS OER Platform will be provided through the release of Open Badges. iCOINS project will create a training methodology handbook and training course plan for trainers to further promote and develop the results of the project.